MMA pound-for-pound rankings: Two ex-champs stake their places in men's and women's top 10

Carla Esparza's dominant TKO win over Yan Xiaonan three weeks ago boosted the former UFC strawweight champ into the women's top 10. Chris Unger/Zuffa LLC

Israel Adesanya is back on track. Three months after suffering his first loss in a bid to add the UFC light heavyweight championship to the middleweight title he already owned, Adesanya successfully defended his 185-pound belt against Marvin Vettori over the weekend.

It was a dominant performance. The champ won all five rounds on the scorecards of all three judges. He successfully fended off 10 of his challenger's takedown attempts. And when he got taken to the canvas, Adesanya was able to quickly get back to standing or reverse position on the mat. Vettori was unable to do anything against him.

Despite all of that, Adesanya does not rise in the latest ESPN men's pound-for-pound rankings. It's tough being stuck behind Kamaru Usman and Jon Jones. Adesanya remains at No. 3.

Both the men's and women's rankings do have new faces down at No. 10.

In the case of the men's top 10, the new entry is actually a familiar face. Former featherweight champion Max Holloway, who had a masterful performance against Calvin Kattar in January, moved back into the rankings after Deiveson Figueiredo -- who lost his flyweight belt on Saturday -- vacated his spot in the top 10. New 125-pound champ Brandon Moreno did receive voters from a couple of panelists but not enough to crack the top 10.

The new women's rankings also added a former champion: Carla Esparza, who in 2014 became the inaugural UFC strawwweight champ. Esparza has won five in a row, most recently a second-round TKO of Yan Xiaonan in May.

Note: Results are current; rankings as of June 15.

Men's pound-for-pound rankings

1. Kamaru Usman

UFC welterweight champion
Record: 19-1
Last: W (KO2) Jorge Masvidal, April 24, 2021
Next: TBD


2. Jon Jones

UFC light heavyweight/announced move to heavyweight
Record: 26-1, 1 NC
Last: W (UD) Dominick Reyes, Feb. 8, 2020
Next: TBD


3. Israel Adesanya

UFC middleweight champion
Record: 21-1
Last: W (UD) Marvin Vettori, June 12, 2021
Next: TBD


4. Francis Ngannou

UFC heavyweight champion
Record: 16-3
Last: W (KO2) Stipe Miocic, March 27, 2021
Next: TBD


5. Alexander Volkanovski

UFC featherweight champion
Record: 22-1
Last: W (SD) Max Holloway, July 11, 2020
Next: TBD vs. Brian Ortega


T-6. Jan Blachowicz

UFC light heavyweight champion
Record: 28-8
Last: W (UD) Israel Adesanya, March 6, 2021
Next: Sept. 4 vs. Glover Teixeira


T-6. Dustin Poirier

UFC lightweight
Record: 27-6, 1 NC
Last: W (TKO2) Conor McGregor, Jan. 23, 2021
Next: July 10 vs. Conor McGregor


8. Stipe Miocic

UFC heavyweight
Previous ranking: 9
Record: 20-4
Last: L (KO2) Francis Ngannou, March 27, 2021
Next: TBD


9. Charles Oliveira

UFC lightweight champion
Previous ranking: 10
Record: 31-8, 1 NC
Last: W (TKO2) Michael Chandler, May 15, 2021
Next: TBD


10. Max Holloway

UFC featherweight
Previous ranking: Unranked
Record: 22-6
Last: W (UD) Calvin Kattar, Jan. 16, 2021
Next: July 17 vs. Yair Rodriguez


Other fighters receiving votes: Brandon Moreno, Robert Whittaker and Petr Yan


How our writers voted

Ariel Helwani
1. Kamaru Usman
2. Jon Jones
3. Israel Adesanya
4. Alexander Volkanovski
5. Francis Ngannou
6. Charles Oliveira
7. Dustin Poirier
8. Max Holloway
9. Jan Blachowicz
10. Brandon Moreno

