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UFC pound for pound rankings: Ilia Topuria enters top 10 after UFC 298 win

RankFighterRecordLast 3 Results
#1Islam Makhachev25-1W-W-W
#2Leon Edwards22-3W-W-W
#3Alexandre Pantoja21-5W-W-W
#4Alexander Volkanovski26-4L-L-W
#5Israel Adesanya24-3L-W-L
#6Ilia Topuria15-0W-W-W
#7Charles Oliveira34-9W-L-W
#8Kamaru Usman20-4L-L-L
#9Alex Pereira9-2W-W-L
#10Sean O’Malley17-1-1W-W-NC

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.

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10. Sean O’Malley (17-1-1)

ufc pound for pound rankings
Credit: Bob DeChiara-USA TODAY Sports

Sean O’Malley has been a divisive talent in the UFC since he first entered the company. Many have questioned his rise by claiming he received favorable matchups and avoided certain competition. Nevertheless, “Sugar” worked his way to a title fight with his impressive showings and a big victory over former champion Petr Yan in 2022.

There were still many doubters when he entered the Octagon against Aljamain Sterling at UFC 292, but he needed a little over five minutes to put that all to rest. Hate him or love him — and there are many more that dig the “Sugar” show — the young fighter is now the bantamweight king and on the cusp of superstardom at just 28.

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

9. Alex Pereira (9-2)

ufc pound for pound rankings
Credit: Wendell Cruz-USA TODAY Sports

In a short amount of time, Alex Pereira stamped his place as one of the best middleweight MMA fighters on the planet. His knockout win over former champion Israel Adesanya forever stamped his spot in division lore and he likely would have been first in line to get a chance to again beat new champion Sean Strickland. However, he switched divisions and rapidly rose to the top at light heavyweight.

At UFC 295, he proved any doubters left wrong when he scored a destructive second-round finish over former champion Jiri Prochazka. Not only is he the ninth fighter in UFC history to win titles in two divisions, but he is by far the fastest to ever achieve the legendary feat as he did it in just seven fights.

8. Kamaru Usman (20-4)

ufc pound for pound rankings
Credit: Per Haljestam-USA TODAY Sports

For six straight years, Kamaru Usman set a legendary standard of excellence as he created a resume that will guarantee him a spot in the UFC Hall-of-Fame. He will go down as one of the greatest welterweight fighters of all time and one of the best pound-for-pound competitors of his era. However, all good things come to an end.

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

At UFC 294, “The Nigerian Nightmare” took a short-notice risk and it did not pay off as rising star Khamzat Chimaev pushed his losing streak to three straight. Where the former welterweight king goes next at 36 is unclear.

7. Charles Oliveira (34-9)

ufc pound for pound rankings
Credit: Craig Kidwell-USA TODAY Sports

Charles Oliveira was dominantly defeated in October by Islam Makhachev but he still remains one of the best fighters on the planet. While he did not get an immediate rematch, he earned that second chance for October when he soundly defeated a red-hot Beneil Dariush at UFC 289 earlier this year. It proved that he is still one of the best 155ers ever.

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

6. Ilia Topuria (15-0)

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

After five straight wins to start his UFC career, Ilia Topuria became one of the new rising stars at 145 pounds. Then big wins over Bryce Mitchell and former interim championship challenger Josh Emmett cemented his place as not just an impressive talent but a true world title contender.

In February, he stamped his place in division history when he was able to be the first man to not only hang an L on Alexander Volkanovski at featherweight but also finish him in dramatic fashion. At just 27, Topuria is set up to begin a lengthy and dominant title run of his own over the next few years.

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5. Israel Adesanya (24-3)

ufc pound for pound rankings
Credit: Jasmin Frank-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 case to be called the greatest 185-pounder of all time was effectively closed with his shocking loss to Sean Strickland at UFC 293.

He has now lost two of his last three, and in both, there was little doubt about. It seems that the “Last Stylebender’s” best days may now be behind him.

Also Read: Conor McGregor next fight – When will “Notorious” make his UFC return?

4. Alexander Volkanovski (26-4)

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

Featherweight king Alexander Volkanovski is one of the most complete fighters in the sport. There is little he can’t do in the cage, and he has the fight IQ to back it up. However, being a champion at lightweight is not a goal he will achieve during his career.

“The Great” got an unexpected second chance at Islam Makhachev and his title at UFC 294 and suffered the first KO loss of his career. Then that was shockingly followed up by a second straight loss — his first ever at featherweight — in February.

At this point, there are obvious questions on whether “The Great” will continue to tumble down this list and if his best days are behind him.

3. Alexandre Pantoja (21-5)

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

Brazil’s Alexandre Pantoja has had a long hard road to becoming the new UFC flyweight king. He has toiled away inside the division for five years before he was finally able to earn a title fight at UFC 290. In his first chance at being champion, he made good by scoring a second (third unofficial) win over division king Brandon Moreno.

In his first defense of his thrown, he took part in another rematch — this time against Brandon Royval — and again proved he was the better man and still the best 125 pound fighter on the planet.

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2. Leon Edwards (22-3)

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

The UFC has its second-ever champion who fights out of the UK and the first Jamaican-born titlist. Edwards shook up the MMA world with his last-minute knockout of the best fighter of his generation, Kamaru Usman, at UFC 278.

At UFC 286 he got a chance to prove his win wasn’t a fluke after being beaten in most of the previous seven rounds the duo had. And he did exactly that with an improved wrestling game, smart strategy, and a well-placed cage grab to outlast Usman for a second straight win over one of the best welterweights ever.

In his latest title defense, Edwards again proved he is a complete package and was able to definitively turn away the challenge for former interim champ and two-time title challenger Colby Covington.

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1. Islam Makhachev (23-1)

ufc pound for pound rankings
Credit: Craig Kidwell-USA TODAY Sports

Many doubted how good Islam Makhachev truly was, and there were some doubters of whether he deserved a lightweight title opportunity against Charles Oliveira. However, he proved he truly is the heir apparent to lightweight GOAT Khabib Nurmagomedov at UFC 280 when he submitted Oliveira. The man with the most submissions in UFC history.

Since then he has only grown his legend and place among the pound-for-pound best fighters in the world. In his first two title defenses, he took on the serious challenge of featherweight king Alexander Volkanovski and scored back-to-back wins. The most recent of which was a definitive first-round KO at UFC 294.

There is little doubt that the Russian star is currently the best pound-for-pound MMA fighter on Earth.

Related: Islam Makhachev next fight – Full details on the Russian Wrecking Machine’s next fight