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MMA divisional rankings: Alexander Volkov does heavy lifting to elevate himself

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The UFC heavyweight division is gridlocked at the moment, with champion Jon Jones recovering from a pectoral tear and interim champ Tom Aspinall having booked a fight not against “Bones” but with contender Curtis Blaydes.

It might appear that the rest of the top 10 has no opportunity to advance, but Alexander Volkov has been in the sport long enough — 48 pro fights, 16 in the UFC — to understand that if he just keeps working, good things will come.

That is what happened for him Saturday in Riyadh, Saudi Arabia, when Volkov dominated fellow Russian contender Sergei Pavlovich for his fourth straight victory. As a result, Volkov has moved up a spot to No. 4 in the ESPN heavyweight top 10. Pavlovich, previously No. 2 in Brett Okamoto’s rankings, has dropped to fifth.

The only other division with a change is light heavyweight, where Volkan Oezdemir has taken over Johnny Walker‘s No. 8 spot after knocking him out on Saturday.

Robert Whittaker won the Riyadh main event but remained at No. 4 among middleweights, behind UFC champ Dricus Du Plessis and former titlists Israel Adesanya and Sean Strickland.

For the ESPN pound-for-pound MMA rankings, click here. For a list of current UFC champions in all weight classes, click here.

Note: Results are current; rankings as of June 25. To be eligible for the rankings, a fighter must have competed over the past 12 months or must have an upcoming fight booked. Fighters who have been dropped for inactivity can be reinstated only after they compete.

Heavyweight | Light heavyweight | Middleweight | Welterweight
Lightweight | Men’s featherweight | Men’s bantamweight
Men’s flyweight | Women’s bantamweight | Women’s flyweight | Strawweight

Table of Contents

HEAVYWEIGHT (up to 265 pounds)

1. Tom Aspinall

Promotion: UFC
Record: 14-3
Last: W (TKO1) vs. Sergei Pavlovich, Nov. 11, 2023
Next: July 27 vs. Curtis Blaydes


2. Ciryl Gane

Promotion: UFC
Previous ranking: 3
Record: 12-2
Last: W (TKO2) vs. Serghei Spivac, Sept. 2, 2023
Next: TBD


3. Curtis Blaydes

Promotion: UFC
Previous ranking: 4
Record: 18-4, 1 NC
Last: W (TKO2) vs. Jailton Almeida, March 9, 2024
Next: July 27 vs. Tom Aspinall


4. Alexander Volkov

Promotion: UFC
Previous ranking: 5
Record: 38-10
Last: W (UD) vs. Sergei Pavlovich, June 22, 2024
Next: TBD


5. Sergei Pavlovich

Promotion: UFC
Previous ranking: 2
Record: 18-3
Last: L (UD) vs. Alexander Volkov, June 22, 2024
Next: TBD


6. Renan Ferreira

Promotion: PFL champion
Record: 13-3, 3 NC
Last: W (KO1) vs. Ryan Bader, Feb. 24, 2024
Next: TBD


7. Jailton Almeida

Promotion: UFC
Record: 21-3
Last: W (Sub1) vs. Alexandr Romanov, June 1, 2024
Next: TBD


8. Serghei Spivac

Promotion: UFC
Record: 16-4
Last: L (TKO2) vs. Ciryl Gane, Sept. 2, 2023
Next: TBD


9. Vadim Nemkov

Promotion: Bellator
Record: 18-2, 1 NC
Last: W (TechSub2) vs. Bruno Cappelozza, Feb. 24, 2024
Next: TBD


10. Derrick Lewis

Promotion: UFC
Record: 28-12, 1 NC
Last: W (TKO3) vs. Rodrigo Nascimento, May 11, 2024
Next: TBD


LIGHT HEAVYWEIGHT (up to 205 pounds)

1. Alex Pereira

Promotion: UFC champion
Record: 10-2
Last: W (KO1) vs. Jamahal Hill, April 13, 2024
Next: June 29 vs. Jirí Procházka


2. Jirí Procházka

Promotion: UFC
Record: 30-4-1
Last: W (TKO2) vs. Aleksandar Rakic, April 13, 2024
Next: June 29 vs. Alex Pereira


3. Magomed Ankalaev

Promotion: UFC
Record: 19-1-1
Last: W (KO2) vs. Johnny Walker, Jan. 13, 2024
Next: TBD


