UFC Pound for Pound Rankings: Stipe Miocic puts himself back in the conversation; Max Holloway rises
Miocic may very well be the heavyweight G.O.A.T. after another championship win over the weekend
Stipe Miocic may not be the most dynamic fighter who was ever in consideration for G.O.A.T. honors in his respective division. If we're being honest, he's not the most marketable one either.
But the part-time firefighter with the lunchpail mentality from Ohio simply finds a way to win over and over and over. Thirteen months removed from a surprising first-round title loss to Daniel Cormier,and left the Octagon a two-time heavyweight champion.
Miocic isn't anywhere near the media darling that Cormier is, equipped to properly frame the true meaning of his legacy each time a microphone is placed in front of him. He also isn't as skilled as DC overall on a pound-for-pound basis.
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Yet Miocic was successful last Saturday in the only manner he knows how, using the exact methods that helped him rise from contender to champion three years ago before securing a UFC record of three consecutive title defenses as a heavyweight.
Does Miocic have power and an intelligent boxing game? You bet. Can the 6-foot-4 slugger also wrestle just a bit to offset his greatest strength? No question about it. But Miocic has relied much more on his intangibles in some of his biggest wins, which include unparalleled toughness, a granite chin and an ability to right the ship just as it appears he is on the verge of being finished.
His redemptive victory over Cormier in their rematch was no different as Miocic rallied from a disastrous first round to outlast his more beloved opponent in a true war of attrition.
In that regard, Miocic is a truly special fighter and one whose cerebral game --to attack Cormier's body which set up the violent knockout -- can sometimes be overlooked. Not that you can necessarily blame anyone for having done so.
The truth is, the narrative coming out of UFC 241 could just as easily be centered upon how much Cormier's decision to eschew his wrestling in order to walk in on Miocic repeatedly with his hands down meant DC's pride and arrogance were as much a reason for Miocic's win as anything he did to survive and outlast.
The fact that Miocic's path toward G.O.A.T. status has often seen him not necessarily look the part as the greatest in the division's history speaks just as much to his incredible resolve as it does to his lack of charisma and sensationalism. And honestly, that's OK.
It's also not something that keeps Miocic up at night either. Like he does when serving his community by fighting fires or assisting as a paramedic, Miocic shows up for work and figures out a way despite the danger in front of him to get the job done.
Men's pound-for-pound rankings
| 1. Jon Jones||Light heavyweight champion||25-1 (1 NC)||--|
Jones fought for the third time in seven months when he outpointed Thiago Santos in a split decision. From a legacy standpoint, the only thing remaining for Jones to accomplish is a seemingly inevitable move to heavyweight.
|2. Khabib Nurmagomedov||Lightweight champion||27-0||--|
| With his suspension for his role in the UFC 229 post-fight melee expiring this summer, "The Eagle" has officially signed on to defend his crown in September against interim champion Dustin Poirier at UFC 242 in Abu Dhabi. |
|3. Henry Cejudo||Flyweight/bantamweight champion||15-2|
| Cejudo continues to make headlines while nursing an ankle injury thanks to his calling out of Valentina Shevchenko for an inter-gender title match. What isn't a joke, however, is the deep pool of bantamweights who will be waiting for the champ-champ to defend his 135-pound crown. |
|4. Stipe Miocic||Heavyweight champion||19-3|
| Miocic's never-say-die toughness was on full display in rallying to finish Daniel Cormier at UFC 241 to regain his heavyweight championship. Miocic very well may be the greatest heavyweight to ever step foot in the Octagon. |
|5. Tony Ferguson||Lightweight||19-3-1||--|
Are you not entertained? Ferguson's dominant stoppage of Donald "Cowboy" Cerrone at UFC 238 was just another reminder as to how dangerous and talented he can be. What more does this man have to do to get a title shot? Riding an insane 12-fight win streak in the sport's deepest division, it's time for "El Cucuy" to get his due.
|6. Robert Whittaker||Middleweight champion||20-4||--|
| With his injury history hopefully behind him, "Bobby Knuckles" will look to unify middleweight titles against interim champion Israel Adesanya on Oct. 5 in Australia. The all-Oceanic showdown should go a long way in declaring who the UFC's next big star truly is. |
|7. Max Holloway||Featherweight champion|| 15-1|
| Holloway bounced back beautifully from his thrilling loss to Dustin Poirier for the interim lightweight crown by returning to featherweight and convincingly outpointing veteran Frankie Edgar at UFC 240. Holloway continues to prove he's one of the sport's toughest and most skilled fighters. |
|8. Daniel Cormier||Heavyweight||22-2 (1 NC)|
| At 40, Cormier plans to take some time and meet with his family before deciding whether to fight on following his knockout loss to Miocic in their title rematch. The problem for DC might be that he's still this good and has so much left to fight for from a legacy standpoint in potential trilogy fights against Miocic or Jones.|
|9. Kamaru Usman||Welterweight champion||15-1|
| Usman backed up every word he spoke by humbling Tyron Woodley over five rounds to commandeer the 170-pound title. A reloaded division won't make defending the crown an easy task with former interim titleholder Colby Covington heading up that group. |
|10. Dustin Poirier||Interim lightweight champion||25-5|
| Poirier's feel-good story of evolution and growth continued with his hard-fought interim title win over Max Holloway at UFC 236. In the sport's most dangerous division, Poirier now finds himself one win away from lightweight supremacy entering a September clash with champion Nurmagomedov in Abu Dhabi.|
Dropped out: Israel Adesanya
Just missed: Adesanya, Colby Covington, Yoel Romero, Tyron Woodley, Conor McGregor
Women's pound-for-pound rankings
|1. Amanda Nunes||Bantamweight/Featherweight champion||18-4||--|
|If Nunes wasn't already the greatest female fighter in UFC history, she cemented G.O.A.T. status by knocking out Holly Holm so viciously at UFC 239 in July. Next up is a rematch against former featherweight champion Germaine de Randamie in December. |
|2. Valentina Shevchenko||Flyweight champion||18-3||--|
The best female 125-pound fighter in the world made a quick turnaround following her highlight-reel knockout of Jessica Eye by whitewashing Liz Carmouche in Uruguay. Although a technically brilliant fighter, Shevchenko showed against Carmouche that her excitement level is largely based upon how aggressive her opponent is willing to be.
UFC may have trouble finding anyone to truly challenge her at flyweight. Some of that has to do with the fledgling division's lack of depth, but a lot of it surrounds just how dominant Shevchenko has become at her natural weight.
|3. Cris "Cyborg" Justino||Featherweight||21-2||--|
"Cyborg" bounced back from a disastrous first-round knockout loss to two-division champion Amanda Nunes by outlasting a determined Felicia Spencer at UFC 240. With the expiration of Justino's UFC contract, where she goes next remains uncertain. One thing that's likely is it won't be in the Octagon following a public falling out with Dana White.
|4. Jessica Andrade||Strawweight champion||20-6||--|
|One of the sport's most dangerous fighters only added to her reputation by violently removing Rose Namajunas of the 115-pound title. Up next is her first title defense, slated for China against rising 115-pound challenger Weili Zhang later this month.|
|5. Germaine de Randamie||Bantamweight||9-3|
|The former 145-pound champion secured a shot at the bantamweight crown in December by needing just 16 seconds to dispatch rising prospect Aspen Ladd in July. De Randamie will get a second chance at Nunes in a rematch of their 2013 bout which "The Iron Lady" lost by first-round TKO.|
Dropped out: Rose Namajunas
Just missed: Namajunas, Joanna Jedrzeczyk, Tatiana Suarez, Michelle Waterson, Ketlen Viera
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