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MMA pound-for-pound rankings: Kamaru Usman's takeover is No. 1 among many changes

Kamaru Usman was sitting on top of the world after Saturday's knockout, and now he's also sitting on top of the ESPN pound-for-pound men's rankings. Josh Hedges/Zuffa LLC

Kamaru Usman has risen to the top of the game, taking over the No. 1 spot in the ESPN pound-for-pound men's MMA rankings.

Usman (19-1) retained his UFC welterweight championship with a dazzling knockout of Jorge Masvidal on Saturday, his 18th consecutive victory and fourth title defense.

He takes over the top spot from Jon Jones, whose stay was brief. The former light heavyweight champ, who vacated his title in August in order to fight at heavyweight, had moved up to No. 1 in March after the retirement of Khabib Nurmagomedov. Jones (26-1, 1 NC) had been a longtime No. 1 prior to Nurmagomedov taking over. Now he has been surpassed again, and at the same time his career is in limbo, as he has been unable to come to terms with the UFC on a fight against heavyweight titlist Francis Ngannou.

Usman has been steadily rising. He moved from fourth to second in the March rankings, then grabbed the top spot on the strength of his UFC 261 performance, earning the first-place nod from three of the ESPN panel's four voters.

The men's top 10 also has a pair of new arrivals, as former middleweight champion Robert Whittaker and ex-bantamweight champ Petr Yan share 10th place.

In the women's rankings, Rose Namajunas leapfrogs Zhang Weili after dethroning her at strawweight at UFC 261, moving up from No. 5. And Jessica Andrade slips one spot, to No. 7, after being knocked out by flyweight champion Valentina Shevchenko on Saturday.

(For Brett Okamoto's division-by-division rankings, go here.)

Note: Results are current; rankings as of April 28.

Men's pound-for-pound rankings

1. Kamaru Usman

UFC welterweight champion
Previous ranking: 2
Record: 19-1
Last: W (KO2) Jorge Masvidal, April 24, 2021
Next: TBD vs. Colby Covington


2. Jon Jones

UFC light heavyweight/announced move to heavyweight
Previous ranking: 1
Record: 26-1, 1 NC
Last: W (UD) Dominick Reyes, Feb. 8, 2020
Next: TBD


3. Israel Adesanya

UFC middleweight champion
Record: 20-1
Last: L (UD) Jan Blachowicz, March 6, 2021
Next: June 12 vs. Marvin Vettori


4. Francis Ngannou

UFC heavyweight champion
Record: 16-3
Last: W (KO2) Stipe Miocic, March 27, 2021
Next: TBD vs. Derrick Lewis


5. Alexander Volkanovski

UFC featherweight champion
Record: 22-1
Last: W (SD) Max Holloway, July 11, 2020
Next: TBD vs. Brian Ortega


T-6. Jan Blachowicz

UFC light heavyweight champion
Record: 28-8
Last: W (UD) Israel Adesanya, March 6, 2021
Next: Sept. 4 vs. Glover Teixeira


T-6. Deiveson Figueiredo

UFC flyweight champion
Record: 20-1-1
Last: D (MD) Brandon Moreno, Dec. 12, 2020
Next: June 12 vs. Brandon Moreno


T-6. Dustin Poirier

UFC lightweight
Record: 27-6, 1 NC
Last: W (TKO2) Conor McGregor, Jan. 23, 2021
Next: July 10 vs. Conor McGregor


9. Max Holloway

UFC featherweight
Record: 22-6
Last: W (UD) Calvin Kattar, Jan. 16, 2021
Next: TBD


T-10. Robert Whittaker

UFC middleweight
Previous ranking: Unranked
Record: 23-5
Last: W (UD) Kelvin Gastelum, April 17, 2021
Next: TBD


T-10. Petr Yan

UFC bantamweight
Previous ranking: Unranked
Record: 15-2
Last: L (DQ4) Aljamain Sterling, March 6, 2021
Next: TBD


How our writers voted

Brett Okamoto
1. Kamaru Usman
2. Jon Jones
3. Israel Adesanya
4. Alexander Volkanovski
5. Deiveson Figueiredo
6. Jan Blachowicz
7. Dustin Poirier
8. Max Holloway
9. Petr Yan
10. Francis Ngannou

