Divisional rankings: Biggest changes come (of course) at heavyweight
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Divisional rankings: Biggest changes come (of course) at heavyweight

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  • Brett OkamotoESPN Staff Writer

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    • MMA columnist for ESPN.com
    • Analyst for “MMA Live”
    • Covered MMA for Las Vegas Sun

Where are the biggest changes in the latest ESPN divisional MMA rankings? In the division with the biggest fighters, naturally.

The most significant volatility in the rankings has been in the heavyweight division, where Derrick Lewis and Ciryl Gane scored huge victories seven days apart within the last three weeks. And less than three weeks from now, the top two heavyweights in the rankings, champion Stipe Miocic and Francis Ngannou, meet at UFC 260, bringing the strong possibility of more change.

The other divisions that saw significant change were lightweight and men’s flyweight, where the changes were fueled by big performances at UFC 259 on Saturday night. Islam Makhachev makes his debut in the 155-pound top 10 on the strength of a dominant victory over Drew Dober. And Askar Askarov moves up in the 125-pound hierarchy with a victory over longtime title contender Joseph Benavidez.

Beyond that, there’s a new UFC champion at men’s bantamweight, but that does not necessarily mean there is a new No. 1.

For the ESPN pound-for-pound MMA rankings, click here. For a list of current UFC champions in all weight classes, click here.

Note: Results are current; rankings as of March 9.

HeavyweightLight heavyweightMiddleweightWelterweight

LightweightMen’s featherweightMen’s bantamweightMen’s flyweight

Women’s bantamweightWomen’s flyweightStrawweight

HEAVYWEIGHT (up to 265 pounds)

1. Stipe Miocic

Promotion: UFC champion

Record: 12-3

Last: W (UD) Daniel Cormier, Aug. 15, 2020

Next: March 27 vs. Francis Ngannou


2. Francis Ngannou

Promotion: UFC

Record: 15-3

Last: W (KO1) Jairzinho Rozenstruik, May 9, 2020

Next: March 27 vs. Stipe Miocic


3. Derrick Lewis

Promotion: UFC

Previous ranking: 5

Record: 25-7, 1 NC

Last: W (KO2) Curtis Blaydes, Feb. 20, 2021

Next: TBD


4. Ciryl Gane

Promotion: UFC

Previous ranking: 8

Record: 8-0

Last: W (UD) Jairzinho Rozenstruik, Feb. 27, 2021

Next: TBD


5. Curtis Blaydes

Promotion: UFC

Previous ranking: 3

Record: 14-3, 1 NC

Last: L (KO2) Derrick Lewis, Feb. 20, 2021

Next: TBD


6. Alexander Volkov

Promotion: UFC

Previous ranking: 7

Record: 33-8

Last: W (TKO2) Alistair Overeem, Feb. 6, 2021

Next: TBD


7. Jairzinho Rozenstruik

Promotion: UFC

Previous ranking: 4

Record: 11-2

Last: L (UD) Ciryl Gane, Feb. 27, 2021

Next: TBD


8. Alistair Overeem

Promotion: UFC

Previous ranking: 6

Record: 47-19, 1 NC

Last: L (TKO2) Alexander Volkov, Feb. 6, 2021

Next: TBD


9. Ryan Bader

Promotion: Bellator champion

Record: 27-6, 1 NC

Last: L (TKO2) Vadim Nemkov, Aug. 21, 2020

Next: April 9 vs. Lyoto Machida


10. Shamil Abdurakhimov

Promotion: UFC

Record: 20-5

Last: L (TKO2) Curtis Blaydes, Sept. 7, 2019

Next: May 1 vs. Augusto Sakai


LIGHT HEAVYWEIGHT (up to 205 pounds)

