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Pound-for-pound rankings: Superfight win over Israel Adesanya opens the door for Jan Blachowicz

Jon Jones, who reigned as UFC light heavyweight champion for much of the past decade before vacating his belt in August to move up to heavyweight, is back at the top of the ESPN men’s pound-for-pound MMA rankings.

Francis Ngannou, fresh off winning the heavyweight title on Saturday at UFC 260, has surged into the upper half of the top 10.

Hey, maybe those two should fight each other.

Pitting Jones against the champ has been the UFC’s plan, according to what company president Dana White said prior to UFC 260. After Ngannou knocked out Stipe Miocic to earn the crown Saturday, however, comments by Jones on social media and by White at the postfight news conference indicated that there are financial details that could stand in the way of the big fight becoming a reality.

Jones has not competed since successfully defending at 205 pounds against Dominick Reyes in February 2020. He used to be No. 1 in the ESPN rankings, prior to being bumped down a notch by the emergence of Khabib Nurmagomedov. But Nurmagomedov announced his retirement in October after defending his UFC lightweight belt. White persisted in trying to persuade Nurmagomedov to continue fighting, though, so the 29-0 Russian remained in the rankings. But now that the UFC has acknowledged Nurmagomedov’s retirement, it’s time to move on.

The departure of Nurmagomedov and the knockout loss by Miocic — Nos. 1 and 3 in the most recent rankings update — caused a ripple effect in the top 10, with several fighters moving up. And Demetrious Johnson, the former UFC men’s flyweight champ who competes for the One Championship belt on April 7, is back in the top 10.

The women’s rankings remain the same, although changes appear to be on the horizon. On April 24 at UFC 261, flyweight champ Valentina Shevchenko, ranked No. 2, defends her belt against No. 6 Jessica Andrade, and strawweight titlist Zhang Weili, ranked fourth, faces No. 5 Rose Namajunas.

(For Brett Okamoto’s division-by-division rankings, go here.)

Note: Results are current; rankings as of March 30.

