Here’s the website’s October 2019 Pound for Pound rankings. There was only two changes between both lists, although there is lots of announced fights to discuss.
1. Khabib Nurmagomedov (28-0)
Last month, Khabib Nurmagomedov added a 28th win to his undefeated record, defeating “Diamond” Dustin Poirier at UFC 242 in Abu Dhabi. The Russian fighter out-wrestled Poirier for two whole rounds before slipping in a rear naked choke in the third round to close out the show. The mostly dominant performance reminded viewers that nobody has come close to defeating Nurmagomedov yet.
2. Jon Jones (25-1)
While Light Heavyweight Champion Jon Jones has for a long time been one of the best fighters, his most recent win was a close one. Unexpectedly, Jones went five rounds with Thiago Santos at UFC 239, scraping by on the scorecards. The high profile fighter hasn’t lost since 2009, hence his high ranking. Jones isn’t ranked for another fight, despite teasing the matter in September.
3. Henry Cejudo (15-2)
UFC’s only male double-champ Henry Cejudo sprung to relevance in 2019. After defeating Demetrious Johnson in the summer of 2018 to win the Flyweight Championship, Cejudo has went on defend it once and defeat Marlon Moraes to win the Bantamweight belt. While it’s a feat to be a double champ, Cejudo’s reign is still young. The 32-year-old fighter is not currently booked for a fight.
4. Robert Whittaker (20-4)
Robert Whittaker has been out of the octagon for more than a year, but that will hopefully change this weekend. On a nine-fight losing streak, “Bobby Knuckles” will match up against Interim Middleweight Champion Israel Adesanya this Saturday at UFC 243. After a long absence, all eyes will be on Whittaker to perform against Adesanya, who has fought four times within the same timeframe.
5. Stipe Miocic (19-3)
Stipe Miocic reigned terror over the Heavyweight division for two years, but all that came to an end in the summer of 2018, with Daniel Cormier finishing him within one round. After a year without fighting, Miocic avenged the loss, getting a fourth round TKO victory to reclaim his belt. The win showed not only that Miocic could learn from his loss, but also that he is still relevant within the division.
6. Max Holloway (21-4)
Despite a loss earlier this year, Max Holloway is still one of the most established names within the UFC. While currently holding the UFC Featherweight Championship, defending it three times, Holloway was too ambitious when challenging for the Interim Lightweight Championship in April, losing to Dustin Poirier. He bounced back three months later with a win over Frankie Edgar. His next challenge is Alexander Volkanovski, who will aim to dethrone him in December at UFC 240.
7. Kamaru Usman (15-1)
For the longest time, Tyron Woodley was the established UFC Welterweight Champion. That was, until he ran into Kamaru Usman. The Nigerian fighter ended Woodley’s three-year reign in March of 2019, taking him to the scorecards to get the win. His next challenge comes against Colby Covington, who is currently riding an impressive seven-fight winning streak.
8. Israel Adesanya (17-0)
Interim UFC Middleweight Champion Israel Adesanya has become a big name in a short amount of time. Still undefeated as a pro, Adesanya came into the UFC in early 2018, going 6-0 in the promotion since. His most recent victory gave him the “Interim Champion” title, taking Kelvin Gastelum to the decision in a fight of the year contender. Adesanya will have his biggest test yet when he faces Robert Whittaker at UFC 243.
9. Daniel Cormier (22-2)
While his future within the sport is still somewhat unknown, Daniel Cormier comes in high on this list. “DC” has stayed a big name in the light heavyweight division, even during the absences that Jon Jones would take due to suspensions. His most recent fight saw him lose his UFC Heavyweight Championship to Stipe Miocic via fourth round stoppage. Cormier is the first non-champion on the men’s list this month.
10. Colby Covington (15-1)
Colby Covington has proven more than enough that he is a relevant UFC Welterweight challenger. His work will come to fruition in December at UFC 245 when he gets a title shot against champion Kamaru Usman. The most recent win in Covington’s ongoing seven-fight winning streak was against Robbie Lawler. The frustrating and grinding wrestling style of Covington tired out Lawler and allowed the now challenger to earn a scorecard victory.
11. Paulo Costa (13-0)
While fans of the middleweight division currently have their sights set on Robert Whittaker and Israel Adesanya, they can’t forget who’s arguably next in line: Paulo Costa. Costa’s short stint within the UFC has shown that he is a dangerous contender. This was proven more than ever in his recent bout with Yoel Romero, which could purely be described as violence.
