Home Top Stories Pound-for-pound rankings: Did Cris Cyborg power her way back into top 10?

Pound-for-pound rankings: Did Cris Cyborg power her way back into top 10?

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Pound-for-pound rankings: Did Cris Cyborg power her way back into top 10?

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Cris Cyborg entered the weekend nowhere to be found in the ESPN pound-for-pound rankings because, having not fought in nearly a year and a half, she was ineligible.

She exited the weekend firmly re-established in a familiar spot: among the top-ranked fighters in women’s MMA.

Competing in MMA for the first time since April 2022 — and after winning two boxing matches in the interim — Cyborg put on a vintage performance at Bellator 300 on Saturday, dominating Cat Zingano on the way to a first-round TKO to retain her featherweight championship.

Cyborg has lost only once in 29 fights once since dropping her 2005 pro debut, and that other defeat came against women’s GOAT Amanda Nunes five years ago. Since then, Cyborg has won seven in a row, further enhancing one of the greatest legacies in the history of women’s MMA. And she showed on Saturday that, at 38, she still can deliver a beatdown worthy of a top-five ranking.

For the ESPN divisional MMA rankings, click here.

Note: Results are current; rankings as of Oct. 10. In order 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.


1. Zhang Weili

UFC strawweight champion
Record: 24-3
Last: W (UD) vs. Amanda Lemos, Aug. 19, 2023
Next: TBD


2. Alexa Grasso

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


3. Valentina Shevchenko

UFC flyweight
Record: 22-4-1
Last: Split draw vs. Alexa Grasso, Sept. 16, 2023
Next: TBD


4. Cris Cyborg

Bellator featherweight champion
Previous ranking: Unranked
Record: 27-2, 1 NC
Last: W (TKO1) vs. Cat Zingano, Oct. 7, 2023
Next: TBD


5. Erin Blanchfield

UFC flyweight
Previous ranking: 4
Record: 12-1
Last: W (UD) vs. Taila Santos, Aug. 26, 2023
Next: TBD


6. Yan Xiaonan

UFC strawweight
Record: 17-3
Last: W (KO1) vs. Jessica Andrade, May 6, 2023
Next: TBD


7. Carla Esparza

UFC strawweight
Previous ranking: 5
Record: 19-7
Last: L (Sub2) vs. Zhang Weili, Nov. 12, 2022
Next: TBD


T-8. Manon Fiorot

UFC flyweight
Previous ranking: Unranked
Record: 11-1
Last: W (UD) vs. Rose Namajunas, Sept. 2, 2023
Next: TBD


T-8. Tatiana Suarez

UFC strawweight
Previous ranking: 9
Record: 10-0
Last: W (Sub2) vs. Jessica Andrade, Aug. 5, 2023
Next: TBD


10. Seika Izawa

Rizin super atomweight champion
Record: 11-0
Last: W (Sub1) vs. Claire Lopez, July 30, 2023
Next: TBD


Other fighters receiving votes: Larissa Pacheco, Kayla Harrison, Liz Carmouche, Amanda Lemos, Raquel Pennington, Rose Namajunas, Taila Santos and Mayra Bueno Silva.


How our panel voted

Brett Okamoto: 1. Zhang Weili; 2. Alexa Grasso; 3. Valentina Shevchenko; 4. Cris Cyborg. 5. Erin Blanchfield; 6. Tatiana Suarez; 7. Manon Fiorot; 8. Rose Namajunas; 9. Kayla Harrison; 10. Carla Esparza.

Marc Raimondi: 1. Zhang; 2. Cyborg; 3. Shevchenko; 4. Grasso; 5. Blanchfield; 6. Esparza; 7. Yan Xiaonan; 8. Seika Izawa; 9. Suarez; 10. Fiorot.

Megan Anderson: 1. Zhang; 2. Grasso; 3. Shevchenko; 4. Cyborg; 5. Blanchfield; 6. Yan; 7. Raquel Pennington; 8. Fiorot; 9. Taila Santos; 10. Mayra Bueno Silva.

