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Sherdog’s Pound-for-Pound Top 10 Rankings

John
Brannigan/Sherdog.com illustration


The talk concerning pound-for-pound’s present prime canine got here to an
finish — a minimum of briefly — at UFC
278
.

In latest months, it was extensively acknowledged that Kamaru
Usman
and Alexander
Volkanovski
have been 1. and 1a. within the pound-for-pound hierarchy,
with the order relying upon one’s desire. After Usman’s
surprising knockout loss to Leon
Edwards
within the fifth spherical of the UFC 278 headliner,
Volkanovski turns into the undisputed No. 1, and the brand new welterweight
champion Edwards joins the rankings at No. 5.

Even in defeat, Usman deserves reward for his dominance in
compiling a 15-bout successful streak in UFC competitors. He was
spectacular throughout his championship reign and have been it not for a
momentary lapse towards Edwards, the Volkanovski vs. Usman debate
would have raged on. All just isn’t misplaced for “The Nigerian Nightmare,”
nonetheless. Given his latest observe document, which features a 1-1 document
towards Edwards, it appears fairly possible {that a} trilogy towards the
British champion could possibly be within the offing.

Observe: Earlier rating in brackets.

Volkanovski was just about flawless in his championship trilogy bout
towards Max Holloway at UFC 276, sweeping the scorecards by
an identical 50-45 counts in a lopsided unanimous choice triumph.
The Metropolis Kickboxing stalwart has gained 12 straight in UFC competitors
and a whopping 22 in a row general, clearly establishing him as one
of the highest pound-for-pound skills within the sport. His rivalry with
Holloway now clearly within the rearview mirror, Volkanovski has set
his sights on a transfer to 155 kilos and two-division dominance.
Adesanya was methodical and technical in his newest title protection,
a five-round verdict over Jared Cannonier within the UFC 276 headliner,
nevertheless it wasn’t the kind of efficiency that’s going to make the
Nigerian-born Kiwi appointment viewing. Adesanya’s 12-fight successful
streak is the second-longest in 185-pound historical past, however it might take
one thing spectacular to regain favor with the plenty. He’ll have
that chance in a championship conflict with former kickboxing
rival Alex Pereira at UFC 281.
Ngannou displayed a big step in his evolution at UFC 270,
as he relied on takedowns and positional management to grind out a
unanimous choice win over Ciryl Gane to unify the heavyweight
title on the Honda Middle in Anaheim, Calif., on Jan. 22. Whereas it
wasn’t essentially the most thrilling efficiency, the hassle speaks volumes
about Ngannou’s resolve, when in earlier fights he struggled to do
something of observe when pressured to go previous the second spherical. “The
Predator” now faces an unsure future, as he’s sad with the
manner he has been handled by the UFC and appears prepared to take a seat out for
a big time period except the 2 sides are in a position to come
to phrases. No matter how that occurs, Ngannou might be sidelined
for a lot of the rest of 2022 on account of knee surgical procedure.
After lacking weight by 0.5 kilos in the future prior, Oliveira misplaced his
light-weight crown as quickly as his UFC 274 headlining bout towards
Justin Gaethje started. That didn’t stop “Do Bronx” from placing
collectively yet one more masterful efficiency, as he survived some
early adversity earlier than rallying to drop and submit the previous World
Sequence of Preventing champion within the opening spherical of their bout at
Footprint Area in Phoenix, Ariz. The victory, which was Oliveira’s
eleventh straight, assures the Brazilian of a spot within the subsequent
155-pound title battle. The Chute Boxe Diego Lima consultant
solely appears to be getting higher, with finishes of Gaethje, Dustin
Poirier and Michael Chandler in his final three promotional
appearances. Oliveira will try to regain the 155-pound belt
when he meets Islam Makhachev within the UFC 280 headliner in Abu
Dhabi.

