MMA divisional rankings: After just seven MMA fights, Alex Pereira

MMA divisional rankings: After just seven MMA fights, Alex Pereira

Since the last update to the ESPN divisional rankings, Israel Adesanya and Alexander Volkanovski solidified their positions with victories at UFC 276. Both both fighters already were No. 1 in their respective top 10s, though, so there was nowhere for them to rise.

Then there’s Alex Pereira. He also fought on the same July 2 card in Las Vegas. It was just the seventh fight of his MMA career, and he made the most of it, knocking out top-10 middleweight Sean Strickland in less than three minutes. As a result, Pereira has found himself in the ESPN rankings.

Pereira is relatively new to MMA, but he’s no combat sports novice. The 34-year-old Brazilian is a former kickboxing world champion who reigned at both middleweight and light heavyweight in the Glory promotion. He has 40 kickboxing bouts on his resume, including two victories over Adesanya prior to “The Last Stylebender” switching to MMA and becoming a UFC champion. One of Pereira’s wins over Adesanya was by knockout.

Now that Pereira is a top-10 MMA fighter, he appears headed toward another matchup with Adesanya, this time in 4-ounce gloves.

Pereira comes in at No. 7 among middleweights, and right behind him at No. 8 is another rankings newcomer, Bellator champion Johnny Eblen, who dethroned Gegard Mousasi last month.

For the ESPN pound-for-pound MMA rankings, click here. For a list of current UFC champions in all weight classes, click here.

Note: Results are current; rankings as of July 7.

Heavyweight – Light heavyweight – Middleweight – Welterweight
Lightweight – Men’s featherweight – Men’s bantamweight – Men’s flyweight
Women’s bantamweight – Women’s flyweight – Strawweight

HEAVYWEIGHT (up to 265 pounds)

1. Francis Ngannou  

Promotion: UFC champion
Record: 17-3
Last: W (UD) Ciryl Gane, Jan. 22, 2022
Next: TBD

2. Ciryl Gane  

Promotion: UFC
Record: 10-1
Last: L (UD) Francis Ngannou, Jan. 22, 2022
Next: Sept. 3 vs. Tai Tuivasa

3. Stipe Miocic  

Promotion: UFC
Record: 12-4
Last: L (KO2) Francis Ngannou, March 27, 2021
Next: TBD

4. Curtis Blaydes  

Promotion: UFC
Record: 16-3, 1 NC
Last: W (TKO2) Chris Daukaus, March 26, 2022
Next: July 23 vs. Tom Aspinall

5. Tai Tuivasa  

Promotion: UFC
Record: 14-3
Last: W (KO2) Derrick Lewis, Feb. 12, 2022
Next: Sept. 3 vs. Ciryl Gane

6. Tom Aspinall  

Promotion: UFC
Record: 12-2
Last: W (Sub1) Alexander Volkov, March 19, 2022
Next: July 23 vs. Curtis Blaydes

7. Derrick Lewis  

Promotion: UFC
Record: 26-9, 1 NC
Last: L (KO2) Tai Tuivasa, Feb. 12, 2022
Next: July 30 vs. Sergei Pavlovich

8. Alexander Volkov  

Promotion: UFC
Record: 35-10
Last: W (TKO1) Jairzinho Rozenstruik, June 4, 2022
Next: TBD

9. Ryan Bader  

Promotion: Bellator champion
Record: 30-7, 1 NC
Last: W (UD) Cheick Kongo, May 6, 2022
Next: TBD

10. Jairzinho Rozenstruik  

Promotion: UFC
Previous ranking: Unranked
Record: 12-4
Last: L (TKO1) Alexander Volkov, June 4, 2022
Next: TBD

Jiri Prochazka found a whole new way to become champion at UFC 275, handing Glover Teixeira his first submission loss. Yong Teck Lim/Getty Images

LIGHT HEAVYWEIGHT (up to 205 pounds)

1. Jiri Prochazka  

Promotion: UFC champion
Record: 29-3-1
Last: W (Sub5) Glover Teixeira, June 11, 2022
Next: TBD

2. Glover Teixeira  

Promotion: UFC
Record: 33-8
Last: L (Sub5) Jiri Prochazka, June 11, 2022
Next: TBD

3. Jan Blachowicz  

Promotion: UFC
Record: 29-9
Last: W (TKO3) Aleksandar Rakic, May 14, 2022
Next: TBD

4. Corey Anderson  

Promotion: Bellator
Record: 16-5, 1 NC
Last: NC3 Vadim Nemkov, April 15, 2022
Next: TBD vs. Vadim Nemkov