12. Demetrious Johnson (29-3-1)
Demetrious Johnson crashes the UFC party on the men’s P4P rankings at #12, representing ONE Championship. “Mighty Mouse” has been 2-0 since his loss to Henry Cejudo in 2018. Later this month, Johnson will see the culmination of a tournament he entered back in March when he first joined the promotion. Danny Kingad will aim to spoil Johnson’s undefeated promotional run on the 13th.
13. Tony Ferguson (25-3)
It could be argued that Tony Ferguson is the most cheated fighter in the UFC. Currently on a 12-fight winning streak, the lightweight is undoubtedly the next in line to face Khabib Nurmagomedov. Ferguson’s dangerous style makes for entertaining fights, and makes him a scary opponent. His most recent wins came against high level opponents in Anthony Pettis and “Cowboy” Donald Cerrone.
14. Kai Asakura (12-1)
Before August, nobody would have expected that Kai Asakura would be on a pound-for-pound list. But after his sudden win over Kyoji Horiguchi at RIZIN 18, Asakura has established himself as a big name. Will that last? We don’t know yet. While undoubtedly eligible to face Horiguchi for his belt, his next fight is booked against Ulka Sasaki at RIZIN 19.
15. Ryan Bader (27-5)
Bellator’s Heavyweight Champion Ryan Bader has been undefeated since 2016, stretching back to his UFC career. His most recent fight wasn’t a satisfying one, as an eye poke to Cheick Kongo in the first round made the fight end. Nonetheless, his stubborn winning streak over big-time Bellator names makes him eligible for the always unknown #15 spot on the pound for pound list.
1. Amanda Nunes (18-4)
It’s nothing short of an uphill battle to convince most people that Amanda Nunes isn’t the best female fighter in the world. Being one of the two current “Champ Champs” in the UFC, Nunes has stayed undefeated since 2015, putting on dominant performances against high level fighters. Nunes has been the Bantamweight Champion since 2016, defending it four times since then. She’s also taken the Featherweight Championship, running over Cris Cyborg in under a minute. Her next defense is set to be against Germaine de Randamie.
2. Valentina Shevchenko (18-3)
Valentina Shevchenko has had a great past 12 months, winning the UFC Flyweight Championship and defending it twice. Her most recent win was a lopsided victory over Liz Carmouche, going all five rounds. Her most memorable title fight in this run was against Jessica Eye, closing out the fight with an explosive head kick.
3. Weili Zhang (20-1)
UFC’s newest Champion, Weili Zhang, shocked some when defeating Jessica Andrade in under a minute to claim the UFC Strawweight Championship. The win was her 20th in a row, and her fourth straight within the UFC. Having a quick rise to relevance, it’s fair to argue that Zhang has more to prove before being put above other Champions on a pound for pound list. Zhang’s next matchup is yet to be known.
4. Cris Cyborg (21-2)
This month, news broke that Cris Cyborg’s new home would be Bellator MMA. Weeks afterwards, her first fight within the promotion was announced. Wasting no time, Cyborg will go against the promotion’s Featherweight Champion Julia Budd. Cyborg left the UFC on a sour note, despite being a high-level fighter. Cyborg lost to Nunes in December, but picked up a victory over Canadian prospect Felicia Spencer before her contract expired. Cyborg will have her eyes set on gold yet again as the new year kicks off.
5. Jessica Andrade (20-7)
While Jessica Andrade is no longer Champion, there is fair justification to give her another shot. After defeating Rose Namajunas via a second round slam, Andrade became the Strawweight Champion. Then, as already mentioned, she was swarmed and crushed by Weili Zhang to lose her belt. Similar to Namajunas, Andrade is still very much in the fold and shouldn’t be counted out as a top contender.
6. Germaine de Randamie (9-3)
Throughout her career, Germaine de Randamie hasn’t been a very active fighter. Since her debut in 2008, she hasn’t once fought more than twice in a year. Although she lacks the frequency that most fighters have, she has a success rate that others don’t. Currently riding a five fight winning streak, de Randamie will face Amanda Nunes at UFC 245, attempting to claim the Bantamweight Championship. De Randamie has been champion before, having a brief stint with the Featherweight Championship before it being stripped due to her refusal to fight Cris Cyborg.
