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MMA divisional rankings: Pereira was No. 7 middleweight before UFC 281 changed everything

Alex Pereira finished Israel Adesanya in the fifth round at UFC 281 to win the middleweight championship. Jamie Squire/Getty Images

Alex Pereira became UFC middleweight champion at last weekend's UFC 281, and Zhang Weili regained the strawweight title that same night at Madison Square Garden. The latest ESPN divisional rankings reflect that there are new names at the top.

Pereira, whose fifth-round knockout ended the three-year reign of Israel Adesanya, was in just his eighth pro MMA fight after being a two-division Glory kickboxing world champ. Going into Saturday's title fight, he was No. 7 in the ESPN rankings. Now he's No. 1.

So is Zhang, who moved up from No. 3 on the strength of her dethroning of Carla Esparza at UFC 281. Zhang originally became 115-pound champ in 2019, lost the belt last year and now owns the title once again.

For the ESPN pound-for-pound MMA rankings, click here. For a list of current UFC champions in all weight classes, click here.

Note: Results are current; rankings as of Nov. 17.

Heavyweight - Light heavyweight - Middleweight - Welterweight
Lightweight - Men's featherweight - Men's bantamweight
Men's flyweight - Women's bantamweight - Women's flyweight - Strawweight

HEAVYWEIGHT (up to 265 pounds)

1. Francis Ngannou

Promotion: UFC champion
Record: 17-3
Last: W (UD) Ciryl Gane, Jan. 22, 2022
Next: TBD


2. Ciryl Gane

Promotion: UFC
Record: 11-1
Last: W (KO3) Tai Tuivasa, Sept. 3, 2022
Next: TBD


3. Stipe Miocic

Promotion: UFC
Record: 12-4
Last: L (KO2) Francis Ngannou, March 27, 2021
Next: TBD


4. Curtis Blaydes

Promotion: UFC
Record: 17-3, 1 NC
Last: W (TKO1) Tom Aspinall, July 23, 2022
Next: TBD


5. Tai Tuivasa

Promotion: UFC
Record: 14-4
Last: L (KO3) Ciryl Gane, Sept. 3, 2022
Next: Dec. 3 vs. Sergei Pavlovich


6. Tom Aspinall

Promotion: UFC
Record: 12-3
Last: L (TKO1) Curtis Blaydes, July 23, 2022
Next: TBD


7. Sergei Pavlovich

Promotion: UFC
Record: 16-1
Last: W (TKO1) Derrick Lewis, July 30, 2022
Next: Dec. 3 vs. Tai Tuivasa


8. Derrick Lewis

Promotion: UFC
Record: 26-10, 1 NC
Last: L (TKO1) Sergei Pavlovich, July 30, 2022
Next: TBD


9. Alexander Volkov

Promotion: UFC
Record: 35-10
Last: W (TKO1) Jairzinho Rozenstruik, June 4, 2022
Next: TBD


10. Ryan Bader

Promotion: Bellator champion
Record: 30-7, 1 NC
Last: W (UD) Cheick Kongo, May 6, 2022
Next: Feb. 4 vs. Fedor Emelianenko


LIGHT HEAVYWEIGHT (up to 205 pounds)

1. Jiri Prochazka

Promotion: UFC
Record: 29-3-1
Last: W (Sub5) Glover Teixeira, June 11, 2022
Next: TBD


2. Glover Teixeira

Promotion: UFC
Record: 33-8
Last: L (Sub5) Jiri Prochazka, June 11, 2022
Next: TBD


3. Jan Blachowicz

Promotion: UFC
Record: 29-9
Last: W (TKO3) Aleksandar Rakic, May 14, 2022
Next: Dec. 10 vs. Magomed Ankalaev


4. Magomed Ankalaev

Promotion: UFC
Record: 18-1
Last: W (TKO2) Anthony Smith, July 30, 2022
Next: Dec. 10 vs. Jan Blachowicz


5. Corey Anderson

Promotion: Bellator
Record: 16-6, 1 NC
Last: L (UD) Vadim Nemkov, Nov. 18, 2022
Next: TBD


