Divisional rankings: Welterweight

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 January 23

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. Rory MacDonald (20-4)
MacDonald has claimed Bellator's welterweight championship, just as many predicted he would do, but it certainly wasn't easy against the perennially underrated Douglas Lima at Bellator 192. A rematch someday seems warranted, but we'll see where MacDonald goes from here. It's his division now.
Next: TBD

3. 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

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: TBD

5. Douglas Lima (30-7)
Lima came up just short in a high-profile Bellator title bout against Rory MacDonald in January. He continues to fly under the radar, but anyone paying attention knows he's one of the best in the world. Perhaps we'll see him go against MacDonald again at some point.
Next: TBD

6. Robbie Lawler (28-12)
Lawler is looking at a lengthy layoff, following a torn ACL injury in December. He's 1-2 in his last three fights, and it's only natural to wonder how much longer he has at the absolute top of this division. Something tells us he's not done up there yet.
Next: TBD

7. 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

8. 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

9. Darren Till (16-0-1)

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