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UFC middleweight rankings: Robert Whittaker holds on to top five spot at UFC 298

RankFighterRecordLast 3 Results
#1Dricus Du Plessis21-2W-W-W
#2Sean Strickland28-6L-W-W
#3Israel Adesanya24-3L-W-L
#4Robert Whittaker26-7W-L-W
#5Jared Cannonier17-6W-W-L
#6Marvin Vettori19-7-1L-W-L
#7Brendan Allen23-5W-W-W
#8Paulo Costa14-3L-W-L
#9Nassourdine Imavov13-4W-NC-L
#10Jack Hermansson24-8W-L-W

The UFC middleweight rankings have been a place where many of the best MMA fighters over the last decade have resided. From Rich Franklin to Anderson Silva, and on to Israel Adesanya, the 185-pound division has been a place where many legendary competitors have plied their trade.

Here you will be able to find the most up-to-date look at the 10 best middleweights on the UFC roster, and who they will be facing next.

10. Jack Hermansson (24-8)

ufc middleweight rankings
Credit: Per Haljestam-USA TODAY Sports

UFC veteran Jack Hermansson has had a frustrating last few years. After reaching a position where he seemed like a serious title contender he has shockingly alternated wins and losses in his last eight fights. After a tough loss in December 2022, the Swede took some time away and returned impressively with a big win over rising star Joe Pyfer in February.

It proved he is far from done as a top 10 level fighter and was a victory he badly needed after a weird last five years.

9. Nassourdine Imavov (13-4)

ufc middleweight rankings
Credit: Sergei Belski-USA TODAY Sports

Nassourdine Imavov has had a rock-solid eight-fight run in the UFC. He has scored some notable wins and was competitive against former champion Sean Strickland. However, he earned his biggest victory yet when he scored a win in his first main event opportunity against Roman Dolidze.

While it wasn’t a dominant win, he still showed the poise to pull out a victory over top-15 competition under a big spotlight. At just 28, the Frenchman has a great deal of upside as he looks to move up in the top 10.

Also Read: Sean O’Malley next fight – Who will “Suga” face in his UFC return?

8. Paulo Costa (14-3)

ufc middleweight rankings
Credit: Gary A. Vasquez-USA TODAY Sports

There was a time when Paulo Costa looked like the second coming of Vitor Belfort, however, the Brazilian power striker has begun to settle into more of a rankings stalwart than a title contender again. In February he had a chance to start a new winning streak and push his name into the championship conversation but came up short versus Robert Whittaker. At this point, Costa may soon turn into the gatekeeper for the top 10.

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7. Brendan Allen (23-5)

ufc middleweight rankings
Credit: USA Today Network

After losing twice in four bouts, there were some doubts that Brendan Allen could be a contender at middleweight. However, since his last loss in 2021, he has gone on a six-fight tear and scored submission wins in all but one of them.

Also Read: Jon Jones next fight – When will the MMA GOAT be back in action?

In his first headline role at UFC Vegas 82, he consistently grounded submission ace Paul Craig and actually dominated him there. Eventually, his superior top game opened the door to a submission win over one of the top submission artists in the company. If you didn’t believe in Brendan Allen before, you better now.

6. Marvin Vettori (19-7-1)

ufc middleweight rankings
Credit: Per Haljestam-USA TODAY Sports

Marvin Vettori is one of the most underappreciated fighters in the UFC middleweight rankings. He is a skilled grappler, a solid boxer, and as tough as any of his top 10 contemporaries. He constantly seems right on the cusp of title contention and is a tall task for any fighter at 185 pounds.

However, he suffered a major setback in June when he came up short against Jared Cannonier. He was soundly defeated, and in a battle between a pair of former title challengers, he showed he still has some work to do if he hopes to compete for the division crown in the near future.

Also Read: Khamzat Chimaev next fight – Details on ‘Borz’s’ next scrap in the Octagon

5. Jared Cannonier (16-6)

Jared Cannonier is not the flashiest fighter in the UFC middleweight rankings, but he is as well-rounded as any competitor in the division. “The Killa Gorilla” had his shot to take down the two-time weight class king last year and came up short. But he kept himself in contention with a big win over Sean Strickland at UFC Vegas 66 and then another at UFC Vegas 75 over Marvin Vettori.

While the victory didn’t get him a title shot next, he is among the top contenders in the division and will look to prove that again in December against fellow top 10 fighter Roman Dolidze.

4. Robert Whittaker (25-7)

ufc middleweight rankings
Credit: Gary A. Vasquez-USA TODAY Sports

Robert Whittaker will go down as one of the greatest UFC middleweights ever. Unfortunately for him, he competes in an era with the man some see as the best 185-pounder ever in Adesanya. After falling short to the champ twice, “Bobby Knuckles” rebounded last year with a dominant win over former title challenger Marvin Vettori.

At UFC 290 he had the chance to secure a third fight with Adesanya if he could dominantly beat Dricus Du Plessis. Unfortunately, he ended up on the wrong end of an impressive finish. However, he was able to keep his top five spot at UFC 298 with a workman-like win over former title challenger Paulo Costa.

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3. Israel Adesanya (24-2)

ufc middleweight rankings
Credit: Rich Storry-USA TODAY Sports

Israel Adesanya is not only one of the best UFC middleweights ever, but when all is said and done, he will be viewed as one of the greatest fighters to ever compete in the Octagon in general. However, his shocked and decisive defeat to Sean Strickland at UFC 293 forever ended the debate about him being the best fighter the division has ever seen.

He has lost two of his last three definitively and there are questions of if his prime is officially over at just 34.

Related: Israel Adesanya Next Fight – When will “Izzy” be back inside the Octagon?

2. Sean Strickland (28-6)

ufc middleweight rankings
Credit: Jasmin Frank-USA TODAY Sports

Wildman Sean Strickland may not be the flashiest fighter in UFC middleweight history but at UFC 293 he showed he has a championship skillset when he did the unthinkable and scored one of the biggest upsets in promotion history by defeating weight class legend Israel Adesanya.

The win extended his streak to three straight and proved many doubters wrong. However, his title run was short-lived when he came up just short by split decision to Dricus Du Plessis at UFC 297. With a rematch unlikely, “Tarzan” will have to work his way back into contention this year.

1. Dricus Du Plessis (21-2)

ufc middleweight rankings
Credit: Dan Hamilton-USA TODAY Sports

Dricus Du Plessis has put South African MMA on the map during his short career in the UFC. The rising star has been victorious in every one of his fights and scored finishes in five of the seven. The most impressive came at UFC 290 when he stunned many observers by scoring a shocking knockout win over middleweight great Robert Whittaker.

However, he topped that at UFC 297 when he challenged Sean Strickland for the middleweight crown. Over five hard-fought rounds, DDP delivered South Africa their first UFC title and extended his unbeaten streak in the MMA world leader to seven.

Also Read: UFC Heavyweight Rankings – Looking at the 10 best at the UFC’s heaviest division


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