6. Aleksandar Rakic

Promotion: UFC
Record: 14-3
Last: L (TKO3) Jan Blachowicz, May 14, 2022
Next: TBD


7. Jamahal Hill

Promotion: UFC
Record: 11-1, 1 NC
Last: W (TKO4) Thiago Santos, Aug. 6, 2022
Next: TBD


8. Vadim Nemkov

Promotion: Bellator champion
Record: 16-2, 1 NC
Last: W (UD) Corey Anderson, Nov. 18, 2022
Next: Feb. 4 vs. Yoel Romero


9. Anthony Smith

Promotion: UFC
Previous ranking: Unranked
Record: 36-17
Last: L (TKO2) Magomed Ankalaev, July 30, 2022
Next: TBD


10. Nikita Krylov

Promotion: UFC
Record: 29-9
Last: W (UD) Volkan Oezdemir, Oct. 22, 2022
Next: TBD


MIDDLEWEIGHT (up to 185 pounds)

1. Alex Pereira

Promotion: UFC champion
Previous ranking: 7
Record: 7-1
Last: W (TKO5) Israel Adesanya, Nov. 12, 2022
Next: TBD


2. Israel Adesanya

Promotion: UFC
Previous ranking: 1
Record: 23-2
Last: L (TKO5) Alex Pereira, Nov. 12, 2022
Next: TBD


3. Robert Whittaker

Promotion: UFC
Previous ranking: 2
Record: 24-6
Last: W (UD) Marvin Vettori, Sept. 3, 2022
Next: Feb. 12 vs. Paulo Costa


4. Marvin Vettori

Promotion: UFC
Previous ranking: 3
Record: 18-6-1
Last: L (UD) Robert Whittaker, Sept. 3, 2022
Next: TBD


5. Jared Cannonier

Promotion: UFC
Previous ranking: 4
Record: 15-6
Last: L (UD) Israel Adesanya, July 2, 2022
Next: Dec. 17 vs. Sean Strickland


6. Paulo Costa

Promotion: UFC
Previous ranking: 5
Record: 14-2
Last: W (UD) Luke Rockhold, Aug. 20, 2022
Next: Feb. 12 vs. Robert Whittaker


7. Derek Brunson

Promotion: UFC
Previous ranking: 6
Record: 23-8
Last: L (KO2) Jared Cannonier, Feb. 12, 2022
Next: TBD


8. Johnny Eblen

Promotion: Bellator champion
Record: 12-0
Last: W (UD) Gegard Mousasi, June 24, 2022
Next: TBD


9. Sean Strickland

Promotion: UFC
Record: 25-4
Last: L (KO1) Alex Pereira, July 2, 2022
Next: Dec. 17 vs. Jared Cannonier


10. Gegard Mousasi

Promotion: Bellator
Record: 49-8-2
Last: L (UD) Johnny Eblen, June 24, 2022
Next: TBD


WELTERWEIGHT (up to 170 pounds)

1. Leon Edwards

Promotion: UFC champion
Record: 20-3, 1 NC
Last: W (KO5) Kamaru Usman, Aug. 20, 2022
Next: TBD


2. Kamaru Usman

Promotion: UFC
Record: 20-2
Last: L (KO5) Leon Edwards, Aug. 20, 2022
Next: TBD


3. Colby Covington

Promotion: UFC
Record: 17-3
Last: W (UD) Jorge Masvidal, March 5, 2022
Next: TBD


4. Khamzat Chimaev

Promotion: UFC
Record: 12-0
Last: W (Sub1) Kevin Holland, Sept. 10, 2022
Next: TBD


5. Gilbert Burns

Promotion: UFC
Record: 20-5
Last: L (UD) Khamzat Chimaev, April 9, 2022
Next: Jan. 21 vs. Neil Magny


6. Belal Muhammad

Promotion: UFC
Record: 22-3, 1 NC
Last: W (TKO2) Sean Brady, Oct. 22, 2022
Next: TBD