Marc Raimondi
1. Kamaru Usman
2. Jon Jones
3. Israel Adesanya
4. Francis Ngannou
5. Stipe Miocic
6. Alexander Volkanovski
7. Dustin Poirier
8. Jan Blachowicz
9. Deiveson Figueiredo
10. Max Holloway

Ariel Helwani
1. Kamaru Usman
2. Jon Jones
3. Israel Adesanya
4. Alexander Volkanovski
5. Francis Ngannou
6. Dustin Poirier
7. Max Holloway
8. Jan Blachowicz
9. Deiveson Figueiredo
10. Robert Whittaker

Jeff Wagenheim
1. Jon Jones
2. Francis Ngannou
3. Kamaru Usman
4. Israel Adesanya
5. Stipe Miocic
6. Deiveson Figueiredo
7. Jan Blachowicz
8. Alexander Volkanovski
9. Dustin Poirier
10. Robert Whittaker


Women's pound-for-pound rankings

1. Amanda Nunes

UFC bantamweight/featherweight champion
Record: 21-4
Last: W (Sub1) Megan Anderson, March 6, 2021
Next: Aug. 7 vs. Julianna Peña


2. Valentina Shevchenko

UFC flyweight champion
Record: 21-3
Last: W (TKO2) Jessica Andrade, April 24, 2021
Next: TBD


3. Cris Cyborg

Bellator featherweight champion
Record: 23-2, 1 NC
Last: W (Sub2) Arlene Blencowe, Oct. 15, 2020
Next: May 21 vs. Leslie Smith


4. Rose Namajunas

UFC strawweight champion
Previous ranking: 5
Record: 10-4
Last: W (KO1) Zhang Weili, April 24, 2021
Next: TBD


5. Zhang Weili

UFC strawweight
Previous ranking: 4
Record: 21-2
Last: L (KO1) Rose Namajunas, April 24, 2020
Next: TBD


6. Joanna Jedrzejczyk

UFC strawweight
Previous ranking: 7
Record: 16-4
Last: L (SD) Zhang Weili, March 7, 2020
Next: TBD


7. Jessica Andrade

UFC flyweight
Previous ranking: 6
Record: 21-9
Last: L (TKO2) Valentina Shevchenko, April 24, 2021
Next: TBD


8. Germaine de Randamie

UFC bantamweight
Record: 10-4
Last: W (TechSub3) Julianna Peña, Oct. 3, 2020
Next: TBD


9. Holly Holm

UFC bantamweight
Record: 14-5
Last: W (UD) Irene Aldana, Oct. 3, 2020
Next: TBD


10. Katlyn Chookagian

UFC flyweight
Record: 15-4
Last: W (UD) Cynthia Calvillo, Nov. 21, 2020
Next: May 15 vs. Viviane Araujo


Other fighters receiving votes: Ayaka Hamasaki and Yan Xiaonan


How our writers voted

Brett Okamoto
1. Amanda Nunes
2. Valentina Shevchenko
3. Rose Namajunas
4. Cris Cyborg
5. Zhang Weili
6. Jessica Andrade
7. Joanna Jedrzejczyk
8. Germaine de Randamie
9. Holly Holm
10. Katlyn Chookagian

Marc Raimondi
1. Amanda Nunes
2. Valentina Shevchenko
3. Cris Cyborg
4. Rose Namajunas
5. Zhang Weili
6. Joanna Jedrzejczyk
7. Jessica Andrade
8. Germaine de Randamie
9. Holly Holm
10. Ayaka Hamasaki

Ariel Helwani
1. Amanda Nunes
2. Valentina Shevchenko
3. Cris Cyborg
4. Rose Namajunas
5. Zhang Weili
6. Joanna Jedrzejczyk
7. Jessica Andrade
8. Germaine de Randamie
9. Holly Holm
10. Katlyn Chookagian

Jeff Wagenheim
1. Amanda Nunes
2. Valentina Shevchenko
3. Cris Cyborg
4. Rose Namajunas
5. Zhang Weili
6. Joanna Jedrzejczyk
7. Jessica Andrade
8. Germaine de Randamie
9. Holly Holm
10. Yan Xiaonan