Divisional rankings: Welterweight

Tyron Woodley impressed at UFC 214 by defeating Demian Maia by unanimous decision. Christian Petersen/Zuffa LLC/Getty Images

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 Nov. 28

Divisional Rankings

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


1. Tyron Woodley (18-3-1)
As a UFC champion, Woodley has faced two radical styles in Stephen Thompson and Demian Maia. He's won both, but not been incredibly exciting in doing so. Pressure is now on to look good against an orthodox opponent.
Next: TBD

2. Stephen Thompson (14-2-1)
Thompson will probably struggle to get a title shot as long as Tyron Woodley is the man at the top, but his convincing win over Jorge Masvidal at UFC 217 reenforced the reality he's a full step ahead of most of this division.
Next: TBD

3. Robbie Lawler (27-11)
After taking a year off, Lawler was his usual entertaining self against Donald Cerrone at UFC 214. It doesn't seem as if reclaiming his welterweight title is a driving factor for him, but that opportunity may not be far away.
Next: UFC Fight Night on Dec. 16, vs. Rafael dos Anjos

4. Rory MacDonald (19-4)
New promotion, but same MacDonald. Making his Bellator MMA debut, MacDonald cruised to a submission finish over Paul Daley in enemy waters in London. The May appearance was his first in nearly one year, but there were no signs of rust. He'll fight for the promotion's 170-pound championship next.
Next: Bellator on Jan. 20, vs. Douglas Lima

4. Demian Maia (25-7)
As amazing as Maia can be using one very distinct skill, he can also be very underwhelming when that skill is shut down. Such was the case at UFC 214 against Tyron Woodley.

Next: UFC Fight Night on Oct. 28, vs. Colby Covington

5. Douglas Lima (30-6)
The secret is starting to get out on Lima, who was highly impressive in a five-round title defense against Larkin. The underrated Brazilian now eyes a matchup against Rory MacDonald.
Next: Bellator on Jan. 20, vs. Rory MacDonald

6. Colby Covington (13-1)
It wasn't always pretty, but Covington went to Brazil and picked up a convincing win over Demian Maia -- no easy task. He's 8-1 now in the UFC, and has that signature win to go with it.
Next: TBD

7. Jorge Masvidal (32-13)
Masvidal got the big fights he'd been waiting for in 2017, and it was a mixed bag of results. He wasn't blown out by Demian Maia and Stephen Thompson, but he couldn't get the job done against them either. He'll need a couple wins to get back near the top of 170.
Next: TBD

8. Rafael dos Anjos (27-9)
The UFC's former lightweight champion has only had two fights thus far at welterweight, but they've been quite meaningful. His dominant submission win over Neil Magny, a perennially ranked opponent, in September was as impressive as they come.
Next: UFC Fight Night on Dec. 16, vs. Robbie Lawler

9. Darren Till (16-0)

The future has arrived in this young Liverpudlian, who dominated Donald Cerrone in a UFC main event in October. Till is confident and appears to have the skillset to back it up. He is quickly on the rise.
Next: TBD

10. Kamaru Usman (11-1)

The only possible knocks on Usman's 6-0 record in the UFC would be he's struggled to finish opponents, and the opponents haven't been highly ranked. He addressed the first criticism by knocking out Sergio Moraes in September. Now he'd like a chance to address the second.
Next: TBD