1. Jon Jones

Promotion: UFC

Record: 26-1, 1 NC

Last: W (UD) Dominick Reyes, Feb. 8, 2020

Next: TBD


2. Jan Blachowicz

Promotion: UFC champion

Record: 28-8

Last: W (UD) Israel Adesanya, March 6, 2021

Next: TBD


3. Glover Teixeira

Promotion: UFC

Record: 32-7

Last: W (Sub3) Thiago Santos, Nov. 7, 2020

Next: TBD


4. Dominick Reyes

Promotion: UFC

Record: 12-2

Last: L (TKO2) Jan Blachowicz, Sept. 26, 2020

Next: May 1 vs. Jiri Prochazka


5. Aleksandar Rakic

Promotion: UFC

Previous ranking: 9

Record: 14-2

Last: W (UD) Thiago Santos, March 6, 2021

Next: TBD


6. Corey Anderson

Promotion: Bellator

Record: 14-5

Last: W (TKO2) Melvin Manhoef, Nov. 5, 2020

Next: April 9 vs. Dovletdzhan Yagshimuradov


7. Vadim Nemkov

Promotion: Bellator champion

Record: 12-2

Last: W (TKO2) Ryan Bader, Aug. 21, 2020

Next: April 16 vs. Phil Davis


8. Ryan Bader

Promotion: Bellator

Record: 27-6, 1 NC

Last: L (TKO2) Vadim Nemkov, Aug. 21, 2020

Next: April 9 vs. Lyoto Machida


9. Thiago Santos

Promotion: UFC

Previous ranking: 5

Record: 21-9

Last: L (UD) Aleksandar Rakic, March 6, 2021

Next: TBD


10. Jiri Prochazka

Promotion: UFC

Record: 27-3-1

Last: W (KO2) Volkan Oezdemir, July 11, 2020

Next: May 1 vs. Dominick Reyes


MIDDLEWEIGHT (up to 185 pounds)

1. Israel Adesanya

Promotion: UFC champion

Record: 20-1

Last: L (UD) Jan Blachowicz, March 6, 2021

Next: TBD


2. Robert Whittaker

Promotion: UFC

Record: 23-5

Last: W (UD) Jared Cannonier, Oct. 24, 2020

Next: April 17 vs. Paulo Costa


3. Paulo Costa

Promotion: UFC

Record: 13-1

Last: L (TKO2) Israel Adesanya, Sept. 26, 2020

Next: April 17 vs. Robert Whittaker


4. Yoel Romero

Promotion: Bellator

Record: 13-5

Last: L (UD) Israel Adesanya, March 7, 2020

Next: April 16 vs. Anthony “Rumble” Johnson


5. Jared Cannonier

Promotion: UFC

Record: 13-5

Last: L (UD) Robert Whittaker, Oct. 24, 2020

Next: TBD


6. Darren Till

Promotion: UFC

Record: 18-3-1

Last: L (UD) Robert Whittaker, July 25, 2020

Next: April 10 vs. Marvin Vettori


7. Marvin Vettori

Promotion: UFC

Record: 16-4-1

Last: W (UD) Jack Hermansson, Dec. 5, 2020

Next: April 10 vs. Darren Till


8. Jack Hermansson

Promotion: UFC

Record: 21-5

Last: L (UD) Marvin Vettori, Dec. 5, 2020

Next: TBD


9. Derek Brunson

Promotion: UFC

Record: 21-7

Last: W (TKO3) Edmen Shahbazyan, Aug. 1, 2020

Next: March 20 vs. Kevin Holland


10. Gegard Mousasi

Promotion: Bellator champion

Record: 47-7-2

Last: W (UD) Douglas Lima, Oct. 29, 2020

Next: TBD


WELTERWEIGHT (up to 170 pounds)

1. Kamaru Usman

Promotion: UFC champion

Record: 18-1

Last: W (TKO3) Gilbert Burns, Feb. 13, 2021

Next: TBD


2. Colby Covington

Promotion: UFC

Record: 16-2

Last: W (TKO5) Tyron Woodley, Sept. 19, 2020

Next: TBD


3. Douglas Lima

Promotion: Bellator champion

Record: 32-8

Last: L (UD) Gegard Mousasi, Oct. 29, 2020

Next: TBD


4. Leon Edwards

Promotion: UFC

Record: 18-3

Last: W (UD) Rafael dos Anjos, July 20, 2019

Next: TBD


5. Gilbert Burns

Promotion: UFC

Record: 19-4

Last: L (TKO3) Kamaru Usman, Feb. 13, 2021

Next: TBD


6. Stephen “Wonderboy” Thompson

Promotion: UFC

Record: 16-4-1

Last: W (UD) Geoff Neal, Dec. 19, 2020

Next: TBD


7. Jorge Masvidal

Promotion: UFC

Record: 35-14

Last: L (UD) Kamaru Usman, July 11, 2020

Next: TBD


8. Michael Chiesa

Promotion: UFC

Record: 18-4

Last: W (UD) Neil Magny, Jan. 20, 2021

Next: TBD


9. Rory MacDonald

Promotion: PFL

Record: 21-6-1

Last: L (UD) Douglas Lima, Oct. 26, 2019

Next: TBD


10. Tyron Woodley

Promotion: UFC

Record: 19-6-1

Last: L (TKO5) Colby Covington, Sept. 19, 2020

Next: March 27 vs. Vicente Luque


LIGHTWEIGHT (up to 155 pounds)

