MMA pound-for-pound rankings: Israel Adesanya slides after knockout loss to Alex Pereira

Israel Adesanya’s fifth-round loss shook up the Yahoo Sports’ men’s MMA rankings a bit, though no one who was previously in the Top 10 dropped out.

After being knocked out in the fifth by Alex Pereira despite being ahead 3-1 and seemingly on the way to a win, Adesanya dropped four spots from No. 4 to No. 8. Featherweight champion Alex Volkanovski, ex-welterweight champion Kamaru Usman and lightweight champion Islam Makhachev continue to hold down the top three sports.

Since Adesanya dropped to No. 8, welterweight champion Leon Edwards moved into his old spot at No. 4, with ex-lightweight champion Charles Oliveira moving up one to fifth, welterweight/middleweight contender Khamzat Chimaev also moving up one, into sixth. Heavyweight champion Francis Ngannou slid into seventh, one spot ahead of Adesanya, his good friend.

Light heavyweight champion Jiri Prochazka and interim flyweight champion Brandon Moreno held down the final two spots.

Pereira, the new middleweight champion, nearly made it to the Top 10, but Prochazka and Moreno have been having great success and didn’t do anything that would cause them to drop out. If Pereira scores another significant win, he’ll likely force his way into the Top 10, but that remains to be seen.

There was some juggling on the women’s side. The first six remained the same, but former strawweight champion Carla Esparza fell out of the Top 10 after her loss to new champion Zhang Weili at UFC 281.

Marina Rodriguez also dropped out of the Top 10 and Erin Blanchfield, who was so impressive in a dominant victory over Molly McCann at UFC 281, and Manon Fiorot entered.

Men’s MMA pound-for-pound rankings as of Nov. 14

  1. Alexander Volkanovski (25-1, 12 KOs), UFC featherweight champion. Previous Ranking: 1

  2. Kamaru Usman (20-2, 9 KOs), former UFC welterweight champion. PR: 2

  3. Islam Makhachev (23-1, 4 KOs), UFC lightweight champion. PR: 3

  4. Leon Edwards (20-3, 7 KOs), UFC welterweight champion. PR: 5

  5. Charles Oliveira (33-9, 9 KOs), UFC lightweight contender. PR: 6

  6. Khamzat Chimaev (12-0, 6 KOs, UFC welterweight/middleweight contender. PR: 7

  7. Francis Ngannou (17-3, 12 KOs), UFC heavyweight champion. PR: 8

  8. Israel Adesanya (23-2, 15 KOs), former UFC middleweight champion. PR: 4

  9. Jiri Prochazka (29-3, 25 KOs), UFC light heavyweight champion. PR: 9

  10. Brandon Moreno (20-6-2, 4 KOs), UFC interim flyweight champion. PR: 10

Women’s MMA pound-for-pound rankings as of Nov 14

  1. Amanda Nunes (22-5, 13 KOs), UFC bantamweight/featherweight champion. PR: 1

  2. Valentina Shevchenko (23-3, 8 KOs), UFC flyweight champion. PR: 2

  3. Julianna Peña (12-5, 3 KOs), former UFC bantamweight champion. PR: 3

  4. Kayla Harrison (14-0, 6 KOs), PFL lightweight champion: PR: 4

  5. Zhang Weili (22-3, 11 KOs), UFC strawweight contender. PR: 5

  6. Cris Cyborg (26-2, 20 KOs), Bellator featherweight champion. PR: 6

  7. Rose Namajunas (11-5, 2 KOs), UFC strawweight contender. PR: 8

  8. Jessica Andrade (23-9, 9 KO), UFC strawweight contender. PR: 10

  9. Manon Fiorot (10-1), UFC flyweight contender. Previously unranked.

  10. Erin Blanchfield (10-1), UFC flyweight contender. Previously unranked.

NEW YORK, NEW YORK - NOVEMBER 12: Alex Pereira of Brazil reacts after his TKO victory over Israel Adesanya of Nigeria in the UFC middleweight championship bout during the UFC 281 event at Madison Square Garden on November 12, 2022 in New York City. (Photo by Chris Unger/Zuffa LLC)
Alex Pereira stopped Israel Adesanya with a fifth-round standing knockout and became the new middleweight champion Saturday at UFC 281. (Photo by Chris Unger/Zuffa LLC)