MMASucka’s July UFC Pound-for-Pound Rankings

UFC pound-for-pound rankings
LAS VEGAS, NEVADA - JULY 05: UFC middleweight champion Robert Whittaker of Australia poses for the media during the UFC seasonal press conference at T-Mobile Arena on July 5, 2019 in Las Vegas, Nevada. (Photo by Josh Hedges/Zuffa LLC/Zuffa LLC via Getty Images)

The UFC rankings seem to be meaningless these days, but that doesn’t mean they aren’t fun to talk about. Pound-for-pound rankings are a fun concept, but difficult to come up with a tangible formula for. We here at MMASucka have decided to formulate our own UFC pound-for-pound rankings. Our formula? “Who would be the best fighter if everyone was the same size?” That is the question we set out to answer.

MMASucka’s UFC Pound-for-Pound Rankings

The Panel

The following writers contributed to the creation of this list. Each fighter’s own personal  rankings can be found at the bottom of this page.

#1: Robert Whittaker

This shouldn’t come as a surprise to anyone. Robert “The Reaper” Whittaker is without a doubt one of the most underrated fighters in all of MMA. His striking is right up there with the best in the sport. Whittaker is extremely layered as a striker, as his stand up game just seems to flow. He manages distance well, and is proficient at damaging his opponents while he is coming forward or moving backwards. Essentially, Robert Whittaker’s game can be described as “he is good at not getting hit, and even better at hitting his opponents.”

Not only has Whittaker mastered the finer details of striking, but he also possesses legitimate knockout power. To go with all of this, The Reaper has tremendous hips and takedown defense, which leaves his opponents with one option: strike with him, and lose. Since Whittaker’s move to middleweight, all of his opponents not named Yoel Romero have been beaten down, and as long as the Aussie stays healthy, he is poised to be on top of the division for a long time.

Official UFC P4P Ranking: 8

#2: Max Holloway

Despite a loss in his UFC lightweight debut, Max Holloway is still undoubtedly one of the best fighters to ever fight in the UFC. The pace he sets and the extreme volume he puts out in each fight has a way of breaking his opponents down. We saw it happen most recently to Jose Aldo and Brian Ortega. “Blessed” doesn’t exactly possess one punch knockout power, but the damage he can do over the course of a fight really adds up on an opponent. Holloway has really great footwork and uses it well to mix his angles and keep his opponents guessing. As seen in the Dustin Poirier fight, even when Holloway does get hit, he has a granite chin and impressive recovery. Elite boxing, an incredible pace, a superhero chin and underrated takedown defense make Max Holloway one of the best all-around fighters in the UFC.

Official UFC P4P Ranking: 6

#3: Henry Cejudo

Henry Cejudo might not always show an extremely nuanced approach to the technical aspects of MMA, but he is likely the best athlete in the UFC. A few things that come to mind with Cejudo are speed, explosive power, and a chin like we have never seen before. As seen against Marlon Moraes, Cejudo still isn’t a great range fighter, especially when his opponent is willing to attack his legs. But, in the same fight, Cejudo showed his durability, very good work in the clinch and persistence in the pocket. In the third and final round of the fight, Cejudo was blasting Moraes with knees to the body out of the clinch. The fight-ending sequence came when he forced Moraes’s back to the fence, took him down, and beat him up until the ref stopped the fight. As Cejudo continues to improve as a boxer, his grappling skills and pure athleticism will make him a tough out against anyone in the UFC.

UFC pound-for-pound rankings
CHICAGO, IL – JUNE 08: Henry Cejudo celebrates his TKO victory over Marlon Moraes of Brazil in their bantamweight championship bout during the UFC 238 event at the United Center on June 8, 2019 in Chicago, Illinois. (Photo by Jeff Bottari/Zuffa LLC/Zuffa LLC via Getty Images)

Official UFC P4P Ranking: 4

#4: Khabib Nurmagomedov

Coming in at number four on the list is the Russian grappling sensation Khabib Nurmagomedov. Every time he steps into the octagon, “The Eagle” has shown he is as good as it gets in the grappling department. An enthusiastic pressure fighter, Nurmagomedov’s best work comes after he gets his opponent’s back to the fence. When he gets his opponent to the fence, there’s typically no stopping the fight from going to the ground. After it gets there, Nurmagomedov uses his otherworldly top game to smother his opponent. He specifically excels at tying up his opponents’ legs and controlling their wrists. This presents The Eagle the opportunity to do what he does best: smash. Though he’s no K-1 level kickboxer, Nurmagomedov does well enough on the feet to advance forward and get the fight to the ground. His very durable chin and solid cardio allow him to walk through his opponents until they have nowhere to go but to the ground.

Official UFC P4P Ranking: 3

#5: Kamaru Usman

Similar to the man who preceded him on this list, Kamaru Usman makes his money through grappling, particularly wrestling. “The Nigerian Nightmare” is absurdly strong for the welterweight division and is definitely one of the strongest pound-for-pound fighters in the UFC. Like Nurmagomedov, Usman does great work when he can force his opponents against the fence. He is great in the clinch, and when he gets his opponents to the ground, they don’t get back up. Though he’s not a finisher, Usman has shown an uncanny ability to grind his opponents down over the course of a fight. Look no further than his dominant victories over Tyron Woodley and Rafael dos Anjos. Against opponents who don’t like having their backs to the fence, Usman showed just how dominant he can be in that position. His strength, cardio, and wrestling skills will likely keep Kamaru Usman on top of the welterweight division for a long time, as long as he doesn’t move up to middleweight.