Eddie Maisonet III: 1. Zhang; 2. Grasso; 3. Shevchenko; 4. Blanchfield; 5. Larissa Pacheco; 6. Cyborg; 7. Amanda Lemos; 8. Harrison; 9. Izawa; 10. Carmouche.

Jeff Wagenheim: 1. Zhang; 2. Grasso; 3. Cyborg; 4. Shevchenko; 5. Blanchfield; 6. Esparza; 7. Yan; 8. Carmouche; 9. Izawa; 10. Suarez.


Men’s pound-for-pound rankings

1. Alexander Volkanovski

UFC featherweight champion
Record: 26-2
Last: W (TKO3) vs. Yair Rodriguez, July 8, 2023
Next: TBD


2. Islam Makhachev

UFC lightweight champion
Record: 24-1
Last: W (UD) vs. Alexander Volkanovski, Feb. 11, 2023
Next: Oct. 21 vs. Charles Oliveira


3. Jon Jones

UFC heavyweight champion
Record: 27-1, 1 NC
Last: W (Sub1) vs. Ciryl Gane, March 4, 2023
Next: Nov. 11 vs. Stipe Miocic


4. Leon Edwards

UFC welterweight champion
Record: 21-3, 1 NC
Last: W (MD) vs. Kamaru Usman, March 18, 2023
Next: Dec. 16 vs. Colby Covington


5. Charles Oliveira

UFC lightweight
Record: 34-9, 1 NC
Last: W (TKO1) vs. Beneil Dariush, June 10, 2023
Next: Oct. 21 vs. Islam Makhachev


6. Kamaru Usman

UFC welterweight
Record: 20-3
Last: L (MD) vs. Leon Edwards, March 18, 2023
Next: TBD


7. Israel Adesanya

UFC middleweight
Record: 24-3
Last: L (UD) vs. Sean Strickland, Sept. 9, 2023
Next: TBD


8. Alexandre Pantoja

UFC flyweight champion
Record: 26-5
Last: W (SD) vs. Brandon Moreno, July 8, 2023
Next: Dec. 16 vs. Brandon Royval


9. Sean O’Malley

UFC bantamweight champion
Record: 17-1, 1 NC
Last: W (TKO2) vs. Aljamain Sterling, Aug. 19, 2023
Next: TBD


10. Aljamain Sterling

UFC bantamweight
Record: 22-4
Last: L (TKO2) vs. Sean O’Malley, Aug. 19, 2023
Next: TBD


Other fighters receiving votes: Justin Gaethje, Max Holloway, Sean Strickland, Demetrious Johnson and Brandon Moreno.


How our panel voted

Brett Okamoto: 1. Alexander Volkanovski; 2. Islam Makhachev; 3. Jon Jones; 4. Leon Edwards; 5. Israel Adesanya; 6. Charles Oliveira; 7. Kamaru Usman; 8. Alexandre Pantoja; 9. Max Holloway; 10. Brandon Moreno.

Marc Raimondi: 1. Jones; 2. Makhachev; 3. Volkanovski; 4. Edwards; 5. Oliveira; 6. Sean O’Malley; 7. Pantoja; 8. Sean Strickland; 9. Usman; 10. Moreno.

Megan Anderson: 1. Volkanovski; 2. Jones; 3. Makhachev; 4. Edwards; 5. Oliveira; 6. Adesanya; 7. Usman; 8. Justin Gaethje; 9. Aljamain Sterling; 10. O’Malley.

Carlos Contreras Legaspi: 1. Volkanovski; 2. Makhachev; 3. Jones; 4. Edwards; 5. Oliveira; 6. Usman; 7. Adesanya; 8. O’Malley; 9. Holloway; 10. Strickland.

Eddie Maisonet III: 1. Volkanovski; 2. Makhachev; 3. Jones; 4. Oliveira; 5. Adesanya; 6. Edwards; 7. Usman; 8. Pantoja; 9. Demetrious Johnson; 10. Sterling.

Jeff Wagenheim: 1. Makhachev; 2. Volkanovski; 3. Jones; 4. Edwards; 5. Oliveira; 6. Pantoja; 7. O’Malley; 8. Usman; 9. Sterling; 10. Gaethje.

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