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UFC pound for pound rankings: The P4P king is back on Saturday at UFC 278

Jason Burgos
ufc pound for pound rankings

The men’s UFC pound for pound rankings is the cream of the crop when it comes to MMA top-10 lists. It is a group of the very best fighters on planet earth. It features the competitors who best mix power, speed, athleticism, and fight IQ into an absolutely destructive cage fighting force. It’s also a list that is heavily debated and as subjective a topic as there is in the MMA community.

With that said, here are the official Sportsnaut.com men’s UFC pound-for-pound rankings.

Related: UFC tonight – Fight card, betting odds, and watch times for Saturday’s UFC event

UFC pound-for-pound rankings

10. Jiri Prochazka (29-3)

Jiri Prochazka may be the most unorthodox fighter on this list, but there is no denying how well-rounded and gifted “Denisa” is. His last-second win over Glover Teixeira at UFC 275 — in one of the best bouts in division history — solidified his place as the best light heavyweight in the promotion. His 13-fight win streak with 12 finishes (11 knockouts) is why he should be considered one of the 10 best fighters on the planet.

  • Next Fight: vs. Glover Texeira at UFC 282 on Dec. 10

9. Petr Yan (16-3)

ufc pound for pound rankings
Credit: David Yeazell-USA TODAY Sports

Petr Yan was a sizable favorite heading into his rematch against Aljamain Sterling at UFC 273, and at points, he looked every bit of it. In the end, a few key takedowns at pivotal moments was the decider in the Russian’s becoming a two-time bantamweight champion and sans a title. What is next for the former 135-pound king is unclear, but he is still one of the best in the world.

Now that he is well out of title contention, the Russian intends to stay busy and is booked in a highly anticipated matchup with the bantamweight division’s most popular fighter Sean O’Malley in October.

  • Next Fight: vs. Sean O’Malley at UFC 280 on Oct. 22

8. Brandon Moreno (20-6)

ufc pound for pound rankings
Credit: Jerome Miron-USA TODAY Sports

Brandon Moreno may not be one of the best strikers, grapplers, or athletes in the sport, but there are few fighters in the UFC that are better at mixing up the various elements of MMA like the “Assassin Baby.” His victory at UFC 277 against Kai Kara-France once again proved he is as well-rounded a fighter as the UFC has and is a handful wherever a fight goes. The legend continues.

  • Next fight: TBD

7. Aljamain Sterling (21-3)

Many doubted the validity of Aljamain Sterling as the bantamweight champion, but at UFC 273 he proved his merit as a titlist and one of the best fighters in the world. It wasn’t a performance for the ages but Sterling won fair and square and beat an elite talent using his world-class wrestling. If he beats former two-time champion TJ Dillashaw in Oct. fans will have to learn to live with the fact he is an elite talent in this sport.

  • Next fight: vs. TJ Dillashaw at UFC 280 on Oct. 22

6. Francis Ngannou (16-3)

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

When you are the UFC heavyweight champion, you are viewed as the baddest man on the planet. Francis Ngannou looks the part and has proven deserving of the moniker with an absolutely destructive run in the organization. After beating Ciryl Gane at UFC 270 he proved to not only be a monster but a tactician as well. However, his return to action is unclear as he recovers from a serious knee injury.

  • Next fight: TBD

5. Deiveson Figueiredo (21-2-1)

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

Deiveson Figueiredo quieted many doubters in regaining his flyweight championship at UFC 270. Many felt that former champion Brandon Moreno had his number and he entered their trilogy bout as a pretty notable underdog despite his reputation before the Moreno fights. However, by switching camps to train with former two-division king and coach Henry Cejudo at Fight Ready, he made enough key tweaks to his game to win a razor-thin — and maybe controversial — victory. The champ’s future is unclear with Moreno set to face Kai Kara-France in an interim title bout in July.

  • Next fight: TBD

Related: Get UFC Predictions for the promotion’s next event on Saturday night

4. Charles Oliveira (33-8)

ufc pound for pound rankings
Credit: Mark J. Rebilas-USA TODAY Sports

While missing weight led to Charles Oliveira having to vacate his title at UFC 274, he proved on fight night that he is still the uncrowned king of the weight class with a destructive submission victory over Justin Gaethje. There is no doubt he is the undisputed best lightweight in the world, but the win also proved he is a legitimate pound-for-pound superstar.

Now, at UFC 280 he will look to regain the belt in a fight with Khabib Nurmagomedov mentee Islam Makhachev and possibly set up a future revenge fight with “The Eagle” if he can easily beat his pupil.

3. Israel Adesanya (21-1)

ufc pound for pound rankings
Credit: Stephen R. Sylvanie-USA TODAY Sports

Despite a loss to Blachowicz, Israel Adesanya’s tapestry of MMA work makes his place in the top three of this list an easy decision. He’s lost just once in 22 MMA fights and that came in a closely contested fight against a champion at a higher weight class. Adesanya is so good at middleweight that he is heading towards lapping the division a third time. With a lack of strong challengers, he will now face former kickboxing archrival Alex Pereira in his next defense despite the Brazilian only having three fights in the UFC.

2. Alexander Volkanovski (23-1)

ufc pound for pound rankings
Credit: Stephen R. Sylvanie-USA TODAY Sports

Featherweight king Alexander Volkanovski has won 20 straight fights, defeated the best 145-pounder ever, Max Holloway three times, and hasn’t tasted defeat in eight years. At this point, all he can do is maintain the excellence and work his way to the top spot on our list. The only thing holding him back from overcoming Usman for the top spot is his lack of finishes in the UFC.

  • Next Fight: TBD

1. Kamaru Usman (19-1)

For a long time, many doubted the greatness of Kamaru Usman. But after winning 18 straight fights and defending his welterweight thrown against elite talents in Jorge Masvidal (twice), Colby Covington (twice), and Gilbert Burns, there is no question “The Nigerian Nightmare” is the best MMA fighter in the world. Once he heals up from hand surgery he will face a deserving foe in Leon Edwards in August.

  • Next Fight: vs Leon Edwards at UFC 278 on Aug. 20