5. Aleksandar Rakic  

Promotion: UFC
Record: 14-3
Last: L (TKO3) Jan Blachowicz, May 14, 2022
Next: TBD

6. Vadim Nemkov  

Promotion: Bellator champion
Record: 15-2, 1 NC
Last: NC3 Corey Anderson, April 15, 2022
Next: TBD vs. Corey Anderson

7. Anthony Smith  

Promotion: UFC
Record: 35-16
Last: W (Sub1) Ryan Spann, Sept. 18, 2021
Next: July 30 vs. Magomed Ankalaev

8. Magomed Ankalaev  

Promotion: UFC
Record: 17-1
Last: W (UD) Thiago Silva, March 12, 2022
Next: July 30 vs. Anthony Smith

9. Thiago Santos  

Promotion: UFC
Record: 22-10
Last: L (UD) Magomed Ankalaev, March 12, 2022
Next: Aug. 6 vs. Jamahal Hill

10. Dominick Reyes  

Promotion: UFC
Record: 12-3
Last: L (KO2) Jiri Prochazka, May 1, 2021
Next: TBD

MIDDLEWEIGHT (up to 185 pounds)

1. Israel Adesanya  

Promotion: UFC champion
Record: 23-1
Last: W (UD) Jared Cannonier, July 2, 2022
Next: TBD

2. Robert Whittaker  

Promotion: UFC
Record: 23-6
Last: L (UD) Israel Adesanya, Feb. 12, 2022
Next: Sept. 3 vs. Marvin Vettori

3. Marvin Vettori  

Promotion: UFC
Previous ranking: 4
Record: 18-5-1
Last: W (UD) Paulo Costa, Oct. 23, 2021
Next: Sept. 3 vs. Robert Whittaker

4. Jared Cannonier  

Promotion: UFC
Previous ranking: 3
Record: 15-6
Last: L (UD) Israel Adesanya, July 2, 2022
Next: TBD

5. Paulo Costa  

Promotion: UFC
Record: 13-2
Last: L (UD) Marvin Vettori, Oct. 23, 2021
Next: July 30 vs. Luke Rockhold

6. Derek Brunson  

Promotion: UFC
Record: 23-8
Last: L (KO2) Jared Cannonier, Feb. 12, 2022
Next: TBD

7. Alex Pereira  

Promotion: UFC
Previous ranking: Unranked
Record: 6-1
Last: W (KO1) Sean Strickland, July 2, 2022
Next: TBD

8. Johnny Eblen  

Promotion: Bellator champion
Previous ranking: Unranked
Record: 12-0
Last: W (UD) Gegard Mousasi, June 24, 2022
Next: TBD

9. Sean Strickland  

Promotion: UFC
Previous ranking: 7
Record: 25-4
Last: L (KO1) Alex Pereira, July 2, 2022
Next: TBD

10. Gegard Mousasi  

Promotion: Bellator
Previous ranking: 8
Record: 49-8-2
Last: L (UD) Johnny Eblen, June 24, 2022
Next: TBD

WELTERWEIGHT (up to 170 pounds)

1. Kamaru Usman  

Promotion: UFC champion
Record: 20-1
Last: W (UD) Colby Covington, Nov. 6, 2021
Next: Aug. 20 vs. Leon Edwards

2. Colby Covington  

Promotion: UFC
Record: 17-3
Last: W (UD) Jorge Masvidal, March 5, 2022
Next: TBD

3. Khamzat Chimaev  

Promotion: UFC
Record: 11-0
Last: W (UD) Gilbert Burns, April 9, 2022
Next: TBD

4. Leon Edwards  

Promotion: UFC
Record: 19-3, 1 NC
Last: W (UD) Nate Diaz, June 12, 2021
Next: Aug. 20 vs. Kamaru Usman

5. Gilbert Burns  

Promotion: UFC
Record: 20-5
Last: L (UD) Khamzat Chimaev, April 9, 2022
Next: TBD

6. Belal Muhammad  

Promotion: UFC
Record: 21-3, 1 NC
Last: W (UD) Vicente Luque, April 16, 2022
Next: Oct. 22 vs. Sean Brady

7. Vicente Luque  

Promotion: UFC
Record: 21-8-1
Last: L (UD) Belal Muhammad, April 16, 2022
Next: TBD

8. Yaroslav Amosov  

Promotion: Bellator champion
Record: 26-0
Last: W (UD) Douglas Lima, June 11, 2021
Next: TBD

