Below are my 10 choices for the best pound-for-pound mixed martial artist (including women) in the world. To understand this, it helps to understand what pound-for-pound means. To me, and the way I’ll be voting, it’s who would win a fight if everyone weighed the same and all of their skills and physical attributes were proportional. For example, if I’m considering a flyweight who is a murderous puncher in his or her division, I will assume he or she would be a murderous puncher in every division, punching proportionally as hard at heavyweight as he/she did at flyweight.
I will value activity and quality of opposition over inactivity and lighter opposition. That said, I won’t arbitrarily remove a fighter from my Top 10 if there is a logical and rational reason why they haven’t fought. But I will not vote for someone who has been inactive for a lengthy period for no apparent reason. Fighters who are under doping suspensions will not be included.
Men’s MMA pound-for-pound rankings (June 30)
Khabib Nurmagomedov, UFC lightweight champion, 28-0. Previous ranking: 1
Jon Jones, UFC light heavyweight champion, 25-1. PR: 2
Demetrious Johnson, ONE Flyweight Grand Prix Champion, 30-3-1. PR: 3
Stipe Miocic, UFC heavyweight champion, 19-3. PR: 4
Daniel Cormier, UFC heavyweight contender, 22-2. PR: 5
Kamaru Usman, UFC welterweight champion, 16-1. PR: 6
Israel Adesanya, UFC middleweight champion, 18-0, PR: 7
Justin Gaethje, UFC interim lightweight champion, 22-2. PR: 8
Conor McGregor, UFC lightweight contender, 22-4. PR: 9
Dustin Poirier, UFC lightweight contender, 26-6. Previously unranked.
Women’s MMA pound-for-pound rankings (June 30)
Amanda Nunes, UFC bantamweight/featherweight champion, 19-4. PR: 1
Valentina Shevchenko, UFC flyweight champion, 18-3. PR: 2
Zhang Weili, UFC strawweight champion, 20-1. PR: 3
Cris Cyborg, Bellator featherweight champion, 22-2. PR: 4
Joanna Jedrzejczyk, UFC strawweight contender, 16-3. PR: 5
Jessica Andrade, UFC strawweight contender, 20-6. PR: 6
Katlyn Chookagian, UFC flyweight contender, 14-3. Previously unranked.
Tatiana Suarez, UFC strawweight contender, 8-0. PR: 7
Julianna Peña, UFC bantamweight contender, 9-3. PR: 8
Germaine de Randamie, UFC bantamweight contender, 9-4. PR: 9