7. Yaroslav Amosov

Promotion: Bellator champion
Record: 26-0
Last: W (UD) Douglas Lima, June 11, 2021
Next: Feb. 25 vs. Logan Storley


8. Stephen Thompson

Promotion: UFC
Record: 16-6-1
Last: L (UD) Belal Muhammad, Dec. 18, 2021
Next: Dec. 3 vs. Kevin Holland


9. Geoff Neal

Promotion: UFC
Record: 15-4
Last: W (KO3) Vicente Luque, Aug. 6, 2022
Next: Jan. 25 vs. Shavkat Rakhmonov


10. Shavkat Rakhmonov

Promotion: UFC
Record: 16-0
Last: W (Sub2) Neil Magny, June 25, 2022
Next: Jan. 14 vs. Geoff Neal


LIGHTWEIGHT (up to 155 pounds)

1. Islam Makhachev

Promotion: UFC champion
Record: 22-1
Last: W (Sub2) Charles Oliveira, Oct. 22, 2022
Next: Feb. 11 vs. Alexander Volkanovski


2. Charles Oliveira

Promotion: UFC
Record: 33-9, 1 NC
Last: L (Sub2) Islam Makhachev, Oct. 22, 2022
Next: TBD


3. Beneil Dariush

Promotion: UFC
Record: 22-4-1
Last: W (UD) Mateusz Gamrot, Oct. 22, 2022
Next: TBD


4. Dustin Poirier

Promotion: UFC
Record: 29-7, 1 NC
Last: W (Sub3) Michael Chandler, Nov. 12, 2022
Next: TBD


5. Justin Gaethje

Promotion: UFC
Record: 23-4
Last: L (Sub1) Charles Oliveira, May 7, 2022
Next: TBD


6. Rafael Fiziev

Promotion: UFC
Previous ranking: 7
Record: 26-6
Last: W (KO5) Rafael dos Anjos, July 9, 2022
Next: TBD


7. Michael Chandler

Promotion: UFC
Previous ranking: 6
Record: 23-8
Last: L (Sub3) Dustin Poirier, Nov. 12, 2022
Next: TBD


8. Rafael dos Anjos

Promotion: UFC
Record: 31-15
Last: L (KO5) Rafael Fiziev, July 9, 2022
Next: Dec. 3 vs. Bryan Barberena


9. Mateusz Gamrot

Promotion: UFC
Record: 21-2, 1 NC
Last: L (UD) Beneil Dariush, Oct. 22, 2022
Next: TBD


10. Arman Tsarukyan

Promotion: UFC
Record: 18-3
Last: L (UD) Mateusz Gamrot, June 25, 2022
Next: Dec. 17 vs. Damir Ismagulov


MEN'S FEATHERWEIGHT (up to 145 pounds)

1. Alexander Volkanovski

Promotion: UFC champion
Record: 25-1
Last: W (UD) Max Holloway, July 2, 2022
Next: Feb. 11 vs. Islam Makhachev


2. Max Holloway

Promotion: UFC
Record: 23-7
Last: L (UD) Alexander Volkanovski, July 2, 2022
Next: TBD


3. Patricio Freire

Promotion: Bellator champion
Record: 34/-5
Last: W (UD) Adam Borics, Oct. 1, 2022
Next: Dec. 31 vs. Kleber Koike Erbst


4. Yair Rodriguez

Promotion: UFC
Record: 14-3, 1 NC
Last: W (TKO1) Brian Ortega, July 16, 2022
Next: Feb. 11 vs Josh Emmett


5. Brian Ortega

Promotion: UFC
Record: 15-3, 1 NC
Last: L (TKO1) Yair Rodriguez, July 16, 2022
Next: TBD


6. A.J. McKee

Promotion: Bellator
Record: 19-1
Last: L (UD) Spike Carlyle, Oct. 1, 2022
Next: Dec. 31 vs. Roberto de Souza


7. Josh Emmett

Promotion: UFC
Record: 18-2
Last: W (SD) Calvin Kattar, June 18, 2022
Next: Feb. 11 vs. Yair Rodriguez