9. Stephen Thompson  

Promotion: UFC
Record: 16-6-1
Last: L (UD) Belal Muhammad, Dec. 18, 2021
Next: TBD

10. Sean Brady  

Promotion: UFC
Record: 15-0
Last: W (UD) Michael Chiesa, Nov. 20, 2021
Next: Oct. 22 vs. Belal Muhammad

That shiny belt wrapped around Charles Oliveira at the end of UFC 269 in December? It’s no longer there, but Oliveira still is the top guy at lightweight. Jeff Bottari/Zuffa LLC

LIGHTWEIGHT (up to 155 pounds)

1. Charles Oliveira  

Promotion: UFC
Record: 33-8, 1 NC
Last: W (Sub1) Justin Gaethje, May 7, 2022
Next: TBD

2. Dustin Poirier  

Promotion: UFC
Record: 28-7, 1 NC
Last: L (Sub3) Charles Oliveira, Dec. 11, 2021
Next: TBD

3. Justin Gaethje  

Promotion: UFC
Record: 23-4
Last: L (Sub1) Charles Oliveira, May 7, 2022
Next: TBD

4. Islam Makhachev  

Promotion: UFC
Record: 21-1
Last: W (TKO1) Bobby Green, Feb. 26, 2022
Next: TBD

5. Beneil Dariush  

Promotion: UFC
Record: 21-4-1
Last: W (UD) Tony Ferguson, May 15, 2021
Next: TBD

6. Michael Chandler  

Promotion: UFC
Record: 23-7
Last: W (KO2) Tony Ferguson, May 7, 2022
Next: TBD

7. Rafael dos Anjos  

Promotion: UFC
Record: 31-15
Last: L (KO5) Rafael Fiziev, July 9, 2022
Next: TBD

8. Rafael Fiziev  

Promotion: UFC
Record: 26-6
Last: W (KO5) Rafael dos Anjos, July 9, 2022
Next: TBD

9. Mateusz Gamrot  

Promotion: UFC
Previous ranking: Unranked
Record: 21-1, 1 NC
Last: W (UD) Arman Tsarukyan, June 25, 2022
Next: TBD

10. Arman Tsarukyan  

Promotion: UFC
Record: 18-3
Last: L (UD) Mateusz Gamrot, June 25, 2022
Next: TBD

MEN’S FEATHERWEIGHT (up to 145 pounds)

1. Alexander Volkanovski  

Promotion: UFC champion
Record: 25-1
Last: W (UD) Max Holloway, July 2, 2022
Next: TBD

2. Max Holloway  

Promotion: UFC
Record: 23-7
Last: L (UD) Alexander Volkanovski, July 2, 2022
Next: TBD

3. Patricio Freire  

Promotion: Bellator champion
Record: 33-5
Last: W (UD) A.J. McKee, April 15, 2022
Next: TBD

4. Brian Ortega  

Promotion: UFC
Record: 15-2, 1 NC
Last: L (UD) Alexander Volkanovski, Sept. 25, 2021
Next: July 16 vs. Yair Rodriguez

5. A.J. McKee  

Promotion: Bellator
Record: 18-1
Last: L (UD) Patricio Freire, April 15, 2022
Next: TBD

6. Josh Emmett  

Promotion: UFC
Previous ranking: 8
Record: 18-2
Last: W (SD) Calvin Kattar, June 18, 2022
Next: TBD

7. Arnold Allen  

Promotion: UFC
Record: 18-1
Last: W (TKO1) Dan Hooker, March 19, 2022
Next: TBD

8. Calvin Kattar  

Promotion: UFC
Previous ranking: 6
Record: 23-6
Last: L (SD) Josh Emmett, June 18, 2022
Next: TBD

9. Yair Rodriguez  

Promotion: UFC
Record: 13-3, 1 NC
Last: L (UD) Max Holloway, Nov. 13, 2021
Next: July 16 vs. Brian Ortega

10. Giga Chikadze  

Promotion: UFC
Record: 14-3
Last: L (UD) Calvin Kattar, Jan. 15, 2022
Next: TBD

Aljamain Sterling defended his bantamweight championship at UFC 273 to solidify his supremacy at 135 pounds. Jeff Bottari/Zuffa LLC

MEN’S BANTAMWEIGHT (up to 135 pounds)

1. Aljamain Sterling  

Promotion: UFC champion
Record: 21-3
Last: W (SD) Petr Yan, April 9, 2022
Next: Sept. 10 vs. TJ Dillashaw