5. Leon
Edwards
(20-3, 1 NC) | UFC [NR]

Edwards resides proof {that a} battle isn’t over till the ultimate
bell sounds. “Rocky” was properly behind on the scorecards towards
Kamaru Usman with time winding down within the fifth spherical of their
headlining bout at UFC 278 when he unleashed a head kick knockout
that can go down in historical past. Edwards, who endured some onerous luck
on the outset of the COVID-19 pandemic, will carry an 11-fight
unbeaten streak into his first 170-pound title protection. Contemplating
he now has a 1-1 document towards Usman, that protection may very properly
are available a trilogy towards “The Nigerian Nightmare.”
In MMA, all good issues should come to an finish, and that features
Usman’s 15-fight UFC successful streak. “The Nigerian Nightmare” was
properly on his solution to a clear-cut unanimous choice conquer Leon
Edwards within the UFC 278 predominant occasion when his opponent shocked the
world with a head-kick knockout late within the fifth spherical. The
35-year-old Usman didn’t present any indicators of decline as he managed
many of the battle with Edwards, and his 1-1 document towards the
Englishman counsel {that a} trilogy could possibly be in retailer.
“Pitbull” earned arguably crucial win of his storied
profession on April 15, defeating A.J. McKee by unanimous choice in
the principle occasion of Bellator 277 to take again his featherweight belt.
With the hard-fought rematch behind him, Bellator’s first ever
four-time champion ought to will put the rivalry with McKee on maintain
and defend his belt towards No. 1 contender Adam Borics at Bellator
286.
After relocating to Combat Prepared in Arizona, Figueiredo evened the
rating with Brandon Moreno at UFC 270, successful a intently contested
unanimous choice within the night’s co-main occasion on the Honda
Middle in Anaheim, Calif., on Jan. 22. In a bout the place every spherical
was tough to attain, Figueiredo’s extra highly effective offense would possibly
have made the distinction and allowed him to regain the UFC
flyweight crown. With the collection towards Moreno tangled up at
1-1-1, a fourth bout appears properly inside the realm of risk,
particularly after the Mexican flyweight defeated Kai Kara France for
interim flyweight gold.
When his wrestling failed towards Francis Ngannou within the UFC 260
headliner, so did Miocic’s bid to make one other profitable
heavyweight championship protection. Miocic noticed his reign finish in a
second-round KO defeat on the UFC Apex in Las Vegas on March 27,
however that doesn’t change the truth that the Ohio-based firefighter
has already established himself because the group’s most
constant heavyweight king with data for many victories in
title bouts and consecutive title defenses. Miocic’s Octagon forays
have change into much less frequent lately, although UFC president
Dana White piqued the MMA neighborhood’s curiosity when he hinted at a
potential assembly with Jon Jones. A date for that bout stays
unknown, nonetheless.
Poirier entered UFC 269 because the uncrowned light-weight champion in
many individuals’s eyes, however he left the T-Cell Area in Las Vegas
empty handed following a third-round submission loss to Charles
Oliveira within the night’s headliner. The American High Crew
consultant began properly, as he landed highly effective punches and
floored his opponent in Spherical 1, however that momentum progressively light
because the bout progressed. Poirier was on the verge of a memorable
2021 marketing campaign that might have included two wins over Conor McGregor
and a championship belt, however as a substitute “The Diamond” comes up brief
for the second consecutive time in a title bout. A showdown with
Michael Chandler is rumored for late 2022, however the date and occasion
haven’t been finalized.

Different Contenders: Jiri
Prochazka
, A.J. McKee
Justin
Gaethje
, Aljamain
Sterling
, Glover
Teixeira
.

Sherdog’s divisional and pound-for-pound rankings are compiled
by a panel of Sherdog.com employees members and contributors: Tristen
Critchfield, Mike Fridley, Brian Knapp, Ben Duffy, Jay Pettry,
Edward Carbajal, Marcelo Alonso, Tudor Leonte, Keith Shillan, Tyler
Treese and Lev Pisarsky.



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