7. Rose Namajunas (8-4)
“Thug” Rose Namajunas hasn’t been booked for a fight since her loss to Jessica Andrade. There isn’t anything wrong with that since it was such a brutal loss, but it makes it easy for some to forget her relevance in the strawweight division. One loss doesn’t define Namajunas. We can’t forget her dominant fights against Joanna Jedrzejczyk in 2017 and 2018 which did a whole lot to legitimize her talent. The strawweight division has lots of contenders, so Namajunas might have to fight someone else before getting a title shot, but she isn’t far from getting a competition for gold.
8. Tatiana Suarez (8-0)
Up-and-coming Tatiana Suarez isn’t at title level just yet – but she’s definitely on her way. Still undefeated as a professional, Suarez has put on successful fights against other mid-level Strawweights with nobody being able to best her yet.
9. Ilima-Lei MacFarlane (10-0)
Bellator’s Flyweight Champion Ilima-Lei MacFarlane has remained flawless throughout her professional career. She earned the belt in late 2018 by defeating Valerie Letourneau in a homecoming bout, and has since defended it against Veta Arteaga. News broke recently that her next challenge will be against Kate Jackson, headlining a December card.
10. Julia Budd (13-2)
Julia Budd has now held the Bellator Featherweight Championship for three fights. While undeniably dominant within the promotion’s biggest female division, Budd’s skill will be tested more than ever when facing newcomer Cris Cyborg in January.
11. Joanna Jedrzejczyk (15-3)
Joanna Jedrzejczyk is in the #11 spot but should see either a climb or a drop this month after she faces Michelle Waterson. The fight is likely going to set up the next challenger for Weili Zhang’s Strawweight Championship. Jedrzejczyk recently lost to Valentina Shevchenko, failing to win the Flyweight Championship in the process. She’s been 1-3 in her last four, all against high profile opponents.
12. Michelle Waterson (17-6)
Michelle Waterson didn’t have an optimal entrance into the UFC. She went 2-2 in her first four fights. In recent times however she’s strung together three straight wins, with her most prominent win over Karolina Kowalkiewicz. She’s moved up the strawweight rankings, and could do it yet again when she faces Joanna Jedrzejczyk this month.
13. Ayaka Hamasaki (19-2)
The niche division of Super Atomweight is one which Ayaka Hamasaki currently reigns over. Being the RIZIN Super Atomweight Champion, Hamasaki has had a flawless 2019. On New Year’s Eve she captured the belt in a dominant performance over Kanna Asakura. She has since went on to avenge a loss over Jinh Yu Frey, and defeat up and coming Thai fighter AMP The Rocket. Hamasaki’s next clear opponent should be Ham Seo Hee, who had a dominant RIZIN debut over Tomo Maesawa. “Hamderlei” is booked to face Miyuu Yamamoto this month. Should she win that fight, a superfight for New Year’s Eve is the likely next step.
14. Viviane Araujo (8-1)
Viviane Araujo’s UFC tenure hasn’t lasted long, but she’s already made an impact. The Brazilian fighter came from JMMA promotion Pancrase, having two stoppage wins in the promotion. Since joining the UFC, Araujo has gotten two wins, one via a nasty overhand right, another through decision. Araujo isn’t a name most are familiar with right now, but if the case is the same in a year’s time, I’ll feel like a fool.
15. Joanne Calderwood (14-4)
Joanne Calderwood is the only female fighter to crash the rankings this month after defeating Andrea Lee at UFC 242. Calderwood bumped Lee out of her ranking which borders exclusion. While Calderwood had lost her fight before, she is clearly one of the rising stars of her division.
This is the section that shows upcoming fights from fighters on the P4P lists.
10/5/19 UFC 243: Robert Whittaker (#4) vs. Israel Adesanya (#8)
10/12/19 ONE Championship: Century: Demetrious Johnson (#12) vs. Danny Kingad
10/12/19 UFC on ESPN+ 19: Joanna Jedrzejczyk (#11) vs. Michelle Waterson (#11)
10/12/19 RIZIN 19: Kai Asakura (#14) vs. Ulka Sasaki
12/14/19 UFC 245: Viviane Araujo (#14) vs. Jessica Eye
12/14/19 UFC 245: Amanda Nunes (#1) vs. Germaine de Randamie (#6)
12/14/19 UFC 245: Max Holloway (#6) vs. Alexander Volkanovski
12/14/19 UFC 245: Kamaru Usman (#7) vs. Colby Covington (#10)
12/21/19 Bellator: Ilima-Lei MacFarlane (#9) vs. Kate Jackson
1/25/20 Bellator: Cris Cyborg (#4) vs. Julia Budd (#10)
Ryan Bader (#15)
Joanne Calderwood (#15)