2. Petr Yan  

Promotion: UFC
Record: 16-3
Last: L (SD) Aljamain Sterling, April 9, 2022
Next: TBD

3. TJ Dillashaw  

Promotion: UFC
Record: 17-4
Last: W (SD) Cory Sandhagen, July 24, 2021
Next: Sept. 10 vs. Aljamain Sterling

4. Jose Aldo  

Promotion: UFC
Record: 31-7
Last: W (UD) Rob Font, Dec. 4, 2021
Next: Aug. 20 vs. Merab Dvalishvili

5. Cory Sandhagen  

Promotion: UFC
Record: 14-4
Last: L (UD) Petr Yan, Oct. 30, 2021
Next: Sept. 17 vs. Song Yadong

6. Marlon Vera  

Promotion: UFC
Record: 19-7-1
Last: W (UD) Rob Font, April 30, 2022
Next: Aug. 13 vs. Dominick Cruz

7. Merab Dvalishvili  

Promotion: UFC
Record: 14-4
Last: W (TKO2) Marlon Moraes, Sept. 25, 2021
Next: Aug. 20 vs. Jose Aldo

8. Sergio Pettis  

Promotion: Bellator champion
Record: 22-5
Last: W (KO4) Kyoji Horiguchi, Dec. 3, 2021
Next: TBD

9. Rob Font  

Promotion: UFC
Record: 19-6
Last: L (UD) Marlon Vera, April 30, 2022
Next: TBD

10. Dominick Cruz  

Promotion: UFC
Record: 24-3
Last: W (UD) Pedro Munhoz, Dec. 11, 2021
Next: Aug. 13 vs. Marlon Vera

MEN’S FLYWEIGHT (up to 125 pounds)

1. Deiveson Figueiredo  

Promotion: UFC champion
Record: 21-2-1
Last: W (UD) Brandon Moreno, Jan. 22, 2022
Next: TBD

2. Brandon Moreno  

Promotion: UFC
Record: 18-6-2
Last: L (UD) Deiveson Figueiredo, Jan. 22, 2022
Next: July 30 vs. Kai Kara-France

3. Kai Kara-France  

Promotion: UFC
Record: 24-9, 1 NC
Last: W (UD) Askar Askarov, March 26, 2022
Next: July 30 vs. Brandon Moreno

4. Adriano Moraes  

Promotion: One Championship champion
Record: 20-3
Last: W (Sub3) Yuya Wakamatsu, March 26, 2022
Next: Aug. 26 vs. Demetrious Johnson

5. Demetrious Johnson  

Promotion: One Championship
Record: 30-4-1
Last: W (Sub2) Rodtang Jitmuangnon (mixed rules), March 26, 2022
Next: Aug. 26 vs. Adriano Moraes

6. Askar Askarov  

Promotion: UFC
Record: 14-1-1
Last: L (UD) Kai Kara-France, March 26, 2022
Next: TBD

7. Brandon Royval  

Promotion: UFC
Record: 14-6
Last: W (Sub1) Matt Schnell, May 7, 2022
Next: TBD

8. Alex Perez  

Promotion: UFC
Record: 24-6
Last: L (Sub1) Deiveson Figueiredo, Nov. 21, 2020
Next: July 30 vs. Alexandre Pantoja

9. Alexandre Pantoja  

Promotion: UFC
Record: 24-5
Last: W (Sub2) Brandon Royval, Aug. 21, 2021
Next: July 30 vs. Alex Perez

10. Rogerio Bontorin  

Promotion: Unsigned
Record: 17-4, 1 NC
Last: L (SD) Brandon Royval, Jan. 15, 2022
Next: TBD

Julianna Peña became UFC women’s bantamweight champion with a Dec. 11 submission of Amanda Nunes. Jeff Bottari/Zuffa LLC

WOMEN’S BANTAMWEIGHT (up to 135 pounds)

1. Julianna Peña  

Promotion: UFC champion
Record: 11-4
Last: W (Sub2) Amanda Nunes, Dec. 11, 2021
Next: July 30 vs. Amanda Nunes

2. Amanda Nunes  

Promotion: UFC
Record: 21-5
Last: L (Sub2) Julianna Peña, Dec. 11, 2021
Next: July 30 vs. Julianna Peña

3. Holly Holm  

Promotion: UFC
Record: 14-6
Last: L (SD) Ketlen Vieira, May 21, 2022
Next: TBD

4. Raquel Pennington  

Promotion: UFC
Record: 14-8
Last: W (UD) Aspen Ladd, April 9, 2022
Next: TBD

5. Irene Aldana  

Promotion: UFC
Record: 13-6
Last: W (TKO1) Yana Kunitskaya, July 10, 2021
Next: TBD

