TODAY'S PAPER

Top 10 MMA pound-for-pound fighter rankings

By Mark La Monica mark.lamonica@newsday.com

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....

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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. Amanda Nunes (UFC, 17-4)

Photo Credit: Getty Images/Sean M. Haffey

Amanda Nunes' resume en route to becoming UFC bantamweight champion included wins over Ronda Rousey, Miesha Tate and Valentina Shevchenko (twice). She can add to that list a win over Cris Cyborg as Nunes knocked out who many had considered the best female fighter in MMA history at UFC 232. And she did so in 51 seconds to become the featherweight champion and first female two-weight champion in UFC history.
Next fight: TBD.

9. Tony Ferguson (UFC, 26-3)

Photo Credit: Mario Gonzalez

He's on an 11-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 eight finishes, most recently against Anthony Pettis at UFC 229.
Next fight: TBD.

8. Conor McGregor (UFC, 21-4)

Photo Credit: Newsday/Jeffrey Basinger

Conor McGregor made his return to MMA after nearly two years away. He was both the featherweight and lightweight champion back then. He returned as the challenger to face Khabib Nurmagomedov at UFC 229 and lost by submission in the fourth round of a very compelling fight.
Next fight: TBD

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

Photo Credit: Mario Gonzalez

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. Demetrious Johnson (One, 27-3-1)

Photo Credit: AP

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, nor in his "trade" to One Championship, and he shouldn't plummet far on any of these types of lists.
Next fight: TBA.

5. TJ Dillashaw (UFC, 17-3)

Photo Credit: Mario Gonzalez

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: vs. flyweight champ Henry Cejudo at UFC Brooklyn.

4. Max Holloway (UFC20-3)

Photo Credit: AP / Jose Juarez

A 13-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, Brian Ortega and Jose Aldo twice. Ten of those 13 wins were by stoppage.
Next fight: TBD.

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

Photo Credit: AP / John Locher

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.

2. Khabib Nurmagomedov (UFC, 27-0)

Photo Credit: Mario Gonzalez

Nurmagomedov has never lost an MMA fight, and he's had 27 of them as a professional. In this sport, that's borderline impossible, no matter what anyone wants to say about level of opponent. Nurmagomedov finally lost his first round -- round! -- in the UFC when defending his lightweight title against McGregor.
Next fight: TBD.

1. Jon Jones (UFC, 23-1)

Photo Credit: AP/Kyusung Gong

Let's be honest here. The only reason Jones hasn't sat atop this list every day for the past seven years or so has been his own out-of-cage antics that got him into trouble on multiple occasions with multiple legal and non-legal organizations. When he's fighting, he's the best and it's unquestioned.
Next fight: TBD.

On the outside looking in

Photo Credit: Getty Images / Daniel Carson

11. Robert Whittaker, UFC middleweight champion
12. Stipe Miocic, UFC heavyweight
13. Henry Cejudo, UFC flyweight champion
14. Rose Namajunas, UFC strawweight champion