Stock Up, Stock Down: Pound-for-Pound Rankings After UFC 263

Tom Taylor@@TomTayMMAContributor IJune 15, 2021

Stock Up, Stock Down: Pound-for-Pound Rankings After UFC 263

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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 263 going down in front of a full crowd in sun-soaked Glendale, Arizona, last Saturday, that means it's time for another update.

    The card featured two of our pound-for-pound stars—middleweight champ Israel Adesanya, who beat Marvin Vettori in the main event, and flyweight champ Deiveson Figueiredo, who was submitted by Brandon Moreno in the co-headliner—so it goes without saying there have been some changes to our list.

    Keep scrolling to see how the land lies after the event.

Men: Nos. 10-6

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    10. Brandon Moreno 

    9. Jan Blachowicz

    8. Francis Ngannou

    7. Max Holloway

    6. Dustin Poirier

    There's only been once change to the bottom half of our men's pound-for-pound list—but it's a big one. When Mexico's Brandon Moreno masterfully submitted Deiveson Figueiredo in the UFC 263 co-main event, he didn't just swipe the Brazilian's title but his spot in our pound-for-pound rankings too. 

    The new flyweight champion debuts on our list at No. 10, sending Figueiredo packing altogether.

    Beyond that, the back end of the top 10 is unchanged. With light heavyweight champion Jan Blachowicz and top lightweight contender Dustin Poirier respectively fighting Glover Teixeira and Conor McGregor before the summer is out, however, we could see some big shakeups in the near future. 

Men: Nos. 5-1

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    5. Stipe Miocic

    4. Alexander Volkanovski

    3. Israel Adesanya

    2. Kamaru Usman

    1. Jon Jones

    Israel Adesanya's unanimous-decision win over Marvin Vettori in the main event of UFC 263 reaffirmed that, contrary to his recent decision loss to light heavyweight king Jan Blachowicz, he remains one of the sport's top pound-for-pound talents.

    Unfortunately for him, that win just wasn't enough to move him past UFC welterweight champion Kamaru Usman, who has asserted himself as our No. 2-ranked fighter with impressive wins over the likes of Colby Covington, Gilbert Burns and Jorge Masvidal (twice).

Women: Nos. 10-6

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    10. Katlyn Chookagian

    9. Holly Holm

    8. Tatiana Suarez

    7. Germaine de Randamie

    6. Jessica Andrade

    There have been no changes to the bottom half of our women's pound-for-pound rankings, but this segment of the list remains one of the most mercurial of all.

    For example, Lauren Murphy's UFC 263 undercard victory over Joanne Calderwood—which is more than likely to get her a shot at flyweight champ Valentina Shevchenko—nearly earned her our No. 10 spot. Unfortunately for her, she has a 2016 loss to our No. 10 fighter, Katlyn Chookagian, who recently cemented her position with a win over Viviane Araujo. So for the moment, Murphy remains on the outside looking in.

    The only other thing to note is that No. 8-ranked fighter, Tatiana Suarez, is at increasing risk of being jettisoned due to her prolonged 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 hasn't changed after UFC 263. The top spot is still the domain of reigning bantamweight and featherweight queen Amanda Nunes. The No. 2 and 3 spots, meanwhile, belong to flyweight champ Valentina Shevchenko and strawweight champ Rose Namajunas—both of whom picked up huge wins at the recent UFC 262 card.

    The No. 4 and 5 spots, finally, belong to former strawweight champions Weili Zhang and Joanna Jedrzejczyk. Much like the aforementioned Suarez, Jedrzejczyk is at risk of losing her spot due to inactivity, but because she recently revealed to SCMP MMA that her next fight is "very close" to fruition, we're keeping her where she is for the time being. 

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