1. Khabib Nurmagomedov

Promotion: UFC champion

Record: 29-0

Last: W (Sub2) Justin Gaethje, Oct. 24, 2020

Next: Announced retirement


2. Dustin Poirier

Promotion: UFC

Record: 27-6, 1 NC

Last: W (TKO2) Conor McGregor, Jan. 23, 2021

Next: TBD


3. Justin Gaethje

Promotion: UFC

Record: 22-3

Last: L (Sub2) Khabib Nurmagomedov, Oct. 24, 2020

Next: TBD


4. Charles Oliveira

Promotion: UFC

Record: 30-8, 1 NC

Last: W (UD) Tony Ferguson, Dec.12, 2020

Next: TBD


5. Michael Chandler

Promotion: UFC

Record: 22-5

Last: W (TKO1) Dan Hooker, Jan. 23, 2021

Next: TBD


6. Tony Ferguson

Promotion: UFC

Record: 25-5

Last: L (UD) Charles Oliveira, Dec. 12, 2020

Next: TBD


7. Dan Hooker

Promotion: UFC

Record: 20-10

Last: L (TKO1) Michael Chandler, Jan. 23, 2021

Next: TBD


8. Rafael dos Anjos

Promotion: UFC

Record: 30-13

Last: W (SD) Paul Felder, Nov. 14, 2020

Next: TBD


9. Beneil Dariush

Promotion: UFC

Previous rankings: Unranked

Record: 20-4-1

Last: W (SD) Diego Ferreira, Feb. 6, 2021

Next: TBD


10. Islam Makhachev

Promotion: UFC

Previous ranking: Unranked

Record: 19-1

Last: W (Sub3) Drew Dober, March 6, 2021

Next: TBD


MEN’S FEATHERWEIGHT (up to 145 pounds)

1. Alexander Volkanovski

Promotion: UFC champion

Record: 22-1

Last: W (SD) Max Holloway, July 11, 2020

Next:
March 27 vs. Brian Ortega


2. Max Holloway

Promotion: UFC

Record: 22-6

Last: W (UD) Calvin Kattar, Jan. 16, 2021

Next: TBD


3. Brian Ortega

Promotion: UFC

Record: 15-1, 1 NC

Last: W (UD) Chan Sung Jung, Oct. 17, 2020

Next: March 27 vs. Alexander Volkanovski


4. Patricio Freire

Promotion: Bellator champion

Record: 31-4

Last: W (TKO1) Pedro Carvalho, Nov. 12, 2020

Next: April 2 vs. Emmanuel Sanchez


5. Zabit Magomedsharipov

Promotion: UFC

Record: 18-1

Last: W (UD) Calvin Kattar, Nov. 9, 2019

Next: TBD


6. Calvin Kattar

Promotion: UFC

Record: 22-5

Last: L (UD) Max Holloway, Jan. 16, 2021

Next: TBD


7. Yair Rodriguez

Promotion: UFC

Record: 13-2, 1 NC

Last: W (UD) Jeremy Stephens, Oct. 18, 2019

Next: TBD


8. Chan Sung Jung

Promotion: UFC

Record: 16-6

Last: L (UD) Brian Ortega, Oct. 17, 2020

Next: TBD


9. Josh Emmett

Promotion: UFC

Record: 16-2

Last: W (UD) Shane Burgos, June 20, 2020

Next: TBD


10. Shane Burgos

Promotion: UFC

Record: 13-2

Last: L (UD) Josh Emmett, June 20, 2020

Next: May 15 vs. Edson Barboza


MEN’S BANTAMWEIGHT (up to 135 pounds)

