UFC Rankings – Who decides a fighters rank and how do you move up the rankings?

If you spend enough time in the world of MMA among fighters, trainers, media and promoters, you will find there is one topic that often comes up which is the UFC Rankings.

These rankings can be the difference between a fighter getting a title shot or not, or how many sponsors and out of the cage opportunities a fighter can get.

So naturally among fighters this can be a topic that can cause arguments to happen between fighters very quickly, and its only because of the fact that when your a fighter it can be very easy to take your ranking personally in a positive or negative way.

For example if you think your the best fighter in the world but according to the rankings you are number 14 in the world and then another fighter that you think you can beat, or maybe you have beaten before is ranked above you – this can cause a fighter to react negatively to the rankings and could even effect their performance in the cage

But this works the other way too, so some fighters will not rate themselves on the world stage that much, but according to the UFC rankings they will be ranked really high like at number 5 or something, which again could cause the fighter to react positively to the rankings and could improve performance in the cage.

This video will give you some up to date news on UFC Rankings –

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So who’s ranked where and how do you move up?

So I’m not going to list the rankings right now, because there is a lot of divisions and they do change very often, but if you want to see the rankings right now then you can see them all right HERE.Handshake_(3575000735)_Aidan Jones_MMA_UFC_MMAGateway_Money_Fight_Future_Sport Overview

If you want to get onto any fighters rankings lists in the world of MMA ultimately you need to win fights, also drawing power can be a factor, but here is the current pound for pound rankings –

  1. Demetrious Johnson
  2. Georges St-Pierre
  3. Conor McGregor
  4. Max Holloway
  5. Daniel Cormier
  6. T.J. Dillashaw
  7. Stipe Miocic
  8. Tyron Woodley
  9. Tony Ferguson
  10. Cris Cyborg
  11. Cody Garbrandt
  12. Robert Whittaker
  13. Amanda Nunes
  14. Joanna Jedrzejczyk
  15.  Dominick Cruz.

All these fighters in the pound for pound list are all current or former champions in respective weight classes, and all of them will likely go down in the UFC hall of fame when they retire.

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Who decides a fighters ranking?

Well its not done by scientists I can tell you that – the UFC Rankings were basically put together by a voting panel comprised mainly of media members.

These media members were all asked to vote for who they feel are the best fighters in the UFC by weight-class and pound-for-pound.

However, a fighter is only eligible to be voted on if they are still active in the UFC, and a fighter can appear in more than one weight division rankings at a time if for instance that fighter has floated successfully between multiple weight classes.

The champion and interim champion are considered to be in the top positions of their respective divisions and therefore are not eligible for voting in the rankings by weight-class.

However, the champions can be voted on for the pound-for-pound rankings.

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Ultimately do the rankings matter?

Depends on your position, I mean to a casual fan of course a fighters ranking means literally nothing, but for serious passionate fans like me, its a continual point of interest to see how a fighter is being viewed in the world of MMA.

Also obviously for fighters, agents and promoters, a fighters ranking is very important because it makes the difference of what fights the fighter can get, how much merchandise is sold, what sponsorship/business opportunities that come up and ultimately how many tickets and pay-per-views that are sold on every card.

But in terms of the purity of the sport then a number next to your name means nothing, because we see it all the time – I mean look at Josh Emmett vs Ricardo Lamas recently – unranked guys can beat a top ranked opponent in shocking ways at times. In recent times this is becoming very common for the rankings to be thrown into disarray with one shocking performance from a big underdog.

But that’s all for today, I hope you have enjoyed today’s post, so if you have any questions, comments or feedback about UFC rankings then please post some below.

As usual stay tuned for more from the world of MMA right here at the MMAGateway, 2018 is already looking to be one of the best years in MMA ever, so as fans we must make sure we help build the most accurate rankings possible.

See you gaain soon!

Marley Dawkins


  1. Although not a huge fan of UFC but I have always been intrigued with how the sport is been played. Unlike football where you are been ranked the best based on what you play on the pitch, UFC has a different way of ranking the best and I have always been inquisitive over this. Now I know how it works and I owe it to you. Thanks so much for this.

    • Hey Linus, well just like anything in life there is varying degrees of interest – you don’t have to be as big a fan of UFC as me to take an interest in how the rankings work, so at least you’re interested in learning and I’m glad you found this article helpful for that 🙂

      Also do you understand what it actually takes to become a Top Class MMA Fighter?

      Take it is easy man!

  2. Awesome article on rankings. You’ve touched a very relevant topic. Those who know the sport, knows about sportsmanship, they choose to vote best. However, casual viewers go through rankings, end up supporting a guy at the top. 

    Media covers the ideology of majority, and majority is ignorant of sport. So there’s injustice in rankings. 

    Have you seen the guy you support down in the ranking list? I’ve noticed that the one who successfully get emotional connection with the audience, aces the race. Thanks a lot for sharing this article. 

    • Hi Akshay, well you can clearly see how things work – nowadays getting enough fans emotional and interested in you through talking shit can get you pretty far up the rankings and even a title shot in some cases. However, talking smack can only get you so far you still need to be winning more then losing.

      Sure I have my favourite MMA fighters like: McGregor, Jones, Holloway, Till, Ngannou and Adesanya  but truly I am a fan of any fighter that competes at the top level.

      Maybe you will be a UFC champ yourself one day?

      See you again bro!

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