USA TODAY Sports/MMA Junkie rankings, Sept. 28: Alexander Volkanovski's greatness undeniable

Pound For Pound Rankings Already considered one of the greatest fighters of all-time, Jones says he wants to turn his attention to heavyweight and has no intention of returning to 205 pounds. While he failed in his bid to become a champ-champ, Adesanya looked quite dominant in his most recent middleweight title defense and is expected to face Robert Whittaker next. Upcoming Fight: vs Rodtang "The Iron Man" Jitmuangnon | Dec 05, 2021 - ONE X After suffering the first knockout loss of his career, Johnson openly contemplated the idea of potentially competing in kickboxing next and ultimately booked himself an intriguing mixed rules matchup. Ngannou claimed the UFC heavyweight title with a brilliant win over Stipe Miocic but is now openly expressing his frustration with the promotion after an interim title fight was announced. Volkanovski has certainly been tested in his time as UFC champion, but he continues to gut out impressive performance and now owns an incomprehensible 20-fight win streak. Miocic apologized for deviating from the gameplan against the dangerous Francis Ngannou, a mistake that cost him the UFC heavyweight title. The undefeated Bellator champion looked absolutely incredible in his run through the promotion's featherweight grand prix and is willing to take on anyone in defense of his new title. It was a long way to the top for 'Do Bronx,' but Oliveira is truly firing on all cylinders now and will look to put together a run as UFC lightweight champion. Poirier continues to be one of the most exciting fighters in the game, and his grit is immeasurable – qualities he hopes will net him the UFC lightweight title. Whittaker is on quite the run since losing the UFC middleweight title and seems to have earned a rematch with Israel Adesanya. Honorable Mentions USA TODAY Sports/MMA Junkie rankings, Sept. 28: Alexander Volkanovski's greatness undeniable By MMA Junkie Staff | September 28, 2021 10:00 pm ET Follow @MMAjunkie It’s time to stop doubting UFC featherweight champion Alexander Volkanovski. While a pair of extremely competitive fights with fan favorite Max Holloway didn’t seem to earn Volkanovski the credit he likely deserved as a UFC titleholder, his latest victory was nothing short of a star-making performance. At UFC 266, Volkanovski (23-1 MMA, 10-0 UFC) turned in a largely dominant effort that also saw his character tested when he was forced to battle out of a third-round guillotine choke from Brian Ortega (15-2 MMA, 7-2 UFC) that seemed destined to end the fight. “The Great” later admitted the choke was incredibly tight but that he refused to cede his title and simply gutted his way out of the hold. Ortega showed his heart, as well, refusing to quit despite being absolutely battered over the course of 25 minutes, earning the pair a “Fight of the Night” bonus in a matchup that will likely find its way on some “Fight of the Year” lists in a few months’ time. With the incredible win, Volkanovski reclaims the No. 1 spot at 145 pounds in the latest USA TODAY Sports/MMA Junkie featherweight rankings, and he also climbs to No. 6 in the pound-for-pound list, as well. Of course, Volkanovski wasn’t the only fighter to make a move after UFC 266. Bantamweight Merab Dvalishvili (14-4 MMA, 7-2 UFC) and women’s flyweight Taila Santos (18-1 MMA, 3-1 UFC) also made major strides with their wins at Las Vegas’ T-Mobile Arena. Take a look across all of the updates using the dropdown menu above. Gallery UFC 266: Best photos from Las Vegas view 91 images Alexander Volkanovski, Breaking, Brian Ortega, Merab Dvalishvili, Taila Santos, UFC 266, Bellator, MMA Rankings, News, ONE Championship, PFL, UFC 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

USA TODAY Sports/MMA Junkie rankings, Sept. 28: Alexander Volkanovski's greatness undeniable

Pound For Pound Rankings

Already considered one of the greatest fighters of all-time, Jones says he wants to turn his attention to heavyweight and has no intention of returning to 205 pounds.

While he failed in his bid to become a champ-champ, Adesanya looked quite dominant in his most recent middleweight title defense and is expected to face Robert Whittaker next.

Upcoming Fight: vs Rodtang "The Iron Man" Jitmuangnon | Dec 05, 2021 - ONE X

After suffering the first knockout loss of his career, Johnson openly contemplated the idea of potentially competing in kickboxing next and ultimately booked himself an intriguing mixed rules matchup.

Ngannou claimed the UFC heavyweight title with a brilliant win over Stipe Miocic but is now openly expressing his frustration with the promotion after an interim title fight was announced.

Volkanovski has certainly been tested in his time as UFC champion, but he continues to gut out impressive performance and now owns an incomprehensible 20-fight win streak.

Miocic apologized for deviating from the gameplan against the dangerous Francis Ngannou, a mistake that cost him the UFC heavyweight title.

The undefeated Bellator champion looked absolutely incredible in his run through the promotion's featherweight grand prix and is willing to take on anyone in defense of his new title.

It was a long way to the top for 'Do Bronx,' but Oliveira is truly firing on all cylinders now and will look to put together a run as UFC lightweight champion.

Poirier continues to be one of the most exciting fighters in the game, and his grit is immeasurable – qualities he hopes will net him the UFC lightweight title.

Whittaker is on quite the run since losing the UFC middleweight title and seems to have earned a rematch with Israel Adesanya.

Honorable Mentions

USA TODAY Sports/MMA Junkie rankings, Sept. 28: Alexander Volkanovski's greatness undeniable

It’s time to stop doubting UFC featherweight champion Alexander Volkanovski.

While a pair of extremely competitive fights with fan favorite Max Holloway didn’t seem to earn Volkanovski the credit he likely deserved as a UFC titleholder, his latest victory was nothing short of a star-making performance.

At UFC 266, Volkanovski (23-1 MMA, 10-0 UFC) turned in a largely dominant effort that also saw his character tested when he was forced to battle out of a third-round guillotine choke from Brian Ortega (15-2 MMA, 7-2 UFC) that seemed destined to end the fight. “The Great” later admitted the choke was incredibly tight but that he refused to cede his title and simply gutted his way out of the hold.

Ortega showed his heart, as well, refusing to quit despite being absolutely battered over the course of 25 minutes, earning the pair a “Fight of the Night” bonus in a matchup that will likely find its way on some “Fight of the Year” lists in a few months’ time.

With the incredible win, Volkanovski reclaims the No. 1 spot at 145 pounds in the latest USA TODAY Sports/MMA Junkie featherweight rankings, and he also climbs to No. 6 in the pound-for-pound list, as well.

Of course, Volkanovski wasn’t the only fighter to make a move after UFC 266. Bantamweight Merab Dvalishvili (14-4 MMA, 7-2 UFC) and women’s flyweight Taila Santos (18-1 MMA, 3-1 UFC) also made major strides with their wins at Las Vegas’ T-Mobile Arena.

Take a look across all of the updates using the dropdown menu above.

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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