Bellator MMA

Benson Henderson and Yoel Romero are on the rise. Henderson and Romero competed at the highest levels of UFC and continue to do so under the Bellator MMA banner.

Henderson and Romero took decisive victories over Peter Queally and Melvin Manhoef, respectively, at Bellator 285 in Dublin, Ireland on Sept. 23. Henderson swept Queally in a five-round main event, excluding a one-point deduction for a severe groin strike. Romero sent Manhoef into retirement with a combination of takedowns and vicious ground-and-pound elbows.

Henderson was bumped from No. 3 to No. 2 in the lightweight division. The only fighter between Henderson and lightweight champion Patricky Pitbull is Usman Nurmagomedov, who challenges the champion at Bellator 288. Henderson is well positioned to fight the winner of Pitbull vs. Nurmagomedov in what Henderson has claimed to be his final run

Romero's third-round TKO of Manhoef bumped him three spots to No. 4 in the light heavyweight division. In an environment long occupied by Ryan Bader and Phil Davis, Romero is a fresh contender for the winner of Vadim Nemkov vs. Corey Anderson 2 on Nov. 18.

Below are the top-10 pound-for-pound rankings for both men and women. The full top-10 rankings for each division within the promotion can be found here. The rankings are voted on by 17 members of the media.

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Editor's note: CBS Sports insiders Brian Campbell and Shakiel Mahjouri are members of the 17-person voting panel. Bellator and CBS Sports are both owned by ViacomCBS.

Bellator Rankings (Sept. 27)

Men's pound-for-pound

Fighter Record

1. Patricio Pitbull


2. Vadim Nemkov


3. AJ McKee


4. Yaroslav Amosov


5. Ryan Bader


6. Gegard Mousasi


7. Johnny Eblen


8. Corey Anderson


9. Sergio Pettis


10. Raufeon Stots


Women's pound-for-pound

Fighter Record

1. Cris Cyborg


2. Liz Carmouche


3. Juliana Velasquez


4. Cat Zingano


5. Arlene Blencowe


6. Ilima-Lei Macfarlane


7. Denise Kielholtz


8. Kana Watanabe


9. Sinead Kavanagh


10. Leah McCourt (previously unranked)


Other notable results

  • Light heavyweight: Julius Anglickas shifted from No. 4 to No. 5 and Grant Neal was nudged from No. 5 to No. 6. Karl Moore's victory over Karl Albrektsson oddly earned him a No. 9 debut in the rankings, one spot behind No. 8 ranked Albrektsson. Alex Polizzi moved up one spot to No. 7 in the chaos.
  • Featherweight: Mads Burnell was a significant favorite heading into his fight against Pedro Carvalho at Bellator 285. The loss dropped him from No. 3 to No. 5. The movement benefitted three fighters: Aaron Pico (No. 4 to No. 3), Carvalho (No. 5 to No. 4) and Daniel Weichel (No. 7 to No. 6). Jeremy Kennedy, for some reason, was caught in the crossfire and nudged from No. 6 to No. 7.
  • Women's featherweight: A possible shift in the women's featherweight roster moved the following fighters up one spot each: Sinead Kavanagh, Leah McCourt, Pam Sorenson and Dayana Silva, to No. 3 through No. 6, respectively.
  • Bantamweight: Brett Johns' victory over Jordan Winsky improved him to 2-1 in Bellator and broke him into the very end of the bantamweight Top 10.