Rankings are a fixture in mixed martial arts. Even before the UFC released its own official rankings, most MMA news outlets had their own division-by-division listings.
Whether they are seen as official or just someone's opinion, rankings have served to shape the collective view of the MMA landscape for at least the past decade.
Some MMA enthusiasts love the prevalence of rankings, while others deem them misleading or irrelevant. Some see them as a tool to determine right of way for big fights and title shots, while others see them as promotional tools that serve as evidence against the corrupted logic that determines such dealings.
Whether you rate rankings as valuable or worthless, they hold a measure of intrigue for just about everyone. Either taken as legitimate accolades to reaffirm a fighter's position in the sport or just another chance to argue, rankings are invariably an engaging topic.
Because the UFC has something of a monopoly on rankings these days—with publishing an official set for its own promotion and with the promotion dominating the sport—we at Bleacher Report decided to commit to a different exercise.
Taking a broader view, we've assessed the accomplishments of fighters—not in a vacuum of the here and now but across the history of the sport. Using these assessments, we have created top-three rankings for each major division in MMA.
Due to the relative youth of women's mixed martial arts, we've elected to go the route of a pound-for-pound listing for our WMMA selections.