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Volkanovski kicks down the door, enters pound-for-pound rankings

Alexander Volkanovski was mighty revved up by his title-winning performance on Saturday. Chris Unger/Zuffa LLC/Getty Images

Max Holloway might be the greatest featherweight mixed martial artist of all time. Or maybe Jose Aldo is the GOAT. Which one is it? One person who is fully qualified to weigh in with an educated opinion on the matter is Alexander Volkanovski. He has beaten both MMA legends.

Volkanovski beat up Aldo right in the Brazilian's Rio de Janeiro backyard back in May for his 17th straight victory. Then, at UFC 245 on Saturday, Volkanovski added an 18th in a row -- and the 145-pound championship -- by defeating Holloway.

Along with the belt, the 31-year-old Australian has earned a place in the ESPN pound-for-pound fighter rankings.

Making a debut in the women's top 10 is flyweight Katlyn Chookagian, who ran her record to 13-2 by beating Jennifer Maia last month. It was her fifth victory in her past six bouts. On Feb. 25, Chookagian has the chance to make an even bigger splash when she challenges champion Valentina Shevchenko.

Beyond Volkanovski and Chookagian, welterweight champion Kamaru Usman made a move up the ranks on the strength of his UFC 245 victory. The other champion to defend on that night didn't move an inch, though. Amanda Nunes already was No. 1 and had nowhere to go.

(You can find Brett Okamoto's division-by-division rankings here.)

Note: Rankings were updated Jan. 21.

Men's pound-for-pound rankings

T-1. Jon Jones

Record: 25-1, 1 NC
Weight class: Light heavyweight
Last: W (SD) Thiago Santos, July 6
Next: Feb. 8 vs. Dominick Reyes

T-1. Khabib Nurmagomedov

Record: 28-0
Weight class: Lightweight
Last: W (SUB3) Dustin Poirier, Sept. 7
Next: April 18 vs. Tony Ferguson

3. Henry Cejudo

Record: 15-2
Weight class: Flyweight/bantamweight
Last: W (TKO3) Marlon Moraes, June 8
Next: TBD

4. Stipe Miocic

Record: 19-3
Weight class: Heavyweight
Last: W (TKO4) Daniel Cormier, Aug. 17
Next: TBD

5. Daniel Cormier

Record: 22-2, 1 NC
Weight class: Heavyweight
Last: L (TKO4) Stipe Miocic, Aug. 17
Next: TBD

6. Tony Ferguson

Record: 25-3
Weight class: Lightweight
Last: W (TKO2) Donald Cerrone, June 8
Next: April 18 vs. Khabib Nurmagomedov

7. Israel Adesanya

Record: 18-0
Weight class: Middleweight
Last: W (KO2) Robert Whittaker, Oct. 6
Next: TBD

8. Kamaru Usman

Record: 16-1
Weight class: Welterweight
Last: W (TKO5) Colby Covington, Dec. 14
Next: TBD

9. Demetrious Johnson

Record: 30-3-1
Weight class: Flyweight
Last: W (UD) Danny Kingad, Oct. 12
Next: TBD

10. Alexander Volkanovski

Record: 21-1
Weight class: Featherweight
Last: W (UD) Max Holloway, Dec. 14
Next: TBD

Other fighter receiving a vote: Dustin Poirier.

How our writers voted

Brett Okamoto
1. Khabib Nurmagomedov
2. Jon Jones
3. Henry Cejudo
4. Tony Ferguson
5. Israel Adesanya
6. Stipe Miocic
7. Kamaru Usman
8. Daniel Cormier
9. Demetrious Johnson
10. Alexander Volkanovski

Marc Raimondi
1. Jon Jones
2. Khabib Nurmagomedov
3. Daniel Cormier
4. Henry Cejudo
5. Tony Ferguson
6. Stipe Miocic
7. Kamaru Usman
8. Demetrious Johnson
9. Israel Adesanya
10. Alexander Volkanovski

Ariel Helwani
1. Jon Jones
2. Khabib Nurmagomedov
3. Henry Cejudo
4. Stipe Miocic
5. Daniel Cormier
6. Israel Adesanya
7. Kamaru Usman
8. Tony Ferguson
9. Alexander Volkanovski
10. Dustin Poirier

Jeff Wagenheim
1. Khabib Nurmagomedov
2. Jon Jones
3. Henry Cejudo
4. Stipe Miocic
5. Demetrious Johnson
6. Daniel Cormier
7. Tony Ferguson
8. Israel Adesanya
9. Kamaru Usman
10. Alexander Volkanovski


Women's pound-for-pound rankings

1. Amanda Nunes

Record: 19-4
Weight class: Bantamweight/featherweight
Last: W (UD) Germaine de Randamie, Dec. 14
Next: TBD

2. Valentina Shevchenko

Record: 18-3
Weight class: Flyweight
Last: W (UD) Liz Carmouche, Aug. 10
Next: Feb. 8 vs. Katlyn Chookagian

3. Cris Cyborg

Record: 21-2, 1 NC
Weight class: Featherweight
Last: W (UD) Felicia Spencer, July 27
Next: Jan. 25 vs. Julia Budd

4. Zhang Weili

Record: 20-1
Weight class: Strawweight
Last: W (TKO1) Jessica Andrade, Aug. 31
Next: March 7 vs. Joanna Jedrzejczyk

5. Rose Namajunas

Record: 9-4
Weight class: Strawweight
Last: L (TKO2) Jessica Andrade, May 11
Next: TBD

6. Joanna Jedrzejczyk

Record: 16-3
Weight class: Flyweight
Last: W (UD) Michelle Waterson, Oct. 12
Next: March 7 vs. Zhang Weili

7. Jessica Andrade

Record: 20-7
Weight class: Strawweight
Last: L (TKO1) Zhang Weili, Aug. 31
Next: TBD

8. Tatiana Suarez

Record: 8-0
Weight class: Strawweight
Last: W (UD) Nina Ansaroff, June 8
Next: TBD

9. Germaine de Randamie

Record: 9-4
Weight class: Bantamweight
Last: L (UD) Amanda Nunes, Dec. 14
Next: TBD

T-10. Katlyn Chookagian

Record: 13-2
Weight class: Flyweight
Last: W (UD) Jennifer Maia, Nov. 2
Next: TBD

T-10. Holly Holm

Record: 13-5
Weight class: Bantamweight
Last: W (UD) Raquel Pennington, Jan. 18
Next: TBD

How our writers voted

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

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

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

Jeff Wagenheim
1. Amanda Nunes
2. Cris Cyborg
3. Valentina Shevchenko
4. Zhang Weili
5. Rose Namajunas
6. Joanna Jedrzejczyk
7. Jessica Andrade
8. Tatiana Suarez
9. Germaine de Randamie
10. Katlyn Chookagian