1. Petr Yan

Promotion: UFC

Record: 15-2

Last: L (DQ4) Aljamain Sterling, March 6, 2021

Next: TBD


2. Aljamain Sterling

Promotion: UFC champion

Record: 20-3

Last: W (DQ4) Petr Yan, March 6, 2021

Next: TBD


3. Cory Sandhagen

Promotion: UFC

Record: 14-2

Last: W (KO1) Frankie Edgar, Feb. 6, 2021

Next: TBD


4. Cody Garbrandt

Promotion: UFC

Record: 12-3

Last: W (KO2) Raphael Assuncao, June 6, 2020

Next: TBD


5. Rob Font

Promotion: UFC

Record: 18-4

Last: W (TKO1) Marlon Moraes, Dec. 19, 2020

Next: TBD


6. Jose Aldo

Promotion: UFC

Record: 29-7

Last: W (UD) Marlon Vera, Dec. 19, 2020

Next: TBD


7. Frankie Edgar

Promotion: UFC

Record: 24-9-1

Last: L (KO1) Cory Sandhagen, Feb. 6, 2021

Next: TBD


8. Pedro Munhoz

Promotion: UFC

Record: 19-5, 1 NC

Last: W (UD) Jimmie Rivera, Feb. 27, 2021

Next: TBD


9. Marlon Moraes

Promotion: UFC

Record: 23-8-1

Last: L (TKO1) Rob Font, Dec. 19, 2020

Next: TBD


10. Raphael Assuncao

Promotion: UFC

Record: 27-8

Last: L (KO2) Cody Garbrandt, June 6, 2020

Next: TBD


MEN’S FLYWEIGHT (up to 125 pounds)

1. Deiveson Figueiredo

Promotion: UFC champion

Record: 20-1-1

Last: D (MD) Brandon Moreno, Dec.12, 2020

Next: June 12 vs. Brandon Moreno


2. Demetrious Johnson

Promotion: One Championship

Record: 30-3-1

Last: W (UD) Danny Kingad, Oct. 12, 2019

Next: April 7 vs. Adriano Moraes


3. Brandon Moreno

Promotion: UFC

Record: 17-5-2

Last: D (MD) Deiveson Figueiredo, Dec. 12, 2020

Next: June 12 vs. Deiveson Figueiredo


4. Askar Askarov

Promotion: UFC

Previous ranking: 6

Record: 13-0-1

Last: W (UD) Joseph Benavidez, March 6, 2021

Next: TBD


5. Alex Perez

Promotion: UFC

Record: 24-6

Last: L (Sub1) Deiveson Figueiredo, Nov. 21, 2020

Next: May 15 vs. Matt Schnell


6. Alexandre Pantoja

Promotion: UFC

Previous ranking: 7

Record: 23-5

Last: W (UD) Manel Kape, Feb. 6, 2021

Next: TBD


7. Brandon Royval

Promotion: UFC

Previous ranking: 8

Record: 12-5

Last: L (TKO1) Brandon Moreno, Nov. 21, 2020

Next: TBD


8. Kai Kara-France

Promotion: UFC

Previous ranking: 10

Record: 22-9, 1 NC

Last: W (KO1) Rogério Bontorin, March 6, 2021

Next: TBD


9. Joseph Benavidez

Promotion: UFC

Previous ranking: 4

Record: 28-8

Last: L (UD) Askar Askarov, March 6, 2021

Next: TBD


10. Jussier Formiga

Promotion: UFC

Previous ranking: 9

Record: 23-8

Last: L (TKO1) Alex Perez, June 6, 2020

Next: TBD


WOMEN’S BANTAMWEIGHT (up to 135 pounds)

