Former UFC middleweight champion, Israel Adesanya, has dropped in the latest UFC pound-for-pound rankings following his defeat to long-time rival, Alex Pereira at UFC 281 October 13.
Pereira (7-1 MMA, 4-0 UFC) defeated Adesanya for the third time when he stopped him in the fifth round via TKO.
The loss was Adesanya’s first at middleweight and his first stoppage defeat.
For the first time since unifying the belt in 2019, Adesanya is no longer sitting atop the middleweight division and is now the No.1 contender.
Using a criteria that takes into account everything from accomplishments to current form, here are the current top fighters inside the Octagon:
- Alexander Volkanovski – Featherweight champion (24-1)
Previous ranking: No. 1
- Kamaru Usman – Welterweight (20-2)
Previous ranking: No. 3
Usman looked on his way to a sixth title defence and a tie with Anderson Silva for consecutive UFC wins until a miraculous head-kick knockout from Leon Edwards in Round 5 shocked the world at UFC 278. An immediate trilogy bout appears like the next move for the 35-year-old who yielded the first takedown of his career in the opening round.
- Islam Makhachev – Lightweight champion (23-1)
Previous ranking: 4
- Francis Ngannou – Heavyweight champion (16-3)
Previous ranking: No. 5
- Israel Adesanya – Middleweight champion (23-2)
Previous ranking: No. 2
Despite leading on all three scorecards in his UFC 281 title defense against long-time kickboxing rival Alex Pereira, Adesanya succumbed to a fifth-round stoppage for his first loss at middleweight inside the Octagon. An immediate rematch is likely despite the fact that Pereira now owns three victories over Adesanya across two combat sports.
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