USA TODAY Sports/MMA Junkie rankings, March 24: Get used to this list for a while

March 25, 2020

Pound For Pound Rankings

Jones is one of the greatest fighters of all time, and though he was pushed to the limit by Dominick Reyes, he retained his belt and now returns to the top of MMA Junkie’s pound-for-pound rankings.

Cormier admits he shied from the gameplan at UFC 241, and it cost him dearly in a loss to Stipe Miocic. Now, at age 41, Cormier has decided to give it one more go against Miocic before calling it a career.

Adesanya got to add Yoel Romero to his list of career victories, even if it wasn’t exactly a thrilling affair, and it appears the undefeated Paulo Costa is up next.

Miocic had to wait more than a year to get his rematch with Daniel Cormier, but he made the opportunity count, gutting through some tough rounds early to score a late knockout and reclaim the UFC title.

Following an emotional build-up to a grudge match with Colby Covington, Usman was brilliant, notching the first defense of his UFC welterweight title.

Volkanovski has said from the beginning that he deserved to be considered among the world’s best, and now he is, cracking the pound-for-pound list for the first time.

Holloway is considered an all-time great, but a pair of losses in 2019 leaves ‘Blessed’ in a position to think about exactly what he wants to do next.

Whittaker’s recent journey has been full of challenges, but at just 29, he promises there are still plenty of good days ahead.

Woodley saw his title taken from Kamaru Usman in what was an admittedly bad performance but hopes to work his way back to another shot at the belt.

Honorable Mentions

USA TODAY Sports/MMA Junkie rankings, March 24: Get used to this list for a while

While Cage Warriors was able to slip in an event this past weekend in England, the global MMA schedule is now at a virtual standstill.

Concern over the ongoing coronavirus pandemic has led government bodies around the world to ban public gatherings, and travel restrictions have resulted in even more logistical challenges, leaving the sport’s biggest promotions unable to host events.

As such, the USA TODAY Sports/MMA Junkie MMA rankings aren’t likely to change until April 18, and even then, only provided UFC president Dana White can make good on his promise of finding a location to host a much anticipated lightweight title fight between the top two 155-pounders in the world with undefeated current champion Khabib Nurmagomedov (28-0 MMA, 12-0 UFC) and former interim titleholder Tony Ferguson (25-3 MMA, 15-1 UFC).

The contest is set to headline UFC 249, which was originally expected to take place at Barclays Center in Brooklyn, N.Y. Despite the challenges, White has repeatedly insisted the card will take place on that date.

In the meantime, take a look at the latest rankings, which still see UFC light heavyweight champion Jon Jones (26-1 MMA, 20-1 UFC) as the top pound-for-pound fighter on the planet.

Ranking Criteria

The rankings take into account a fighter’s wins/losses, quality of competition, finishing rate/dominance and frequency of fights.

Fighters are no longer eligible to be ranked after they’ve been inactive for 24 months, either due to injuries, drug/conduct suspensions, contract disputes or self-imposed hiatuses.

Fighters serving drug/conduct suspensions are eligible to be ranked, so long as they’re not inactive for more than 24 months.

To the best of our ability, fighters will be ranked in their primary weight class. Catchweight fights and bouts outside the fighter’s primary weight class can have a positive or negative impact on the ranking. However, non-titleholders can be ranked in only one weight class at a given time, and in most cases, they won’t be ranked in a new weight class until they’ve had their first fight at that weight.

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