Categories: UFC

UFC welterweight rankings: Joaquin Buckley enters the top-10

RankFighterRecordLast 3 Results
#1Leon Edwards21-3W-W-W
#2Belal Muhammad26-3W-W-W
#3Kamaru Usman 20-4L-L-L
#4Shavkat Rakhmonov18-0W-W-W
#5Ian Garry14-0W-W-W
#6Gilbert Burns22-6L-W-W
#7Stephen Thompson17-7-1L-W-L
#8Sean Brady16-1W-L-W
#9Jack Della Maddalena17-2W-W-W
#10Joaquin Buckley19-6W-W-W

The UFC welterweight rankings often include some of the most talented and popular fighters in the sport. From the legendary days of Georges St-Pierre reigning supreme as the king of Canada to the current era of “The Nigerian Nightmare,” the division is filled with some of the promotion’s most important talents.

With that in mind, here are the official Sportsnaut rankings for the top 10 170-pound fighters in the best cage fighting promotion on earth.

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10. Joaquin Buckley (19-6)

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Joaquin Buckley has hit several bumps in the road during his UFC career. However, after back-to-back losses, he finally decided to leave middleweight and has quickly evolved into a top 10 welterweight. He has won four straight and scored another big win in May at UFC S.t Louis. He is only 30, is in the midst of his fighting prime, and could make a lot more noise at 170 pounds.

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9. Jack Della Maddalena (17-2)

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Australia’s Jack Della Maddalena is quickly becoming the next big star from down under. The Dana White’s Contender Series contract winner is now 7-0 in the UFC and scored a massive win at UFC 299 when he was able to come from behind and score a third-round TKO over Gilbert Burns. Beating a former title challenger sent a huge message to the rest of the division.

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8. Sean Brady (16-1)

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Outside of Khamzat Chimaev, Sean Brady is the next great rising monster in the division. While he may not be quite as fearsome as the Russian, the Philadelphia native has stifling grappling skills that are an absolute handful and one of the biggest puzzles in the entire division.

However, Belal Muhammad was able to tame the young beast at UFC 280 and hand him his first loss by TKO. While it was certainly a setback, it was a major learning lesson for the fighter since it was a major step up in competition and a win-win scenario.

In December he showed how much he learned in a dominant grappling display against former middleweight title challenger Kelvin Gastelum. The win showed the loss didn’t stop his ascent, just slowed it down.

7. Stephen Thompson (17-7-1)

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Stephen Thompson’s days as a serious title contender are done. However, he is still a skilled fighter deserving of high-level opposition and fights that would be featured bouts on future pay-per-view main cards. Or in the case of UFC Orlando, the main event of a Fight Night card.

Over his last two fights, “Wonderboy” showed that even at 40 he is still one of the most talented fighters in the division and an absolute handful on the feet. In his win over the always-tough Kevin Holland, Thompson displayed he is also just as tough as he is technically gifted.

In his UFC 296 defeat to Shavkat Rakhmonov he was unable to stop the momentum of the young star as he was shockingly submitted in the second round.

6. Gilbert Burns (22-7)

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Despite his loss to rising superstar Khamzat Chimaev, Gilbert Burns remained a world-class welterweight. With a need to win at least two fights to return to contender status, the Brazilian’s climb back to a title fight began again with a Jan. win against top-15 Neil Magny.

“Durinho” was rewarded for his efforts with a booking against Octagon superstar Jorge Masvidal. While he didn’t get the finish, he sent the Cuban into retirement definitively with a performance that pushed him up in our latest UFC welterweight rankings.

In his May follow-up with a long sought-after title shot on the line, he came up short to Belal Muhammad in a lackluster showing he will likely regret for years. In what might have been his last chance at a title fight.

5. Ian Garry (13-0)

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There is no faster-rising star at 170 pounds than Irish star Ian Machado Garry. The undefeated fighter has won his first seven inside the Octagon and he continues to look better each time. In August, the 25-year-old scored his best win yet when dominated by top-15 stalwart Neil Magny.

In February he returned with a rock-solid and hard-fought victory over always dangerous strike Geoff Neal. Following such an impressive start, the promotion needs to give him a top 10-level foe in his next bout inside the Octagon. Maybe Colby Covington?

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4. Shavkat Rakhmonov (18-0)

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If you weren’t a believer in Shavkat Rakhmonov as a legitimate top 10 welterweight before UFC 285, then those questions were likely dispelled after his submission victory over Geoff Neal at the event. The win moved “Nomad” to 17-0 overall with finishes in every fight (eight knockouts, nine submissions).

The 28-year-old also showed his inner fortitude and that he will not back away from elite-level resistance. He furthered that narrative at UFC 296 when he moved his record to 18-0 with an impressive submission win over an always-tough task in Stephen Thompson.

If he can score another win in his next bout, Rakhmonov could be fighting for gold in the second half of 2024.

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

3. Kamaru Usman (20-3)

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.

At UFC 294, “The Nigerian Nightmare” took a short-notice risk at middleweight 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.

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2. Belal Muhammad (23-3)

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You can no longer doubt the talents of Belal Muhammad. He has beaten high-level fighters like Demian Maia, Stephen Thompson, Vicente Luque, and Gilbert Burns. That, matched with his unbeaten streak is worthy of a title opportunity.

Hopefully, he finally lands that shot later this year after scoring his UFC 289 win over Burns in May. However, he will have to wait until early in 2024 for a potential championship rematch against Leon Edwards or a grappling war with Colby Covington.

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1. Leon Edwards (22-3)

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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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