Divisional rankings: Welterweight

Woodley feels he won at least three rounds (1:11)

Tyron Woodley held on to his title by the slimest of margins, and while he acknowledges the fight was very close, he feels he won at least three of the rounds. (1:11)

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 Feb. 6.

Divisional Rankings

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


1. Tyron Woodley (16-3-1)
A draw was probably not what Woodley had in mind at UFC 205, but history will look back kindly on his classic five-rounder with Stephen Thompson. Plus, the UFC welterweight title stayed where he wanted it -- around his waist.
Next: UFC 209 on March 4, vs. Stephen Thompson

2. Stephen Thompson (13-1-1)
Thompson proved once again he belongs at the top of the division by fighting Tyron Woodley to a draw at UFC 205, but he does not have a belt to show for it. It's a good bet we'll see him in a title fight again at some point.
Next: UFC 209 on March 4, vs. Tyron Woodley

3. Robbie Lawler (27-11)
It wasn't Lawler's night at UFC 201. Whether that was the result of one mistake against Tyron Woodley or the first evidence of his previous wars coming back to haunt him is up for debate. For what it's worth, Lawler says it's the former.
Next: TBD

4. Demian Maia (24-6)
Sounds crazy, but Maia is stringing together the best performances of his career in his late 30s. It's easy to underestimate Maia due to the awkwardness of his striking, but as long as he's getting opponents to the floor, he's close to unbeatable. And lately, he's been getting every single one of his opponents to the floor.
Next: TBD>

5. Rory MacDonald (18-4)
In his first appearance since a taxing TKO loss to Robbie Lawler in 2015, MacDonald couldn't get much going against the tricky Stephen Thompson. In August, the 27-year-old announced he'd signed a multi-year contract with Bellator MMA.
Next: Bellator 179 on May 19, vs. Paul Daley

6. Neil Magny (19-5)
This oft-overlooked welterweight is now 11-2 in his last 13 fights, with wins over Johny Hendricks, Hector Lombard and Kelvin Gastelum. He had a bad performance against Lorenz Larkin in 2016, but has pretty much been Mr. Reliable otherwise.
Next: TBD

7. Ben Askren (15-0)
Askren rolled (and grappled) to a five-round unanimous decision over Nikolay Aleksakhin in April 2016. The ONE Championship titleholder has still never lost, but he's only fought twice in two years, against middling competition.
Next: TBD

8. Lorenz Larkin (18-5)
Larkin ran off a 4-1 record at welterweight, after a disappointing stretch in the middleweight division in 2014. His last two wins came against Neil Magny and Jorge Masvidal. If cards fell right, he could definitely fight for a title.
Next: TBD

9. Jorge Masvidal (32-11)
Masvidal makes a huge jump in the rankings after knocking out Donald Cerrone in spectacular fashion in January. He's now won three in a row ... should he win his next fight, it will mark his longest win streak since 2008.
Next: TBD

10. Douglas Lima (28-6)
The Bellator MMA champion scored a loud knockout victory over Andrey Koreshkov in November. His last two wins have come against Koreshkov and Paul Daley and he's won seven of his last eight.
Next: TBD