6. Ketlen Vieira  

Promotion: UFC
Record: 13-2
Last: W (SD) Holly Holm, May 21, 2022
Next: TBD

7. Yana Kunitskaya  

Promotion: UFC
Record: 14-6, 1 NC
Last: L (TKO1) Irene Aldana, July 10, 2021
Next: TBD

8. Aspen Ladd  

Promotion: UFC
Record: 9-3
Last: L (UD) Raquel Pennington, April 9, 2022
Next: TBD

9. Sara McMann  

Promotion: UFC
Record: 13-6
Last: W (UD) Karol Rosa, March 26, 2022
Next: TBD

10. Macy Chiasson  

Promotion: UFC
Record: 8-2
Last: W (SD) Norma Dumont, May 7, 2022
Next: TBD

WOMEN’S FLYWEIGHT (up to 125 pounds)

1. Valentina Shevchenko  

Promotion: UFC champion
Record: 23-3
Last: W (SD) Taila Santos, June 11, 2022
Next: TBD

2. Katlyn Chookagian  

Promotion: UFC
Record: 18-4
Last: W (SD) Amanda Ribas, May 14, 2022
Next: TBD

3. Jessica Andrade  

Promotion: UFC
Record: 23-9
Last: W (Sub1) Amanda Lemos, April 23, 2022
Next: TBD

4. Lauren Murphy  

Promotion: UFC
Record: 15-5
Last: L (TKO4) Valentina Shevchenko, Sept. 25, 2021
Next: July 16 vs. Miesha Tate

5. Taila Santos  

Promotion: UFC
Record: 19-1
Last: L (SD) Valentina Shevchenko, June 11, 2022
Next: TBD

6. Liz Carmouche  

Promotion: Bellator champ
Record: 17-7
Last: W (TKO4) Juliana Velasquez, April 22, 2022
Next: TBD

7. Manon Fiorot  

Promotion: UFC
Record: 9-1
Last: W (UD) Jennifer Maia, March 26, 2022
Next: TBD

8. Alexa Grasso  

Promotion: UFC
Record: 14-3
Last: W (Sub1) Joanne Wood, March 26, 2022
Next: TBD

9. Viviane Araujo  

Promotion: UFC
Record: 11-13
Last: W (UD) Andrea Lee, May 14, 2022
Next: TBD

10. Juliana Velasquez  

Promotion: Bellator
Record: 12-1
Last: L (TKO4) Liz Carmouche, April 22, 2022
Next: TBD

Carla Esparza’s belt-winning victory over Rose Namajunas at UFC 274 played out like a 25-minute staring contest. Chris Unger/Zuffa LLC

STRAWWEIGHT (up to 115 pounds)

1. Carla Esparza  

Promotion: UFC champion
Record: 19-6
Last: W (SD) Rose Namajunas, May 7, 2022
Next: TBD

2. Rose Namajunas  

Promotion: UFC
Record: 11-5
Last: L (SD) Carla Esparza, May 7, 2022
Next: TBD

3. Zhang Weili  

Promotion: UFC
Record: 22-2
Last: W (KO2) Joanna Jedrzejczyk, June 11, 2022
Next: TBD

4. Marina Rodriguez  

Promotion: UFC
Record: 16-1-2
Last: W (SD) Yan Xiaonan, March 5, 2022
Next: TBD

5. Yan Xiaonan  

Promotion: UFC
Record: 13-3, 1 NC
Last: L (SD) Marina Rodriguez, March 5, 2022
Next: Oct. 1 vs. Mackenzie Dern

6. Mackenzie Dern  

Promotion: UFC
Record: 12-2
Last: W (SD) Tecia Torres, April 9, 2022
Next: Oct. 1 vs. Yan Xiaonan

7. Tecia Torres  

Promotion: UFC
Record: 12-6
Last: L (SD) Mackenzie Dern, April 9, 2022
Next: TBD

8. Amanda Ribas  

Promotion: UFC
Record: 11-3
Last: L (SD) Katlyn Chookagian, May 14, 2022
Next: TBD

9. Amanda Lemos  

Promotion: UFC
Record: 11-2-1
Last: L (Sub1) Jessica Andrade, April 23, 2022
Next: TBD

10. Michelle Waterson  

Promotion: UFC
Record: 18-9
Last: L (UD) Marina Rodriguez, May 8, 2021
Next: TBD

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