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 July 10.

Divisional Rankings

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


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: TBD

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 (23-5)
In his first fight on the Bellator MMA canvas, Bader recorded his second career win over Phil Davis and won the promotion's 205-pound title. There does not appear to be any imminent threat to this man's reign as Bellator champion.
Next: Bellator 186 on Nov. 3, vs. Linton Vassell

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: TBD

6. Phil Davis (17-3)
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 Oct. 28, vs. Misha Cirkunov

9. 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: UFC Fight Night on Sept. 23, vs. Ovince Saint Preux

10. Misha Cirkunov (13-3)
In a deeper division, Cirkunov probably wouldn't find himself in the top 10. But the 205-pound division is nothing to write home about at the moment and the Latvian remains an intriguing player, despite a major setback against Oezdemir in May.
Next: UFC Fight Night on Oct. 28, vs. Glover Teixeira