The former UFC middleweight champion Israel Adesanya has dropped in the latest UFC pound-for-pound rankings after losing to longtime rival Alex Pereira at UFC 281 on October 13.
Pereira (7-1 MMA, 4-0 UFC) defeated Adesanya for the third time when he stopped him via TKO in the fifth round.
The loss was Adesanya’s first at middleweight and his first stoppage loss.
For the first time since unifying the belt in 2019, Adesanya is not in the middleweight division and is now the No. 1 contender.
Using a criteria that takes into account everything from achievements to current form, here are the top fighters inside the Octagon today:
- Alexander Volkanovski – Featherweight Champion (24-1)
Previous ranking: Number 1
- Kamaru Usman – Welterweight (20-2)
Previous ranking: No. 3
Usman was en route to his sixth title defense and tied with Anderson Silva for the UFC winning streak until a miraculous 5th round head kick from Leon Edwards shocked the world at UFC 278. An immediate trilogy fight looms as the next move. The 35-year-old had his first career layoff in the opening round.
- Islam Makhachev – Lightweight Champion (23-1)
Previous classification: 4
- Francis Ngannou – heavyweight champion (16-3)
Previous ranking: No. 5
- Israel Adesanya – Middleweight Champion (23-2)
Previous ranking: Number 2
Despite leading on three scorecards in his UFC 281 title defense against longtime kickboxing rival Alex Pereira, Adesanya suffered a fifth-round stoppage for his first loss at middleweight inside the Octagon. An immediate rematch is likely, although Pereira now has three wins over Adesanya in two combat sports.
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