Stock Up, Stock Down: Pound-for-Pound Rankings After UFC 262

Tom Taylor@@TomTayMMAContributor IMay 18, 2021

Stock Up, Stock Down: Pound-for-Pound Rankings After UFC 262

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    The official UFC rankings are a farce. That sounds harsh, but it's the truth.

    The entire system seems to be predicated on the whims and fancies of the voting panelists, many of whom don't even appear to closely follow mixed martial arts. There is no consistency in terms of what happens when a ranked fighter changes weight classes or retires. There is legitimate evidence that suggests the UFC nudges its panelists in the directions it deems most suitable.

    The list of problems goes on and on. 

    We here at Bleacher Report are tired of it and have decided to take a stand by creating our own UFC pound-for-pound lists: one list for men and another for women.

    We will update our pound-for-pound rankings after each UFC pay-per-view and, with a little luck, bring some order to the chaotic world of mixed martial arts. 

    With UFC 262 going down in front of a packed house in Houston, Texas, last Saturday, that means it's time for another update.

    The card only featured one of our pound-for-pound fighters but did see Charles Oliveira capture the vacant lightweight title with a second-round knockout of Michael Chandler. 

    How did Oliveira's inspiring title win affect the prestigious B/R Pound-for-Pound UFC Rankings? Keep scrolling to find out.

Men: Nos. 10-6

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    10. Deiveson Figueiredo 

    9. Jan Blachowicz

    6. Dustin Poirier

    Heading into UFC 262, Charles Oliveira did not appear on our men's pound-for-pound list, but after he captured the lightweight title with a knockout of Michael Chandler in the card's main event, he's definitely worthy of consideration.

    The dilemma we typically run into when fighters enter the pound-for-pound conversation, however, is less about whether they deserve a spot in our top-10 and more about whom they would replace on the list by joining it.

    The question this time around is whether Oliveira is more deserving of a spot on our pound-for-pound list than the likes of flyweight champion Deiveson Figueiredo and light heavyweight champion Jan Blachowicz. At this point, we've decided he's not, on the basis that his title reign is still only days old and he's yet to tally a single defense.

    If he can achieve a successful title defense—particularly against our No. 6-ranked fighter Dustin Poirier—that will definitely change. 

Men: Nos. 5-1

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    5. Stipe Miocic

    4. Alexander Volkanovski

    3. Israel Adesanya

    2. Kamaru Usman

    1. Jon Jones

    There have been no changes to the top half of our men's pound-for-pound list after UFC 262, but that could change by the time UFC 263—scheduled for June 12 in Glendale, Arizona—comes to pass.

    That card will be topped by a middleweight title fight between champ Israel Adesanya and challenger Marvin Vettori, and co-headlined by a flyweight title rematch between champ Deiveson Figueiredo and challenger Brandon Moreno. If either of those title-holders comes up short, expect some drastic shake-ups to our pound-for-pound top five.

    Another storyline to watch is the increasingly substantial hiatus of former light heavyweight champ Jon Jones. Here at B/R, we tend to give our pound-for-pound stars quite a bit of wiggle room when it comes to absences—this is a tough sport to stay active in—but Jones seems to be at an increasingly severe stalemate with Dana White and the UFC.

    Given that his last two fights were both razor-close decision wins, he needs to fight soon if he wants to maintain his spot atop our list.

Women: Nos. 10-6

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    10. Katlyn Chookagian

    9. Holly Holm

    8. Tatiana Suarez

    7. Germaine de Randamie

    6. Jessica Andrade

    Katlyn Chookagian was the only one of our pound-for-pound fighters to compete at UFC 262. However, her hotly debated unanimous decision win over Viviane Araujo was not enough to improve her position. Given that win's uninspiring nature, she's staying put at No. 10 behind former UFC bantamweight champion Holly Holm.

    The only other thing to note in terms of the bottom half of our women's list is that No. 8-ranked fighter Tatiana Suarez is at increasing risk of being booted from the list because of inactivity, having not competed since June 2019. If she doesn't fight by summer's end, she's out.

Women: Nos. 5-1

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    5. Joanna Jedrzejczyk

    4. Weili Zhang 

    3. Rose Namajunas 

    2. Valentina Shevchenko

    1. Amanda Nunes

    Our women's top five is also unchanged after UFC 262. The No. 1 spot is still the sole property of reigning bantamweight and featherweight champ Amanda Nunes. The No. 2 and 3 spots, meanwhile, belong to flyweight champ Valentina Shevchenko and strawweight champ Rose Namajunas.

    The No. 4 and 5 spots, finally, belong to former strawweight champions Weili Zhang and Joanna Jedrzejczyk. Jedrzejczyk's year-plus layoff is an increasing risk to her spot on this list, but because she recently revealed to SCMP MMA that her next fight is "very close" to fruition, she's safe for the time being.