Stock Up, Stock Down: Pound-for-Pound Rankings After UFC 265

Tom Taylor@@TomTayMMAContributor IAugust 10, 2021

Stock Up, Stock Down: Pound-for-Pound Rankings After UFC 265

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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 265 going down in front of a raucous crowd in Houston, Texas last Saturday, that means it's time for another update.

    The card didn't feature any of our current pound-for-pound fighters, but it did see unbeaten Frenchman Ciryl Gane capture the interim heavyweight title with a TKO win over Derrick Lewis.

    How did the events of UFC 265 affect our hallowed pound-for-pound list? Keep scrolling to find out.

Men: Nos. 10-6

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    10. Brandon Moreno 

    9. Jan Blachowicz

    6. Dustin Poirier

    Ciryl Gane's interim title-winning defeat of Derrick Lewis was not enough to earn him a spot on our pound-for-pound list.

    The Frenchman is clearly among the best heavyweights in the world and he seems to have the skills required for pound-for-pound greatness, but at this point, he still hasn't done enough to displace the likes of flyweight champion Brandon Moreno, our No. 10 fighter, or light heavyweight champion Jan Blachowicz, our No. 9 fighter.

    That being said, Gane is expected to challenge undisputed heavyweight champion Francis Ngannou, our No. 8-ranked fighter, in the near future. If he wins that fight, his entry onto our men's pound-for-pound list is all but guaranteed.

Men: Nos. 5-1

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    5. Stipe Miocic

    4. Alexander Volkanovski

    3. Israel Adesanya

    2. Kamaru Usman

    1. Jon Jones

    The top half of our men's pound-for-pound list is unchanged after UFC 265, but it could experience some shakeups soon.

    Most notably, our No. 4 fighter, featherweight champ Alexander Volkanovski, is slated to defend his title against rival TUF coach Brian Ortega at UFC 266 on September 25. A win could push him up this list, but a loss would certainly push him down.

    Our No. 2 fighter, welterweight king Kamaru Usman, also has a fight on the calendar. He'll look to make it 2-0 against Colby Covington at UFC 268 in November. The outcome of that fight could have huge implications for his position on this list.

    Former UFC light heavyweight champion Jon Jones, finally, is at risk of losing our No. 1 spot due to inactivity. He's been regarded as one of the sport's pound-for-pound kings for years, but he hasn't fought since a razor-close decision win over Dominick Reyes in February 2020.

    We know he's planning on chasing the heavyweight title—a feat that would only cement his position as the sport's best fighter—but if he doesn't sort out his contract dispute with the UFC and fight soon, we'll have to bounce him for inactivity.

    Given that UFC President Dana White recently claimed Jones won't fight again until 2022, it seems like it might just come to that.

Women: Nos. 10-6

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    10. Carla Esparza

    9. Katlyn Chookagian

    8. Holly Holm

    7. Germaine de Randamie

    6. Jessica Andrade

    We finally did it.

    After months of threatening to do so, we finally cut Tatiana Suarez from our women's pound-for-pound list.

    This decision has nothing to do with UFC 265—she was not in action on the card. Instead, it all comes down to her inactivity.

    While she's undeniably one of the best female fighters in the world, Suarez hasn't fought since a June 2019 win over Nina Nunes. She was slated to return to the cage for a flyweight fight with Roxanne Modafferi at UFC 266 next month but was forced out of the contest with a knee injury.

    It was a devastating twist for the former strawweight contender, and one that has forced our hand. Unfortunately, she just hasn't been fighting enough to justify a place on our list.

    She's lost her No. 8 spot, allowing Holly Holm and Katlyn Chookagian to climb a spot apiece and former strawweight queen Carla Esparza, who's riding wins five consecutive wins over ranked foes, to debut at No. 10.

Women: Nos. 5-1

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    5. Joanna Jedrzejczyk

    4. Weili Zhang 

    3. Rose Namajunas 

    2. Valentina Shevchenko

    Amanda Nunes, who holds the UFC women's featherweight and bantamweight titles as well as the No. 1 spot on our list, was slated to defend her bantamweight belt against Julianna Pena in the co-main event of UFC 265 last weekend. Regrettably, the champ was forced off the card after testing positive for COVID-19.

    Had Nunes fought at UFC 265, we might have seen some huge changes to the top half our women's pound-for-pound list. She's already our top fighter, of course, but a loss—unlikely as it would have been—would have caused a tectonic shift to these rankings. 

    Thanks to Nunes' exit, though, our women's top five remains unchanged. She's still the top dog. Flyweight champion Valentina Shevchenko, who defends her belt against Lauren Murphy at UFC 266 next month, is still sitting at No. 2. And strawweight stars Rose Namajunas, Weili Zhang and Joanna Jedrzejczyk are still perched at Nos. 3, 4 and 5 respectively.