4. Jamahal Hill

Promotion: UFC champion
Record: 10-2
Last: W (KO1) vs. Alex Pereira, April 13, 2024
Next: TBD


5. Jan Blachowicz

Promotion: UFC
Record: 29-10-1
Last: L (SD) vs. Alex Pereira, July 29, 2023
Next: TBD


6. Corey Anderson

Promotion: Bellator champion
Record: 18-6, 1 NC
Last: W (UD) vs. Karl Moore, March 22, 2024
Next: TBD


7. Aleksandar Rakić

Promotion: UFC
Record: 14-4
Last: L (TKO) vs. Jiří Procházka, April 13, 2024
Next: TBD


8. Khalil Rountree Jr.

Promotion: UFC
Record: 37-19
Last: W (TKO3) vs. Anthony Smith, Dec. 9, 2023
Next: TBD


9. Volkan Oezdemir

Promotion: UFC
Previous ranking: Unranked Record: 20-7
Last: W (KO1) vs. Johnny Walker, June 22, 2024
Next: TBD


10. Anthony Smith

Promotion: UFC
Record: 38-19
Last: W (Sub1) vs. Vitor Petrino, May 4, 2024
Next: June 29 vs. Roman Dolidze


MIDDLEWEIGHT (up to 185 pounds)

1. Dricus du Plessis

Promotion: UFC champion
Record: 21-2
Last: W (SD) vs. Sean Strickland, Jan. 20, 2024
Next: Aug. 17 vs. Israel Adesanya


2. Israel Adesanya

Promotion: UFC
Record: 24-3
Last: L (UD) vs. Sean Strickland, Sept. 9, 2023
Next: Aug. 17 vs. Dricus du Plessis


3. Sean Strickland

Promotion: UFC
Record: 29-6
Last: W (SD) vs. Paulo Costa, June 1, 2024
Next: TBD


4. Robert Whittaker

Promotion: UFC
Record: 26-7
Last: W (KO1) vs. Ikram Aliskerov, June 22, 2024
Next: TBD


5. Johnny Eblen

Promotion: Bellator champion
Record: 15-0
Last: W (SD) vs. Impa Kasanganay, Feb. 24, 2024
Next: TBD


6. Nassourdine Imavov

Promotion: UFC
Record: 14-4, 1 NC
Last: W (TKO4) vs. Jared Cannonier, June 8, 2024
Next: TBD


7. Jared Cannonier

Promotion: UFC
Record: 17-7
Last: L (TKO4) vs. Nassourdine Imavov, June 8, 2024
Next: TBD


8. Khamzat Chimaev

Promotion: UFC
Record: 13-0
Last: W (MD) vs. Kamaru Usman, Oct. 21, 2023
Next: TBD


9. Brendan Allen

Promotion: UFC
Record: 24-5
Last: W (SD) vs. Paulo Costa, June 1, 2024
Next: TBD


10. Paulo Costa

Promotion: UFC
Record: 14-4
Last: L (SD) vs. Sean Strickland, June 1, 2024
Next: TBD


WELTERWEIGHT (up to 170 pounds)

1. Leon Edwards

Promotion: UFC champion
Record: 22-3, 1 NC
Last: W (UD) vs. Colby Covington, Dec. 16, 2023
Next: July 27 vs. Belal Muhammad


2. Kamaru Usman

Promotion: UFC
Record: 20-4
Last: L (MD) vs. Khamzat Chimaev, Oct. 21, 2023
Next: TBD


3. Belal Muhammad

Promotion: UFC
Record: 23-3, 1 NC
Last: W (UD) vs. Gilbert Burns, May 6, 2023
Next: July 27 vs. Leon Edwards


4. Shavkat Rakhmonov

Promotion: UFC
Record: 18-0
Last: W (Sub2) vs. Stephen Thompson, Dec. 16, 2023
Next: TBD


5. Jack Della Maddalena

Promotion: UFC
Record: 17-2
Last: W (KO3) vs. Gilbert Burns, March 9, 2024
Next: TBD


6. Gilbert Burns

Promotion: UFC
Record: 22-7
Last: L (KO3) vs. Jack Della Maddalena, March 9, 2024
Next: TBD


7. Colby Covington

Promotion: UFC
Record: 17-4
Last: L (UD) vs. Leon Edwards, Dec. 16, 2023
Next: TBD