Brett Okamoto
1. Kamaru Usman
2. Jon Jones
3. Israel Adesanya
4. Alexander Volkanovski
5. Jan Blachowicz
6. Dustin Poirier
7. Max Holloway
8. Francis Ngannou
9. Petr Yan
10. Charles Oliveira

Marc Raimondi
1. Kamaru Usman
2. Jon Jones
3. Israel Adesanya
4. Francis Ngannou
5. Stipe Miocic
6. Alexander Volkanovski
7. Dustin Poirier
8. Jan Blachowicz
9. Charles Oliveira
10. Robert Whittaker

Jeff Wagenheim
1. Jon Jones
2. Francis Ngannou
3. Kamaru Usman
4. Israel Adesanya
5. Stipe Miocic
6. Jan Blachowicz
7. Alexander Volkanovski
8. Dustin Poirier
9. Charles Oliveira
10. Brandon Moreno


Women's pound-for-pound rankings

1. Amanda Nunes

UFC bantamweight/featherweight champion
Record: 21-4
Last: W (Sub1) Megan Anderson, March 6, 2021
Next: Aug. 7 vs. Julianna Peña


2. Valentina Shevchenko

UFC flyweight champion
Record: 21-3
Last: W (TKO2) Jessica Andrade, April 24, 2021
Next: TBD


3. Cris Cyborg

Bellator featherweight champion
Record: 24-2, 1 NC
Last: W (TKO5) Leslie Smith, May 21, 2021
Next: TBD


4. Rose Namajunas

UFC strawweight champion
Record: 10-4
Last: W (KO1) Zhang Weili, April 24, 2021
Next: TBD


5. Zhang Weili

UFC strawweight
Record: 21-2
Last: L (KO1) Rose Namajunas, April 24, 2021
Next: TBD


6. Joanna Jedrzejczyk

UFC strawweight
Record: 16-4
Last: L (SD) Zhang Weili, March 7, 2020
Next: TBD


7. Jessica Andrade

UFC flyweight
Record: 21-9
Last: L (TKO2) Valentina Shevchenko, April 24, 2021
Next: TBD


8. Germaine de Randamie

UFC bantamweight
Record: 10-4
Last: W (TechSub3) Julianna Peña, Oct. 3, 2020
Next: TBD


9. Holly Holm

UFC bantamweight
Record: 14-5
Last: W (UD) Irene Aldana, Oct. 3, 2020
Next: TBD


10. Carla Esparza

UFC strawweight
Previous ranking: Unranked
Record: 18-6
Last: W (TKO2) Yan Xiaonan, May 22, 2021
Next: TBD


Other fighter receiving votes: Katlyn Chookagian


How our writers voted

Ariel Helwani
1. Amanda Nunes
2. Valentina Shevchenko
3. Cris Cyborg
4. Rose Namajunas
5. Zhang Weili
6. Joanna Jedrzejczyk
7. Jessica Andrade
8. Germaine de Randamie
9. Holly Holm
10. Katlyn Chookagian

Brett Okamoto
1. Amanda Nunes
2. Valentina Shevchenko
3. Rose Namajunas
4. Cris Cyborg
5. Zhang Weili
6. Joanna Jedrzejczyk
7. Germaine de Randamie
8. Jessica Andrade
9. Carla Esparza
10. Katlyn Chookagian

Marc Raimondi
1. Amanda Nunes
2. Valentina Shevchenko
3. Cris Cyborg
4. Rose Namajunas
5. Zhang Weili
6. Joanna Jedrzejczyk
7. Jessica Andrade
8. Germaine de Randamie
9. Holly Holm
10. Carla Esparza

Jeff Wagenheim
1. Amanda Nunes
2. Valentina Shevchenko
3. Cris Cyborg
4. Rose Namajunas
5. Zhang Weili
6. Joanna Jedrzejczyk
7. Jessica Andrade
8. Germaine de Randamie
9. Holly Holm
10. Carla Esparza