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MMA pound-for-pound rankings: Where does KO of Alexander Volkanovski put Ilia Topuria in top 10?

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Ilia Topuria celebrates after stunning knockout of Alexander Volkanovski (1:26)

Ilia Topuria celebrates in disbelief after knocking out Alexander Volkanovski in the main event of UFC 298. (1:26)

Some were shocked over the weekend, some not so much. Among the latter group were oddsmakers, who made longtime UFC men's featherweight champion Alexander Volkanovski only a slight betting favorite in his sixth title defense.

Most prominent among those who foresaw a change at the top of the game was Volkanovski's opponent -- that is, Volkanovski's undefeated opponent. Ilia Topuria did not merely say he was going to defeat Volkanovski, the longest-reigning UFC champion with 11 straight featherweight wins, including conquests of the greatest 145-pounders the sport has produced. Topuria said he was going to finish Volkanovski early.

This prediction sounded like folly.

Until it happened just as Topuria said it would.

Now, after knocking Volkanovski out cold in the second round of the UFC 298 main event on Saturday, Topuria has entered the top five in the ESPN men's pound-for-pound rankings.

Volkanovski remains in the top 10, just lower down.

The women's top 10 is unchanged.

For the ESPN divisional MMA rankings, click here.

Note: Results are current; rankings as of Feb. 20. To be eligible for the rankings, a fighter must have competed over the past 12 months or must have an upcoming fight booked. Fighters who have been dropped for inactivity can be reinstated only after they compete.


Men's pound-for-pound rankings

1. Islam Makhachev

UFC lightweight champion
Record: 25-1
Last: W (KO1) vs. Alexander Volkanovski, Oct. 21, 2023
Next: TBD


2. Jon Jones

UFC heavyweight champion
Record: 27-1, 1 NC
Last: W (Sub1) vs. Ciryl Gane, March 4, 2023
Next: TBD


3. Leon Edwards

UFC welterweight champion
Previous ranking: 4
Record: 22-3, 1 NC
Last: W (UD) vs Colby Covington, Dec. 16, 2023
Next: TBD


4. Alex Pereira

UFC light heavyweight champion
Previous ranking: 5
Record: 9-2
Last: W (TKO2) vs. Jirí Procházka, Nov. 11, 2023
Next: April 13 vs. Jamahal Hill


5. Ilia Topuria

UFC featherweight champion
Previous ranking: Unranked
Record: 15-0
Last: W (KO2) vs. Alexander Volkanovski, Feb. 17, 2024
Next: TBD


6. Charles Oliveira

UFC lightweight
Record: 34-9, 1 NC
Last: W (TKO1) vs. Beneil Dariush, June 10, 2023
Next: April 13 vs. Arman Tsarukyan


7. Alexandre Pantoja

UFC flyweight champion
Record: 27-5
Last: W (UD) vs. Brandon Royval, Dec. 16, 2023
Next: TBD


8. Alexander Volkanovski

UFC featherweight
Previous ranking: 3
Record: 26-4
Last: L (KO2) vs. Ilia Topuria, Feb. 17, 2024
Next: TBD


9. Israel Adesanya

UFC middleweight
Previous ranking: 8
Record: 24-3
Last: L (UD) vs. Sean Strickland, Sept. 9, 2023
Next: TBD


10. Sean O'Malley

UFC bantamweight champion
Previous ranking: 9
Record: 17-1, 1 NC
Last: W (TKO2) vs. Aljamain Sterling, Aug. 19, 2023
Next: March 9 vs. Marlon Vera


Other fighters receiving votes: Dricus Du Plessis, Merab Dvalishvili, Max Holloway, Khamzat Chimaev and Demetrious Johnson.


How our panel voted

Brett Okamoto: 1. Islam Makhachev; 2. Leon Edwards; 3. Jon Jones; 4. Israel Adesanya; 5. Alex Pereira; 6. Ilia Topuria; 7. Alexandre Pantoja; 8. Alexander Volkanovski; 9. Charles Oliveira; 10. Max Holloway.

Marc Raimondi: 1. Makhachev; 2. Jones; 3. Edwards; 4. Oliveira; 5. Pereira; 6. Topuria; 7. Volkanovski; 8. Pantoja; 9. Sean O'Malley; 10. Merab Dvalishvili.

Megan Anderson: 1. Makhachev; 2. Jones; 3. Edwards; 4. Volkanovski; 5. Pereira; 6. Oliveira; 7. Adesanya; 8. O'Malley; 9. Topuria; 10. Dricus Du Plessis.

Carlos Contreras Legaspi: 1. Makhachev; 2. Jones; 3. Edwards; 4. Topuria; 5. Pereira; 6. Adesanya; 7. O'Malley; 8. Volkanovski; 9. Pantoja; 10. Du Plessis.