8. Jason Jackson

Promotion: Bellator
Record: 18-5
Last: L (UD) vs. Ramazan Kuramagomedov, June 22, 2024
Next: TBD


9. Sean Brady

Promotion: UFC
Record: 16-1
Last: W (Sub3) vs. Kelvin Gastelum, Dec. 2, 2023
Next: TBD


10. Ian Machado Garry

Promotion: UFC
Record: 14-0
Last: W (SD) vs. Geoff Neal, Feb. 17, 2024
Next: June 29 vs. Michael “Venom” Page


LIGHTWEIGHT (up to 155 pounds)

1. Islam Makhachev

Promotion: UFC champion
Record: 26-1
Last: W (Sub5) vs. Dustin Poirier, June 1, 2024
Next: TBD


2. Arman Tsarukyan

Promotion: UFC
Record: 22-3
Last: W (SD) vs. Charles Oliveira, April 13, 2024
Next: TBD


3. Charles Oliveira

Promotion: UFC
Record: 34-10, 1 NC
Last: L (SD) vs. Arman Tsarukyan, April 13, 2024
Next: TBD


4. Justin Gaethje

Promotion: UFC
Record: 25-5
Last: L (KO5) vs. Max Holloway, April 13, 2024
Next: TBD


5. Dustin Poirier

Promotion: UFC
Record: 30-9, 1 NC
Last: L (Sub5) vs. Islam Makhachev, June 1, 2024
Next: TBD


6. Beneil Dariush

Promotion: UFC
Record: 22-6-1
Last: L (KO1) vs. Arman Tsarukyan, Dec. 2, 2023
Next: TBD


7. Mateusz Gamrot

Promotion: UFC
Record: 24-2, 1 NC
Last: W (UD) vs. Rafael Dos Anjos, March 9, 2024
Next: TBD


8. Rafael Fiziev

Promotion: UFC
Record: 26-8
Last: L (TKO2) vs. Mateusz Gamrot, Sept. 23, 2023
Next: TBD


9. Dan Hooker

Promotion: UFC
Record: 29-12
Last: W (SD) vs. Jalin Turner, July 8, 2023
Next: TBD


10. Jalin Turner

Promotion: UFC
Record: 14-8
Last: L (TKO2) vs. Renato Moicano, April 13, 2024
Next: TBD


MEN’S FEATHERWEIGHT (up to 145 pounds)

1. Ilia Topuria

Promotion: UFC champion
Record: 15-0
Last: W (KO2) vs. Alexander Volkanovski, Feb. 17, 2024
Next: TBD


2. Alexander Volkanovski

Promotion: UFC
Record: 26-4
Last: L (KO2) vs. Ilia Topuria, Feb. 17, 2024
Next: TBD


3. Max Holloway

Promotion: UFC
Record: 26-7
Last: W (KO5) vs. Justin Gaethje, April 13, 2024
Next: TBD


4. Brian Ortega

Promotion: UFC
Record: 16-3, 1 NC
Last: W (Sub3) vs. Yair Rodriguez, Feb. 24, 2024
Next: June 29 vs. Diego Lopes


5. Yair Rodriguez

Promotion: UFC
Record: 15-5, 1 NC
Last: L (Sub3) vs. Brian Ortega, Feb. 24, 2024
Next: TBD


6. Patricio Freire

Promotion: Bellator champion
Record: 36-7
Last: W (TKO3) vs. Jeremy Kennedy, March 22, 2024
Next: TBD


7. Josh Emmett

Promotion: UFC
Record: 19-4
Last: W (KO1) vs. Bryce Mitchell, Dec. 16, 2023
Next: TBD


8. Movsar Evloev

Promotion: UFC
Record: 18-0
Last: W (UD) vs. Arnold Allen, Jan. 20, 2024
Next: TBD


9. Arnold Allen

Promotion: UFC
Record: 19-3
Last: L (UD) vs. Movsar Evloev, Jan. 20, 2024
Next: July 27 vs. Giga Chikadze


10. Aljamain Sterling

Promotion: UFC
Record: 24-4
Last: W (UD) vs. Calvin Kattar, April 13, 2024
Next: TBD


MEN’S BANTAMWEIGHT (up to 135 pounds)

1. Sean O’Malley

Promotion: UFC champion
Record: 18-1, 1 NC
Last: W (UD) vs. Marlon Vera, March 9, 2024
Next: TBD