Official UFC P4P Ranking: 7

#6: Dustin Poirier

Dustin Poirier has definitely been one of the most improved stars in the UFC over the past couple of years. Since making his return to lightweight, Poirier holds a record of 9-1-1 in the division. “The Diamond” has developed into one of the best boxers in the entire promotion. He has legitimate knockout power for the lightweight division. He can strike well moving in both directions, but definitely does his best work going forward and countering. Poirier mixes his angles well, and he can strike effectively at range or in the pocket. Combine that with a BJJ black belt, more than capable wrestling abilities, and a strong top game (ask Anthony Pettis), Poirier is a tough matchup for anyone in the lightweight division. If he can find a way to stay off of the cage and keep his upcoming fight with Nurmagomedov on the feet, Poirier could be the first man to defeat the Dagestani champion.

Official UFC P4P Ranking: 10

#7: Yoel Romero

Yoel Romero is one of the most intimidating fighters in the UFC. Originally known for his Olympic-level wrestling, Romero has developed into one of the ten best boxers in the UFC. He’s not a high volume striker, but fights in explosive bursts where every strike has the potential to take the target’s head off. These bursts proved very effective in Romero’s rematch with Whittaker. He dropped Whittaker multiple times throughout the fight with great counterstriking. His great wrestling skills (offensive and defensive) paired with his much-improved boxing make Romero one of the very best fighters in the UFC. In the promotion, Romero has only ever lost to Whittaker. A fight that everyone should want to see is a matchup between Romero and our next entry at light heavyweight.

Official UFC P4P Ranking: Unranked

#8: Jon Jones

Likely controversially, Jon Jones comes in at number eight on our list. Widely considered as the greatest fighter of all time, Jones hasn’t looked like the Jon Jones of old in his recent fights. “Bones” hasn’t developed his stand up game as the sport has evolved. He is used to relying on an absurd reach advantage, to the point where he hasn’t needed to showcase elite boxing or footwork to win fights. Despite all that, Jones still belongs on this list, mostly thanks to his incredible clinch game. He does his best work with elbows out of the clinch, and can work his opponent to the ground from the clinch as well. Though he hasn’t showed it recently, Jones does have a very strong wrestling game, too. To top it off, Jones is solid defensively and incredibly durable. If he does take any considerable damage, Jones typically walks through it and continues to do work while picking apart his opponent.

Official UFC P4P Ranking: 2

#9: Tony Ferguson

A fan favorite action fighter, Tony Ferguson is one of the most unique and exciting fighters in the UFC. Everything Ferguson does is unorthodox, but he makes it work so well. His cardio is the best in the UFC, he’s extremely dangerous off of his back, and is unpredictable and wildly effective on the feet. A slow starter, Ferguson doesn’t ever seem to be at full strength until he is dropped or at least rocked in a fight. When adversity arrives, Ferguson is at his absolute best. Ferguson’s opponents almost always leave the cage covered in blood and completely exhausted. Currently on a 12 fight win streak, only one person in the UFC has been able to crack the code of stopping Ferguson’s madness.

UFC pound-for-pound rankings
CHICAGO, IL – JUNE 08: (R-L) Tony Ferguson punches Donald Cerrone in their lightweight bout during the UFC 238 event at the United Center on June 8, 2019 in Chicago, Illinois. (Photo by Jeff Bottari/Zuffa LLC/Zuffa LLC via Getty Images)

Official UFC P4P Ranking: 12

#10: Daniel Cormier

The other controversy on this list is Daniel Cormier rounding it out at number ten. Most fans consider “DC” to be one of the top two or three fighters in MMA. At 40 years old, Cormier seems to become more successful with age. Back in the heavyweight division, Cormier has shown no signs of slowing down. He is most known for his wrestling, top game, toughness and great cardio. Most recently, Cormier showcased his grappling skills against Volkan Oezdemir and Derrick Lewis. DC is also strong in the clinch, and is a good enough striker to work his way into grappling exchanges safely. Cormier has only ever lost to Jon Jones, and a second win over Miocic could jump him up this list and make a case for him as the greatest heavyweight of all time.

Official UFC P4P Ranking: 1

Connor Deitrich’s Rankings

  1. Robert Whittaker
  2. Khabib Nurmagomedov
  3. Max Holloway
  4. Jon Jones
  5. Henry Cejudo
  6. Kamaru Usman
  7. Daniel Cormier
  8. Yoel Romero
  9. Dustin Poirier
  10. Israel Adesanya

Ed Gallo’s Rankings:

  1. Robert Whittaker
  2. Henry Cejudo
  3. Max Holloway
  4. Jon Jones
  5. Khabib Nurmagomedov
  6. Kamaru Usman
  7. Dustin Poirier
  8. Daniel Cormier
  9. Yoel Romero
  10. Tony Ferguson

Ryan Wagner’s Rankings

  1. Robert Whittaker
  2. Henry Cejudo
  3. Max Holloway
  4. Dustin Poirier
  5. Khabib Nurmagomedov
  6. Kamaru Usman
  7. Tony Ferguson
  8. Alexander Volkanovski
  9. Yoel Romero
  10. Israel Adesanya

Danny Martin’s Rankings:

  1. Khabib Nurmagomedov
  2. Robert Whittaker
  3. Kamaru Usman
  4. Henry Cejudo
  5. Dustin Poirier
  6. Max Holloway
  7. Yoel Romero
  8. Alexander Volkanovski
  9. Israel Adesanya
  10. Tony Ferguson

Juilan Lung’s Rankings:

  1. Robert Whittaker
  2. Max Holloway
  3. Tony Ferguson
  4. Rafael dos Anjos
  5. Jose Aldo
  6. Joseph Benavidez
  7. Yoel Romero
  8. Henry Cejudo
  9. Khabib Nurmagomedov
  10. Daniel Cormier

 

Featured image:
Embed from Getty Images

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