Stock Up, Stock Down: Pound-for-Pound Rankings After UFC 264July 13, 2021
Stock Up, Stock Down: Pound-for-Pound Rankings After UFC 264
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 264 going down in front of a packed house in Las Vegas last Saturday, that means it's time for another rankings update.
The card featured one of our pound-for-pound staples: No. 1 lightweight contender Dustin Poirier, who walloped Conor McGregor in the card's main event.
How did his win over the Irishman affect our rankings? Keep scrolling to find out.
Men: Nos. 10-6
Men: Nos. 10-6
10. Brandon Moreno
9. Jan Blachowicz
7. Max Holloway
6. Dustin Poirier
In the UFC 264 main event, Dustin Poirier defeated Conor McGregor via doctor stoppage after the Irish star broke his tibia. While McGregor's unfortunate injury certainly gave the fight a somewhat flukey air, it was an impressive performance from Poirier nonetheless, as the American seemed to be in full control of the contest when it ended.
UFC 264 marked Poirier's second consecutive win over McGregor, as he also knocked the Irishman out at UFC 257 in January. Unfortunately, this second win over Notorious was not enough to move him up our list. There are a few reasons for that.
First and foremost, Poirier beating a man he walloped earlier this year didn't really tell us anything new. Secondly, it's clear McGregor is not the fighter he once was. As such, a win over him is not as valuable as it once was—at least in pound-for-pound considerations.
All of that being said, Poirier is now expected to challenge lightweight champion Charles Oliveira, who remains unranked despite his title, in the near future. If he wins that fight, he could climb into our top five, potentially displacing accomplished stars like Stipe Miocic and Alexander Volkanovski.
Men: Nos. 5-1
5. Stipe Miocic
4. Alexander Volkanovski
3. Israel Adesanya
2. Kamaru Usman
1. Jon Jones
Our men's top five is unchanged after UFC 264.
Former heavyweight champion Stipe Miocic is still clinging to the No. 5 spot, buoyed by his record-breaking legacy but hurt by his recent loss to Francis Ngannou, his long stretches of inactivity, and the fact that he's been recycling the same two opponents (Ngannou and Daniel Cormier) since January 2018.
Featherweight champ Alexander Volkanovski is still at No. 4, middleweight champion Israel Adesanya is still perched at No. 3, and welterweight champ Kamaru Usman remains our No. 2 fighter.
Our No. 1 spot is still the real estate of former light heavyweight champion Jon Jones, although his prolonged inactivity—a result of his current contract dispute with the UFC—is beginning to be a cause for concern.
Women: Nos. 10-6
10. Katlyn Chookagian
9. Holly Holm
8. Tatiana Suarez
7. Germaine de Randamie
6. Jessica Andrade
The bottom half of our women's pound-for-pound rankings is also unchanged after UFC 264.
Katlyn Chookagian still clings to the No. 10 spot but could be bounced from the list by a number of rising fighters in the near future, including Mexican bantamweight Irene Aldana, who thumped Yana Kunitskaya on the UFC 264 main card.
Our No. 9 spot is held by former bantamweight champ Holly Holm, while our No. 8 spot is still the turf of Tatiana Suarez who, after a long stretch of inactivity, is slated for a return to the Octagon opposite Roxanne Modafferi at UFC 266 in September.
A win over a veteran like Modafferi won't improve Suarez's position, but the fact that she's fighting again is crucial to her place on our list. Had she gone much longer with taking a fight, we'd have been forced to "86" her.
Beyond the returning Suarez, our No. 7 spot is occupied by former featherweight champion Germaine de Randamie, while our No. 6 spot goes to former strawweight champion Jessica Andrade, who was recently torn up by flyweight queen Valentina Shevchenko.
Women: Nos. 5-1
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 264.
Former strawweight champs Joanna Jedrzejczyk and Weili Zhang still occupy our No. 5 and 4 spots, respectively, while reigning strawweight queen Rose Namajunas—who has beaten both aforementioned women—is our No. 3 fighter.
Seemingly unbeatable flyweight champion Valentina Shevchenko still holds our No. 2 spot, while Amanda Nunes, who holds the bantamweight and featherweight straps and is universally viewed as the GOAT of women's MMA, is still sitting pretty at No. 1.
Nunes is set to defend her bantamweight belt against Julianna Pena at UFC 265, and while she can't improve her position, a loss would cause a tectonic shakeup.