2. Merab Dvalishvili

Promotion: UFC
Record: 17-4
Last: W (UD) vs. Henry Cejudo, Feb. 17, 2024
Next: TBD


3. Cory Sandhagen

Promotion: UFC
Record: 17-4
Last: W (UD) vs. Rob Font, Aug. 5, 2023
Next: Aug. 3 vs. Umar Nurmagomedov


4. Petr Yan

Promotion: UFC
Record: 17-5
Last: L (UD) vs. Song Yadong, March 9, 2024
Next: TBD


5. Henry Cejudo

Promotion: UFC
Record: 16-4
Last: L (UD) vs. Merab Dvalishvili, Feb. 17, 2024
Next: TBD


6. Jose Aldo

Promotion: UFC
Record: 32-8
Last: W (UD) vs. Jonathan Martinez, May 4, 2024
Next: TBD


7. Patchy Mix

Promotion: Bellator champion
Record: 20-1
Last: W (SD) vs. Magomed Magomedov, May 17, 2024
Next: TBD


8. Marlon Vera

Promotion: UFC
Record: 23-9-1
Last: L (UD) vs. Sean O’Malley, March 9, 2024
Next: Aug. 3 vs. Deiveson Figueiredo


9. Deiveson Figueiredo

Promotion: UFC
Record: 23-3-1
Last: W (Sub2) vs. Cody Garbrandt, April 13, 2024
Next: Aug. 3 vs. Marlon Vera


10. Sergio Pettis

Promotion: Bellator
Record: 23-7
Last: L (Sub2) vs. Patchy Mix, Nov. 17, 2023
Next: TBD


MEN’S FLYWEIGHT (up to 125 pounds)

1. Alexandre Pantoja

Promotion: UFC champion
Record: 28-5
Last: W (UD) vs. Steve Erceg, May 4, 2024
Next: TBD


2. Brandon Royval

Promotion: UFC
Record: 16-7
Last: W (SD) vs. Brandon Moreno, Feb. 24, 2024
Next: TBD


3. Brandon Moreno

Promotion: UFC
Record: 21-8-2
Last: L (SD) vs. Brandon Royval, Feb. 24, 2024
Next: TBD


4. Steve Erceg

Promotion: UFC
Record: 12-2
Last: L (UD) vs. Alexandre Pantoja, May 4, 2024
Next: TBD


5. Manel Kape

Promotion: UFC
Record: 19-6
Last: W (UD) vs. Felipe dos Santos, Sept. 9, 2023
Next: July 27 vs. Muhammad Mokaev


6. Muhammad Mokaev

Promotion: UFC
Record: 12-0,1 NC
Last: W (UD) vs. Alex Perez, March 2, 2024
Next: July 27 vs. Manel Kape


7. Tatsuro Taira

Promotion: UFC
Record: 16-0
Last: W (TKO2) vs. Alex Perez, June 15, 2024
Next: TBD


8. Alex Perez

Promotion: UFC
Record: 25-9
Last: L (TKO2) vs. Tatsuro Taira, June 15, 2024
Next: TBD


9. Matheus Nicolau

Promotion: UFC
Record: 19-5-1
Last: L (KO1) vs. Alex Perez, April 27, 2024
Next: TBD


10. Tim Elliott

Promotion: UFC
Record: 20-13-1
Last: W (TechSub1) vs. Sumudaerji, Dec. 9, 2023
Next: TBD


WOMEN’S BANTAMWEIGHT (up to 135 pounds)

1. Raquel Pennington

Promotion: UFC champion
Record: 16-8
Last: W (UD) vs. Mayra Bueno Silva, Jan. 20, 2024
Next: TBD


2. Kayla Harrison

Promotion: UFC
Record: 17-1
Last: W (Sub2) vs. Holly Holm, April 13, 2024
Next: TBD


3. Ketlen Vieira

Promotion: UFC
Record: 14-3
Last: W (UD) vs. Pannie Kianzad, July 22, 2023
Next: TBD


4. Holly Holm

Promotion: UFC
Record: 15-7, 1 NC
Last: L (Sub2) vs. Kayla Harrison, April 13, 2024
Next: TBD


5. Irene Aldana

Promotion: UFC
Record: 15-7
Last: W (UD) vs. Karol Rosa, Dec. 16, 2023
Next: TBD


6. Sara McMann

Promotion: Bellator
Record: 14-7
Last: L (TKO1) vs. Leah McCourt, Oct. 7, 2023
Next: TBD


