Stock Up, Stock Down: Pound-for-Pound Rankings After UFC 273April 12, 2022
Stock Up, Stock Down: Pound-for-Pound Rankings After UFC 273
UFC 273 went down on Saturday night inside the packed VyStar Veterans Memorial Arena in Jacksonville, Florida. That means it's time for another update to B/R's pound-for-pound UFC rankings.
The card was headlined by a featherweight title fight between streaking Australian champion Alexander Volkanovski and popular challenger "The Korean Zombie" Chan Sung Jung. Volkanovski was in complete control of the matchup until he ended it via TKO in the fourth round, cementing himself as one of the sport's pound-for-pound kings in the process.
The Australian was not the only champion in action at UFC 273. In the co-main event, bantamweight champion Aljamain Sterling took on the division's interim champion Petr Yan in a long-awaited grudge match. It was the pair's second meeting after Sterling defeated Yan by disqualification due to an illegal knee the first time around. In the sequel, Sterling scored a far more legitimate win, defeating his Russian rival by a hard-fought split decision.
The UFC 273 bill also included appearances from ranked contenders Khamzat Chimaev and Mackenzie Dern, who both won via decision over Gilbert Burns and Tecia Torres, respectively. Neither fighter has ever appeared in B/R's pound-for-pound rankings, but both are building increasingly strong cases for inclusion on our hallowed list.
Keep scrolling to see how our rankings look after UFC 273.
Men: Nos. 10-6
10. Aljamain Sterling
9. Deiveson Figueiredo
8. Dustin Poirier
7. Charles Oliveira
6. Stipe Miocic
There's only been one change to the bottom half of our men's pound-for-pound rankings, but it's a big one.
After losing to Aljamain Sterling in the UFC 273 co-main event, Petr Yan has lost his spot in our pound-for-pound rankings, clearing the way for his foil to debut on the list at No. 10 and flyweight champion Deiveson Figueiredo to climb up to No. 9.
Beyond that, there have been no changes to the back end of our men's list. With lightweight champion Charles Oliveira slated to defend his belt against the extremely dangerous Justin Gaethje at UFC 274 next month, though, there could be some serious shake-ups coming.
Men: Nos. 5-1
5. Francis Ngannou
4. Max Holloway
3. Israel Adesanya
2. Alexander Volkanovski
1. Kamaru Usman
There's been a significant switcheroo at the top of our men's pound-for-pound rankings.
After his effortless-looking defeat of The Korean Zombie in the UFC 273 main event, featherweight king Alexander Volkanovski has climbed into our No. 2 spot, pushing his friend Israel Adesanya, the middleweight champion, down to No. 3.
It's not so much that Volkanovski beat the Korean Zombie—it's how he did it. He had the fan-favorite beat in every phase of the game and handed him a more decisive beating than just about anybody before him.
It was also Volkanovski's 21st victory in a row and his 11th consecutive triumph in the Octagon—a run that includes wins over world-class talents like Brian Ortega, Max Holloway (twice), Jose Aldo, Chad Mendes, and now the Korean Zombie. In sum, it's enough to push him ahead of Adesanya, who has not only struggled against the likes of Robert Whittaker and Marvin Vettori recently but actually lost to Jan Blachowicz last year.
However, Volkanovski's victory is not quite enough to push him into the No. 1 spot, which is still the property of dominating welterweight champion Kamaru Usman.
Women: Nos. 10-6
10. Marina Rodriguez
9. Carla Esparza
8. Holly Holm
7. Germaine de Randamie
6. Jessica Andrade
None of the fighters on our women's pound-for-pound list were in action at UFC 273, but grappling specialist Mackenzie Dern improved her argument for pound-for-pound consideration by defeating long-time contender Tecia Torres on the event's main card. In fact, had she beaten Marina Rodriguez when they fought last year—she lost by decision—she might already be on this list.
It's also possible we'll see some movement on this segment of the rankings soon, as our No. 9 fighter Carla Esparza will challenge Rose Namajunas for the strawweight title at UFC 274 next month, and our No. 6 fighter Jessica Andrade will battle rising strawweight contender Amanda Lemos in the main event of a Fight Night card on April 23.
Women: Nos 5-1
5. Zhang Weili
4. Julianna Pena
3. Amanda Nunes
2. Rose Namajunas
1. Valentina Shevchenko
The top half of our women's list is also unchanged after UFC 273, but it's possible it will look entirely different in a few months' time.
Zhang Weili, our No. 5 fighter, is reportedly fighting fellow former strawweight champion Joanna Jedrzejczyk at UFC 275 in Singapore in June. Jedrzejczyk was a staple of this list until she was removed for inactivity, so this fight should have huge ramifications for our rankings.
As we covered on the last slide, strawweight champion Rose Namajunas is also slated to defend her title against Carla Esparza at UFC 274 next month, and a loss would have tectonic implications.
Last but certainly not least, our pound-for-pound queen, flyweight champ Valentina Shevchenko, is scheduled to defend her title against Taila Santos at UFC 275. If she wins, it will reaffirm her place atop this list. If she loses, expect a totally different landscape when we update the rankings the following Tuesday.