Divisional rankings: Light heavyweight

Check out my rankings within each division by clicking on the links below.

Who is the best fighter regardless of weight class? See ESPN's pound-for-pound rankings. Plus, check out our women's pound-for-pound rankings.

Note: Results through December 4, 2017


Divisional Rankings

Heavyweight | Light heavyweight
Middleweight | Welterweight | Lightweight
Featherweight | Bantamweight | Flyweight
Women's bantamweight | Women's strawweight


LIGHT HEAVYWEIGHT DIVISION (UP TO 205 POUNDS)

1. Jon Jones (23-1)
At long last, Jones is officially out of the dog house and back to what he does best: Dominate opponents in the Octagon. His finish over Daniel Cormier is instantly one of the top fights of his career. And he's still in his prime.
Next: TBD

2. Daniel Cormier (19-2)
Cormier's rivalry with Jon Jones appears to be over, but his window to win big fights doesn't necessarily close with it. He's still one of the absolute best in the game. We'll see where he goes from here.
Next: UFC 220 on Jan. 20, vs. Volkan Oezdemir

3. Alexander Gustafsson (18-4)
Not that Gustafsson's place within the division was ever really in doubt, but he re-solidified his place near the top with a dominant showing over Glover Teixeira in May. As of right now, Gustafsson's claim to fame is two very close losses to Jones and Cormier. Will he be able to finally reach the peak in the near future?
Next: TBD

4. Ryan Bader (24-5)
So far, so good in the Bellator cage for Ryan Bader. Two fights in, he's knocked off a defending champion in Phil Davis and collected his first defense against Linton Vassell. Bader has an opportunity to hold this belt for a long time.
Next: TBD

5. Volkan Oezdemir (15-1)
There will be no light heavyweights left after Oezdemir has his way. OK, so that's probably a little dramatic but -- wow. Oezdemir has burst onto the scene with knockouts of Misha Cirkunov and Jimi Manuwa.
Next: UFC 220 on Jan. 20, vs. Daniel Cormier

6. Phil Davis (18-4)
Davis's Bellator MMA title reign came to a swift end in June, when he fell to Bader via split decision. It was a close fight, but now you have to wonder if Davis has the same problem he used to have in the UFC: He can beat the rest, but can he beat the best?
Next: TBD

7. Jimi Manuwa (17-3)
Manuwa went into UFC 214 already considered the division's No. 1 contender. That means he had more to lose than to gain against Volkan Oezdemir and unfortunately for him, the latter took place. He can recover from this, but holy smokes. Not what he drew up.
Next: TBD

8. Glover Teixeira (26-6)
Teixeira has hung around the top of the division for years, piling up convincing wins over the middle of the pack. When he's had his shots against elite talent, however, he hasn't been competitive. Losses to Jones, Davis, Johnson and Gustafsson were all relatively lopsided. At this point in his career, that might not change.
Next: Next: UFC Fight Night on Dec. 16, vs. Misha Cirkunov

9. Ovince St. Preux (22-10) St. Preux has made a career out of rolling through the unranked foes of the division. He's had a much harder time against the cream of the crop. But the sheer numbers in his resume alone are impressive. He now has 10 wins in the Octagon.
Next: UFC Fight Night on Jan. 27, vs. Ilir Latifi

10. Mauricio Rua (25-10) Few have accomplished more in this division than Shogun. At 35, he's not what he once was, but he's working on a three-fight win streak. He remains relevant in the rankings, even this late in his career.
Next: TBD