Ian Parker: 1. Jones; 2. Makhachev; 3. Pereira; 4. Topuria; 5. Edwards; 6. O'Malley; 7. Pantoja; 8. Du Plessis; 9. Demetrious Johnson; 10. Khamzat Chimaev.

Eddie Maisonet III: 1. Makhachev; 2. Jones; 3. Edwards; 4. Pantoja; 5. Oliveira; 6. Adesanya; 7. Pereira; 8. Volkanovski; 9. Topuria; 10. Holloway.

Jeff Wagenheim: 1. Makhachev; 2. Jones; 3. Edwards; 4. Oliveira; 5. Pereira; 6. Topuria; 7. O'Malley; 8. Pantoja; 9. Volkanovski; 10. Dvalishvili.


Women's pound-for-pound rankings

1. Zhang Weili

UFC strawweight champion
Record: 24-3
Last: W (UD) vs. Amanda Lemos, Aug. 19, 2023
Next: April 13 vs. Yan Xiaonan


2. Alexa Grasso

UFC flyweight champion
Record: 16-3-1
Last: Split draw vs. Valentina Shevchenko, Sept. 16, 2023
Next: TBD


3. Valentina Shevchenko

UFC flyweight
Record: 22-4-1
Last: Split draw vs. Alexa Grasso, Sept. 16, 2023
Next: TBD


4. Cris Cyborg

Bellator featherweight champion
Record: 27-2, 1 NC
Last: W (TKO1) vs. Cat Zingano, Oct. 7, 2023
Next: TBD


5. Erin Blanchfield

UFC flyweight
Record: 12-1
Last: W (UD) vs. Taila Santos, Aug. 26, 2023
Next: March 30 vs. Manon Fiorot


6. Yan Xiaonan

UFC strawweight
Record: 17-3
Last: W (KO1) vs. Jessica Andrade, May 6, 2023
Next: April 13 vs. Zhang Weili


7. Tatiana Suarez

UFC strawweight
Record: 10-0
Last: W (Sub2) vs. Jessica Andrade, Aug. 5, 2023
Next: TBD


8. Raquel Pennington

UFC bantamweight champion
Record: 16-8
Last: W (UD) vs. Mayra Bueno Silva, Jan. 20, 2024
Next: TBD


T-9. Kayla Harrison

PFL featherweight
Record: 16-1
Last: L (UD) vs. Aspen Ladd, Nov. 24, 2023
Next: April 13 vs. Holly Holm


T-9. Larissa Pacheco

PFL featherweight champion
Record: 23-4
Last: W (UD) vs. Marina Mokhnatkina, Nov. 24, 2023
Next: TBD


Other fighters receiving votes: Seika Izawa, Manon Fiorot, Liz Carmouche, Amanda Lemos, Rose Namajunas and Julianna Peña.


How our panel voted

Brett Okamoto: 1. Zhang Weili; 2. Alexa Grasso; 3. Valentina Shevchenko; 4. Cris Cyborg. 5. Erin Blanchfield; 6. Tatiana Suarez; 7. Manon Fiorot; 8. Rose Namajunas; 9. Kayla Harrison; 10. Yan Xiaonan.

Marc Raimondi: 1. Zhang; 2. Cyborg; 3. Shevchenko; 4. Grasso; 5. Blanchfield; 6. Yan; 7. Seika Izawa; 8. Raquel Pennington; 9. Suarez; 10. Fiorot.

Megan Anderson: 1. Zhang; 2. Grasso; 3. Shevchenko; 4. Cyborg; 5. Blanchfield; 6. Yan; 7. Pennington; 8. Fiorot; 9. Suarez; 10. Julianna Peña.

Carlos Contreras Legaspi: 1. Zhang; 2. Grasso; 3. Shevchenko; 4. Cyborg; 5. Harrison; 6. Pennington; 7. Blanchfield; 8. Larissa Pacheco; 9. Yan; 10. Suarez.

Ian Parker: 1. Zhang; 2. Grasso; 3. Shevchenko; 4. Cyborg; 5. Blanchfield; 6. Suarez; 7. Pacheco; 8. Fiorot; 9. Harrison; 10. Namajunas.

Eddie Maisonet III: 1. Zhang; 2. Grasso; 3. Shevchenko; 4. Blanchfield; 5. Pacheco; 6. Cyborg; 7. Amanda Lemos; 8. Harrison; 9. Izawa; 10. Pennington.

Jeff Wagenheim: 1. Zhang; 2. Grasso; 3. Cyborg; 4. Shevchenko; 5. Blanchfield; 6. Yan; 7. Izawa; 8. Pennington; 9. Suarez; 10. Fiorot.