Much of the focus for the UFC 242 was on the legendary fight between Khabib Nurmagomedov and Dustin Poirier. It’s to be expected that Poirier would shift down the rankings after the loss. There were also several other fights that caused movement in their respective rankings. Let’s take a look at how fighters stack up in the updated UFC pound-for-pound and weight-class ranks.
Updated Rankings Following UFC 242
Here’s how the UFC rankings changed following the UFC 242. Not all changes are covered here, so check out the official rankings to see every movement. In this article, we’ve covered the movements that are most significant and those most relevant to the results of the event:
- Poirier crashed down five spots to 13 in the pound-for-pound (P4P) rankings, and is down to second place contender in the lightweight rankings.
- Daniel Cormier takes 8th spot, while Max Holloway drops to 7th in the P4P rankings. Kamura Usman, Tony Ferguson and Robert Whittaker all move up one, while Conor McGregor gets a mysterious rise up two places (perhaps a sign of how fickle the ranking system is).
- Curtis Blaydes claimed his spot as number three contender in the heavyweight division with a win over Junior dos Santos. Following the defeat, Santos has dropped to 4th place.
- In the middleweight, Omari Akhmedov is ranked in the list for the first time ever, and currently sits in 14th.
- With Poirier down, Tony Ferguson becomes the number one contender in the lightweight decision. A fight between him and Khabib is a hot favourite that fans are already anticipating, and one that Ferguson himself has already expressed an interest in.
Also in the lightweight division, Paul Felder moves up three spots to 7th after a narrow win over Edson Barboza, while Barboza drops two places to 9th. Islam Makhachev is up one place to 14th after beating Panabaker, who drops to 15th.
There’s been speculation around whether Khabib Nurmagomedov would take the top place in the pound-for-pound ratings following his crushing submission win over Poirier, an opponent who was not to be taken lightly.
Khabib has mastered the wrestling and grappling style with his own unique techniques that opponents struggle to unravel. So far undefeated and at the top of his game in a deeply dangerous division, Khabib has a perfect record of 28-0, including 12 wins in the UFC. He reigns supreme at the moment and has an air of invincibility about him that makes you think he isn’t going anywhere soon.
Jon Jones is a living legend, undefeated except for a ludicrous disqualification nearly a decade ago. There’s been no reason for Jones to fall from the top spot as of yet. As long as he remains undefeated, it’s likely he’ll remain the top P4P fighter; yet his victories as of late haven’t been as convincing – his most recent coming from a split decision win over Thiago Santos.
Although the press has published mixed news on who exactly sits at the top of the P4P rankings, the official UFC website shows that Jon Jones is still number one, with Khabib sitting in second place and awaiting his opportunity to take first.
Could a highly anticipated fight with Tony Ferguson be enough for Khabib to become number one ranked? If the fight were to take place, it would be the biggest test of both men’s careers.
UFC Ranking Criticised
According to the UFC, the rankings for weight classes and P4P fighters are generated by a voting panel of media members. The champion and interim champion always take the top spots in their class, but can still be voted on for P4P rankings.
It’s a system that is clearly not without flaws. The rankings of these fighters are ultimately deciding based on the opinions of the panel, of which there are only 14 members. A Reddit user from Flaming Hairdryer has also recently pointed out that only 9 of the 14 members are active in MMA media.
Take a different panel of ‘experts’ and you may well get a different result. As such, the rankings are a decent guideline, but there’s no right or wrong answer, especially in the P4P rankings where comparisons are made across weight-classes. Nevertheless, it’s still entertaining to follow the rankings and see where fighters loosely stand.