The UFC is the undeniable pinnacle of an MMA fighter’s career, or so is the apparent general consensus. It holds the biggest talent pool out of any promotion, with fighters from other promotions time and time again struggling to fully transition into the prestigious company, and MMA rankings constantly in flux.
However, does the UFC truly hold the current greatest fighter in the world, for each weight division? ONE FC, Bellator, Rizin, PFL, and KSW all have some extremely high-level talent within their rosters. In this article, we will analyse each weight division within the UFC and compare its champions and number 1 contenders with that of the smaller promotions around the world. Bear in mind this list is subjective to opinion, and you may have different thoughts on the topic.
The UFC Heavyweight division possibly contains the clearest cut talent disparity when compared to other organizations. Stipe Miocic and Francis Ngannou are leaps and bounds ahead of anyone else. Add to that, Jon Jones competing at heavyweight and there is no space for the likes of Bellator’s Ryan Bader or Timothy Johnson. With Curtis Blaydes, Derrick Lewis, Cyril Gane, and Jairzinho Rozenstruik lurking in the top five of the UFC’s heavyweight rankings, there appears to be little chance of any other organization usurping them.
Decision: UFC is completely dominant
205 is a much more contentious weight division. With Jon Jones vacating his title and moving up to heavyweight, he will not be considered. The current UFC light heavyweight champion is Jan Blachowicz, who is yet to defend his title. However, Blachowicz holds wins over high-level opposition such as Dominick Reyes, Corey Anderson, and Jacare Souza. Alternatively, Bellator’s Vadim Nemkov is currently riding a 7 fight win streak, having defeated legit opposition such as Ryan Bader and Phil Hawes. Both champions have impressive wins on their resume, however, Nemkov often employs precise technique, whereas Jan relies on his natural power more often than not. Nemkov is also not yet 30 and looks to be only getting better.
As a side note, middleweight champ Israel Adesanya is set to challenge Jan in an attempt to become a two-weight champion. Depending on the result of that fight, this decision may be worth reconsideration in the near future. New Bellator signings Anthony Johnson and Yoel Romero may also weigh in on the debate at some point as well.
Decision: Very close, but Nemkov manages to usurp the Polish powerhouse
It’s very hard to make a case against Israel Adesanya, in terms of current Middleweight dominance. The Nigerian born fighter is an undefeated champion, with wins over most of the UFC elite. Robert Whittaker was finished by ‘The Last Stylebender’ in only two rounds, and Whittaker is most likely the second-best 185lber on the planet. Bellator’s Gegard Mousasi is a strong contender, though losses to the UFC elite such as Lyoto Machida, Jacare Souza, and Uriah Hall have proved that he can’t quite stack up to the UFC’s lofty standards. KSW’s Mahmed Khalidov and Scott Askham are also legitimate contenders, but they have yet to come up against any opposition to the level of Adesanya.
Decision: Adesanya isn’t getting knocked off his 185lb throne anytime soon
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