Men’s pound-for-pound rankings

1. Jon Jones

UFC light heavyweight/announced move to heavyweight

Previous ranking: 2

Record: 26-1, 1 NC

Last: W (UD) Dominick Reyes, Feb. 8, 2020

Next: TBD


2. Kamaru Usman

UFC welterweight champion

Previous ranking: 4

Record: 18-1

Last: W (TKO3) Gilbert Burns, Feb. 13, 2021

Next: April 24 vs. Jorge Masvidal


3. Israel Adesanya

UFC middleweight champion

Previous ranking: 5

Record: 20-1

Last: L (UD) Jan Blachowicz, March 6, 2021

Next: TBD


4. Francis Ngannou

UFC heavyweight champion

Previous ranking: Unranked

Record: 16-3

Last: W (KO2) Stipe Miocic, March 27, 2021

Next: TBD


5. Alexander Volkanovski

UFC featherweight champion

Previous ranking: 6

Record: 22-1

Last: W (SD) Max Holloway, July 11, 2020

Next: TBD vs. Brian Ortega


T-6. Jan Blachowicz

UFC light heavyweight champion

Previous ranking: T-7

Record: 28-8

Last: W (UD) Israel Adesanya, March 6, 2021

Next: TBD


T-6. Deiveson Figueiredo

UFC flyweight champion

Record: 20-1-1

Last: D (MD) Brandon Moreno, Dec. 12, 2020

Next: June 12 vs. Brandon Moreno


T-6. Dustin Poirier

UFC lightweight

Previous ranking: 9

Record: 27-6, 1 NC

Last: W (TKO2) Conor McGregor, Jan. 23, 2021

Next: TBD


T-9. Max Holloway

UFC featherweight

Previous ranking: 10

Record: 22-6

Last: W (UD) Calvin Kattar, Jan. 16, 2021

Next: TBD


T-9. Demetrious Johnson

One Championship flyweight

Previous ranking: Unranked

Record: 30-4-1

Last: L (TKO2) Adriano Moraes, April 7, 2021

Next: TBD


Other fighters receiving votes: Robert Whittaker and Petr Yan


How our writers voted

Brett Okamoto


1. Jon Jones


2. Kamaru Usman


3. Israel Adesanya


4. Alexander Volkanovski


5. Deiveson Figueiredo


6. Jan Blachowicz


7. Dustin Poirier


8. Max Holloway


9. Petr Yan


10. Francis Ngannou

Marc Raimondi


1. Jon Jones


2. Kamaru Usman


3. Israel Adesanya


4. Francis Ngannou


5. Stipe Miocic


6. Alexander Volkanovski


7. Dustin Poirier


8. Jan Blachowicz


9. Deiveson Figueiredo


10. Max Holloway

Ariel Helwani


1. Jon Jones


2. Kamaru Usman


3. Israel Adesanya


4. Alexander Volkanovski


5. Francis Ngannou


6. Dustin Poirier


7. Max Holloway


8. Jan Blachowicz


9. Deiveson Figueiredo


10. Robert Whittaker

Jeff Wagenheim


1. Jon Jones


2. Francis Ngannou


3. Demetrious Johnson


4. Kamaru Usman


5. Israel Adesanya


6. Stipe Miocic


7. Deiveson Figueiredo


8. Jan Blachowicz


9. Alexander Volkanovski


10. Dustin Poirier


Women’s pound-for-pound rankings

1. Amanda Nunes

UFC bantamweight/featherweight champion

Record: 21-4

Last: W (Sub1) Megan Anderson, March 6, 2021

Next: TBD


2. Valentina Shevchenko

UFC flyweight champion

Record: 20-3

Last: W (UD) Jennifer Maia, Nov. 21, 2020

Next: April 24 vs. Jessica Andrade


3. Cris Cyborg

Bellator featherweight champion

Record: 23-2, 1 NC

Last: W (SUB2) Arlene Blencowe, Oct. 15, 2020

Next: May 21 vs. Leslie Smith


4. Zhang Weili

UFC strawweight champion

Record: 21-1

Last: W (SD) Joanna Jedrzejczyk, March 7, 2020

Next: April 24 vs. Rose Namajunas


5. Rose Namajunas

UFC strawweight

Record: 9-4

Last: W (SD) Jessica Andrade, July 11, 2020

Next: April 24 vs. Zhang Weili


6. Jessica Andrade

UFC flyweight

Record: 21-8

Last: W (TKO1) Katlyn Chookagian, Oct. 17, 2020

Next: April 24 vs. Valentina Shevchenko


7. Joanna Jedrzejczyk

UFC strawweight

Record: 16-4

Last: L (SD) Zhang Weili, March 7, 2020

Next: TBD


8. Germaine de Randamie

UFC bantamweight

Record: 10-4

Last: W (TechSUB3) Julianna Peña, Oct. 3, 2020

Next: TBD


9. Holly Holm

UFC bantamweight

Record: 14-5

Last: W (UD) Irene Aldana, Oct. 3, 2020

Next: TBD


10. Katlyn Chookagian

UFC flyweight

Record: 15-4

Last: W (UD) Cynthia Calvillo, Nov. 21, 2020

Next: TBD


Other fighters receiving votes: Julia Budd and Ayaka Hamasaki


How our writers voted

Brett Okamoto


1. Amanda Nunes


2. Valentina Shevchenko


3. Cris Cyborg


4. Zhang Weili


5. Rose Namajunas


6. Jessica Andrade


7. Joanna Jedrzejczyk


8. Germaine de Randamie


9. Holly Holm


10. Katlyn Chookagian

Marc Raimondi


1. Amanda Nunes


2. Valentina Shevchenko


3. Cris Cyborg


4. Zhang Weili


5. Rose Namajunas


6. Jessica Andrade


7. Joanna Jedrzejczyk


8. Germaine de Randamie


9. Holly Holm


10. Ayaka Hamasaki

Ariel Helwani


1. Amanda Nunes


2. Valentina Shevchenko


3. Cris Cyborg


4. Zhang Weili


5. Rose Namajunas


6. Joanna Jedrzejczyk


7. Jessica Andrade


8. Germaine de Randamie


9. Holly Holm


10. Katlyn Chookagian

Jeff Wagenheim


1. Amanda Nunes


2. Valentina Shevchenko


3. Cris Cyborg


4. Zhang Weili


5. Rose Namajunas


6. Jessica Andrade


7. Joanna Jedrzejczyk


8. Germaine de Randamie


9. Holly Holm


10. Julia Budd

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