1. Amanda Nunes

Promotion: UFC champion

Record: 21-4

Last: W (Sub1) Megan Anderson,, March 6, 2021

Next: TBD


2. Germaine de Randamie

Promotion: UFC

Record: 10-4

Last: W (TechSub3) Julianna Peña, Oct. 3, 2020

Next: TBD


3. Julianna Peña

Promotion: UFC

Record: 10-4

Last: W (Sub3) Sara McMann, Jan. 23, 2021

Next: May 8 vs. Holly Holm


4. Aspen Ladd

Promotion: UFC

Record: 9-1

Last: W (TKO3) Yana Kunitskaya, Dec. 7, 2019

Next: TBD


5. Holly Holm

Promotion: UFC

Record: 14-5

Last: W (UD) Irene Aldana, Oct. 3, 2020

Next: May 8 vs. Julianna Peña


6. Irene Aldana

Promotion: UFC

Record: 12-6

Last: L (UD) Holly Holm, Oct. 3, 2020

Next: TBD


7. Yana Kunitskaya

Promotion: UFC

Previous ranking: 9

Record: 14-5, 1 NC

Last: W (UD) Ketlen Vieira, Feb. 20, 2021

Next: TBD


8. Ketlen Vieira

Promotion: UFC

Previous ranking: 7

Record: 11-2

Last: L (UD) Yana Kunitskaya, Feb. 20, 2021

Next: TBD


9. Raquel Pennington

Promotion: UFC

Previous ranking: 8

Record: 11-8

Last: W (UD) Marion Reneau, June 20, 2020

Next: TBD


10. Marion Reneau

Promotion: UFC

Record: 12-6

Last: L (Sub3) Julianna Peña, Jan. 23, 2021

Next: March 20 vs. Macy Chiasson


WOMEN’S FLYWEIGHT (up to 125 pounds)

1. Valentina Shevchenko

Promotion: UFC champion

Record: 20-3

Last: W (UD) Jennifer Maia, Nov. 21, 2020

Next: April 24 vs. Jessica Andrade


2. Jessica Andrade

Promotion: UFC

Record: 21-8

Last: W (TKO1) Katlyn Chookagian, Oct. 17, 2020

Next: April 24 vs. Valentina Shevchenko


3. Katlyn Chookagian

Promotion: UFC

Record: 15-4

Last: W (UD) Cynthia Calvillo, Nov. 21, 2020

Next: May 15 vs. Viviane Araujo


4. Jennifer Maia

Promotion: UFC

Record: 18-7-1

Last: L (UD) Valentina Shevchenko, Nov. 21, 2020

Next: TBD


5. Joanne Calderwood

Promotion: UFC

Record: 15-5

Last: W (UD) Jessica Eye, Jan. 23, 2021

Next: TBD


6. Lauren Murphy

Promotion: UFC

Record: 14-4

Last: W (Sub2) Liliya Shakirova, Oct. 24, 2020

Next: TBD


7. Juliana Velasquez

Promotion: Bellator champion

Record: 11-0

Last: W (UD) Ilima-Lei Macfarlane, Dec. 10, 2020

Next: TBD


8. Ilima-Lei Macfarlane

Promotion: Bellator

Record: 11-1

Last: L (UD) Juliana Velasquez, Dec. 10, 2020

Next: TBD


9. Cynthia Calvillo

Promotion: UFC

Record: 9-2-1

Last: L (UD) Katlyn Chookagian, Nov. 21, 2020

Next: TBD


10. Liz Carmouche

Promotion: Bellator

Record: 14-7

Last: W (Sub3) DeAnna Bennett, Sept. 12, 2020

Next: TBD


STRAWWEIGHT (up to 115 pounds)

1. Zhang Weili

Promotion: UFC champion

Record: 21-1

Last: W (SD) Joanna Jedrzejczyk, March 7, 2020

Next: April 24 vs. Rose Namajunas


2. Rose Namajunas

Promotion: UFC

Record: 9-4

Last: W (SD) Jessica Andrade, July 11, 2020

Next: April 24 vs. Zhang Weili


3. Joanna Jedrzejczyk

Promotion: UFC

Record: 16-4

Last: L (SD) Zhang Weili, March 7, 2020

Next: TBD


4. Carla Esparza

Promotion: UFC

Record: 17-6

Last: W (SD) Marina Rodriguez, July 25, 2020

Next: TBD


5. Yan Xiaonan

Promotion: UFC

Record: 13-1, 1 NC

Last: W (UD) Claudia Gadelha, Nov. 7, 2020

Next: TBD


6. Marina Rodriguez

Promotion: UFC

Record: 13-1-2

Last: W (TKO2) Amanda Ribas, Jan. 23, 2021

Next: TBD


7. Claudia Gadelha

Promotion: UFC

Record: 18-5

Last: L (UD) Yan Xiaonan, Nov. 7, 2020

Next: TBD


8. Michelle Waterson

Promotion: UFC

Record: 18-8

Last: W (SD) Angela Hill, Sept. 12, 2020

Next: TBD


9. Tecia Torres

Promotion: UFC

Record: 12-5

Last: W (TKO1) Sam Hughes, Dec. 12, 2020

Next: TBD


10. Nina Ansaroff

Promotion: UFC

Record: 10-6

Last: L (UD) Tatiana Suarez, June 8, 2019

Next: April 10 vs. Mackenzie Dern

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