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TODAY'S PAPER

Top 10 MMA pound-for-pound fighter rankings

There are a dozen or so weight classes in mixed martial arts and dozens of fighters competing in each one across multiple promotions, including the UFC, Bellator and the Professional Fighters League. Here’s a look at the 10 best MMA fighters across the entire landscape of the sport, regardless of division or promotion, presented in reverse order.

10. Stipe Miocic (UFC, 18-3)

Cleveland's favorite fight son, Stipe Miocic was the longest reigning heavyweight champion in UFC history until he lost the title to Daniel Cormier in the summer of 2018. His three straight title defenses came against Alistair Overeem (knockout), Junior Dos Santos (knockout) and Francis Ngannou (unanimous decision).
Next fight: TBD.

9. Tony Ferguson (UFC, 25-3)

He's on a 10-fight win streak over the past six years and has ascended to the top of the 155-pound division. His interim title was removed after he tore knee ligaments a week before his title fight against Khabib Nurmagomedov. Still, his win streak includes six submissions and one TKO.
Next fight: UFC 229 vs. Anthony Pettis.

8. Robert Whittaker (UFC, 21-4)

The move up to middleweight certainly behooved Whittaker. He has won all eight fights at 185 pounds (nine overall), with six of them earning him a post-fight bonus. He won the interim title against Yoel Romero, then became the undisputed champion when Georges St-Pierre vacated the title he won from Michael Bisping. He then beat Romero in a rematch in what became a non-title fight after Romero missed weight.
Next fight: TBD.

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7. Tyron Woodley (UFC, 19-3-1)

Please stop sleeping on the UFC welterweight champion Tyron Woodley. He has made four successful title defenses (three wins, one draw) against top competition on Stephen Thompson, Demian Maia and Darren Till. In his most recent title defense, he submitted Till in the second round and earned his black belt in the process -- a process that limited Till to seven strikes thrown and only one that connected. Next fight: TBD.

6. Max Holloway (UFC, 19-3)

A 12-fight winning streak is nothing to scoff at, especially against the run of opponents Holloway has faced at featherweight en route to becoming the champion. The list includes Jeremy Stephens, Cub Swanson, Charles Oliveira, Ricardo Lamas, Anthony Pettis and Jose Aldo twice. Nine of those 12 wins were by stoppage.
Next fight: TBD.

5. TJ Dillashaw (UFC, 17-3)

Winning a UFC title isn't easier. Winning back a lost title is even harder. Less than 10 fighters in UFC history have won back the title they lost in the same division. Dillashaw did that with a second-round stoppage of then-undefeated bantamweight champion Cody Garbrandt. He followed that up with a first-round stoppage of Garbrandt in the rematch.
Next fight: TBD.

4. Demetrious Johnson (UFC, 27-3-1)

Demetrious Johnson made 11 straight title defenses as the flyweight champion before he lost a split decision to Henry Cejudo. Johnson broke Anderson Silva's UFC record for most consecutive successful title defenses. That run includes seven stoppages (five by submission). He lost a close fight by what essentially was one judge seeing one round differently. There's no shame in that, and he shouldn't plummet far on any of these types of lists.
Next fight: TBA.

3. Khabib Nurmagomedov (UFC, 26-0)

This dude just mauls people. He walked through strikes from Edson Barboza like they were nothing, and they're far from nothing when Barboza is throwing them. Then, on 36 hours' notice, he dominated Al Iaquinta (in for Max Holloway, who was in for Tony Ferguson) to win the lightweight title. It is far from easy to win an MMA fight, let alone all 26 of them he's ever had.
Next fight: UFC 230 vs. Conor McGregor

2. Conor McGregor (UFC, 21-3)

Conor McGregor fought on the first UFC card in New York: Nov. 12, 2016 at Madison Square Garden. Since then, there have been five more fight cards in New York State, including another at MSG, and zero more MMA fights for McGregor. He did, however, go 10 rounds in the boxing ring with Floyd Mayweather Jr. McGregor won the belt in two weight classes and had it stripped from him in both after never defending them. But he's back, for now at least, with a shot at the lightweight title.
Next fight: UFC 230 vs. Khabib Nurmagomedov

1. Daniel Cormier (UFC, 21-1, 1 NC)

Daniel Cormier's ascension to the top spot on this list came when he knocked out Stipe Miocic to win the UFC heavyweight title. That win gave legend-beater Cormier both the heavyweight and light heavyweight titles, making him the second "Champ Champ" in UFC history. Next fight: TBD.