7. Norma Dumont

Promotion: UFC
Record: 11-2
Last: W (UD) vs. Germaine de Randamie, April 6, 2024
Next: TBD


8. Pannie Kianzad

Promotion: UFC
Record: 16-8
Last: L (Sub1) vs. Macy Chiasson, March 16, 2024
Next: TBD


9. Karol Rosa

Promotion: UFC
Record: 17-6
Last: L (UD) vs. Irene Aldana, Dec. 16, 2023
Next: TBD


10. Yana Santos

Promotion: UFC
Record: 14-8, 1 NC
Last: L (SD) vs. Karol Rosa, July 1, 2023
Next: TBD


WOMEN’S FLYWEIGHT (up to 125 pounds)

1. Alexa Grasso

Promotion: UFC champion
Record: 16-3-1
Last: Split draw vs. Valentina Shevchenko, Sept. 16, 2023
Next: TBD


2. Valentina Shevchenko

Promotion: UFC
Record: 23-4-1
Last: Split draw vs. Alexa Grasso, Sept. 16, 2023
Next: TBD


3. Manon Fiorot

Promotion: UFC
Record: 12-1
Last: W (UD) vs. Erin Blanchfield, March 30, 2024
Next: TBD


4. Erin Blanchfield

Promotion: UFC
Record: 12-2
Last: L (UD) vs. Manon Fiorot, March 30, 2024
Next: TBD


5. Liz Carmouche

Promotion: PFL / Bellator champion
Record: 22-7
Last: W (Sub3) vs. Kana Watanabe, June 13, 2024
Next: Aug. 2 vs. Taila Santos


6. Maycee Barber

Promotion: UFC
Record: 14-2
Last: W (UD) vs. Katlyn Cerminara, March 9, 2024
Next: July 13 vs. Rose Namajunas


7. Jessica Andrade

Promotion: UFC
Record: 26-12
Last: W (SD) vs. Marina Rodriguez, April 13, 2024
Next: TBD


8. Katlyn Cerminara

Promotion: UFC
Record: 18-6
Last: L (UD) vs. Maycee Barber, March 9, 2024
Next: TBD


9. Rose Namajunas

Promotion: UFC
Record: 12-6
Last: W (UD) vs. Amanda Ribas, March 23, 2024
Next: July 13 vs. Maycee Barber


10. Viviane Araujo

Promotion: UFC
Record: 12-6
Last: L (UD) vs. Natalia Silva, Feb. 3, 2024
Next: July 13 vs. Jasmine Jasudavicius


STRAWWEIGHT (up to 115 pounds)

1. Zhang Weili

Promotion: UFC champion
Record: 25-3
Last: W (UD) vs. Yan Xiaonan, April 13, 2024
Next: TBD


2. Amanda Lemos

Promotion: UFC
Record: 13-3-1
Last: W (UD) vs. Mackenzie Dern, Feb. 17, 2024
Next: July 20 vs. Virna Jandiroba


3. Yan Xiaonan

Promotion: UFC
Record: 17-4, 1 NC
Last: L (UD) vs. Zhang Weili, April 13, 2024
Next: TBD


4. Tatiana Suarez

Promotion: UFC
Record: 11-0
Last: W (Sub2) vs. Jessica Andrade, Aug. 5, 2023
Next: TBD


5. Virna Jandiroba

Promotion: UFC
Record: 20-3
Last: W (UD) vs. Loopy Godínez, March 30, 2024
Next: July 20 vs. Amanda Lemos


6. Jessica Andrade

Promotion: UFC
Record: 26-12
Last: W (SD) vs. Marina Rodriguez, April 13, 2024
Next: TBD


7. Marina Rodriguez

Promotion: UFC
Record: 17-4-2
Last: L (SD) vs. Jessica Andrade, April 13, 2024
Next: TBD


8. Mackenzie Dern

Promotion: UFC
Record: 13-5
Last: L (UD) vs. Amanda Lemos, Feb. 17, 2024
Next: Aug. 3 vs. Loopy Godínez


9. Amanda Ribas

Promotion: UFC
Record: 13-5
Last: L (UD) vs. Rose Namajunas, March 23, 2024
Next: TBD


10. Angela Hill

Promotion: UFC
Record: 17-13
Last: W (Sub2) vs. Luana Pinheiro, May 18, 2024
Next: TBD

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