There are 11 weight classes in mixed martial arts and dozens of fighters competing in each one across multiple promotions, including the UFC, Bellator and World Series of Fighting. 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. Robert Whittaker (UFC, 20-4)
The move up to middleweight certainly behooved Whittaker. He has won all seven fights at 185 pounds (eight overall), with five 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.
Last fight: Unanimous decision over Yoel Romero at UFC 213.
Next fight: vs. Romero at UFC 225 on June 9, 2018.
9. Tony Ferguson (UFC, 25-3)
Whether he's defending the interim lightweight title or the actual lightweight title at UFC 223 is somewhat irrelevant here. He's on a 10-fight win streak over the past six years and has ascended to the top of the 155-pound division. That win streak includes six submissions and one TKO.
Last fight: Submission over Kevin Lee at UFC 216.
Next fight: vs. Khabib Nurmagomedov at UFC 223 on April 7, 2018.
8. Khabib Nurmagomedov (25-0)
This dude just mauls people. He walked through strikes from Edson Barboza in his last fight like they were nothing, and they're far from nothing when Barboza is throwing them. It is far from easy to win an MMA fight, let alone all 25 of them he's ever had.
Last fight: Unanimous decision over Barboza at UFC 219.
Next fight: vs. Tony Ferguson at UFC 223 on April 7, 2018.
7. Tyron Woodley (UFC, 18-3-1)
Put the boos aside for a moment here. Fans are like that, and they like to do that to Woodley a lot. Who cares? Woodley has championship wrestling pedigree and one-punch knockout power. He's 5-0-1 in his last six, against the top of the division in Stephen "Wonderboy" Thompson (twice), Demian Maia and Robbie Lawler.
Last fight: Unanimous decision over Demian Maia at UFC 214.
Next fight: TBD.
6. TJ DILLASHAW (16-3)
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. His two most recent losses were by split decision.
Last fight: TKO of Cody Garbrandt at UFC 217
Next fight: TBD.
5. Stipe Miocic (UFC, 18-2)
Cleveland's favorite fight son, Stipe Miocic became heavyweight champion with a first-round knockout of Fabricio Werdum in February 2016. He's on a five-fight win streak, all by knockout. His last four knockouts -- against Andrei Arlovski, Werdum, Alistair Overeem and Junior Dos Santos -- all occurred in the first round. How tough is the heavyweight division? Miocic is just the only heavyweight in UFC history to defend the title three times in a row, the last of which was a thorough disarming of power-punching Francis Ngannou.
Last fight: Unanimous decision over Ngannou at UFC 220.
Next fight: vs. Daniel Cormier at UFC 220 on July 7, 2018.
4. 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. The list includes Jeremy Stephens, Cub Swanson, Charles Oliveira, Ricardo Lamas and ends with an interim title win over Anthony Pettis. Seven of those 10 wins were by stoppage. Wins No. 11 and 12 in a row each came via TKO of featherweight legend Jose Aldo, bringing the unified title to Hawaii.
Last fight: TKO of Jose Aldo at UFC 218.
Next fight: TBD.
3. 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. He remains the UFC lightweight champion, but he has yet to defend that title. Still, there's no denying his success inside the octagon.
Last fight: Second-round TKO of Eddie Alvarez at UFC 205.
Next fight: TBA.
2. Daniel Cormier (UFC, 20-1, 1 NC)
Here's what Daniel Cormier has done in his MMA career: Took out legends Anderson Silva, Frank Mir, Josh Barnett and Dan Henderson, beat Anthony "Rumble" Johnson twice, won the Strikeforce heavyweight grand prix, and reigns now as the UFC light heavwyweight champion. One of the toughest guys around. One of the most underappreciated fighters by fans.
Last fight: Second-round TKO of Volkan Oezdemir at UFC 220.
Next fight: vs. Stipe Miocic at UFC 226 on July 7, 2018.
1. Demetrious Johnson (UFC, 27-2-1)
The last time Demetrious Johnson lost a fight, President Barack Obama was still in his first term in office. With 11 straight title defenses, the flyweight champion broke Anderson Silva's promotional record for most consecutive successful defenses of a title. That run includes seven stoppages (five by submission).
Last fight: Submitted Ray Borg in R5 at UFC 216.
Next fight: TBA.
The next 10
11. Jose Aldo
12. Frankie Edgar (pictured)
13. Dominick Cruz
14. Khabib Nurmagomedov
15. T.J. Dillashaw
16. Amanda Nunes
17. Tony Ferguson
18. Yoel Romero
19. Demian Maia
20. Stephen Thompson