8. Arnold Allen

Promotion: UFC
Record: 19-1
Last: W (TKO2) Calvin Kattar, Oct. 29, 2022
Next: TBD


9. Calvin Kattar

Promotion: UFC
Record: 23-7
Last: L (TKO2) Arnold Allen, Oct. 29, 2022
Next: TBD


10. Giga Chikadze

Promotion: UFC
Record: 14-3
Last: L (UD) Calvin Kattar, Jan. 15, 2022
Next: TBD


MEN'S BANTAMWEIGHT (up to 135 pounds)

1. Aljamain Sterling

Promotion: UFC champion
Record: 22-3
Last: W (TKO2) TJ Dillashaw, Oct. 22, 2022
Next: TBD


2. Sean O'Malley

Promotion: UFC
Record: 16-1, 1 NC
Last: W (SD) Petr Yan, Oct. 22, 2022
Next: TBD


3. Marlon Vera

Promotion: UFC
Record: 20-7-1
Last: W (KO4) Dominick Cruz, Aug. 13, 2022
Next: TBD


4. Petr Yan

Promotion: UFC
Record: 16-4
Last: L (SD) Sean O'Malley, Oct. 22, 2022
Next: TBD


5. Merab Dvalishvili

Promotion: UFC
Record: 15-4
Last: W (UD) Jose Aldo, Aug. 20, 2022
Next: TBD


6. TJ Dillashaw

Promotion: UFC
Record: 17-5
Last: L (TKO2) Aljamain Sterling, Oct. 22, 2022
Next: TBD


7. Cory Sandhagen

Promotion: UFC
Record: 15-4
Last: W (TKO4) Song Yadong, Sept. 17, 2022
Next: TBD


8. Sergio Pettis

Promotion: Bellator champion
Record: 22-5
Last: W (KO4) Kyoji Horiguchi, Dec. 3, 2021
Next: TBD


9. Rob Font

Promotion: UFC
Record: 19-6
Last: L (UD) Marlon Vera, April 30, 2022
Next: TBD


10. Raufeon Stots

Promotion: Bellator
Record: 18-1
Last: W (KO3) Juan Archuleta, April 23, 2022
Next: Dec. 9 vs. Danny Sabatello


MEN'S FLYWEIGHT (up to 125 pounds)

1. Deiveson Figueiredo

Promotion: UFC champion
Record: 21-2-1
Last: W (UD) Brandon Moreno, Jan. 22, 2022
Next: Jan. 21 vs. Brandon Moreno


2. Brandon Moreno

Promotion: UFC interim champion
Record: 20-6-2
Last: W (TKO3) Kai Kara-France, July 30, 2022
Next: Jan. 21 vs. Deiveson Figueiredo


3. Demetrious Johnson

Promotion: One Championship champion
Record: 31-4-1
Last: W (KO4) Adriano Moraes, Aug. 26, 2022
Next: TBD


4. Kai Kara-France

Promotion: UFC
Record: 24-10, 1 NC
Last: L (TKO3) Brandon Moreno, July 30, 2022
Next: TBD


5. Adriano Moraes

Promotion: One Championship
Record: 20-4
Last: L (KO4) Demetrious Johnson, Aug. 26, 2022
Next: TBD


6. Alexandre Pantoja

Promotion: UFC
Record: 25-5
Last: W (Sub1) Alex Perez, July 30, 2022
Next: TBD


7. Askar Askarov

Promotion: Unsigned
Record: 14-1-1
Last: L (UD) Kai Kara-France, March 26, 2022
Next: TBD


8. Brandon Royval

Promotion: UFC
Record: 14-6
Last: W (Sub1) Matt Schnell, May 7, 2022
Next: Dec. 17 vs. Amir Albazi


9. Rogerio Bontorin

Promotion: Unsigned
Record: 17-4, 1 NC
Last: L (SD) Brandon Royval, Jan. 15, 2022
Next: TBD


10. Matheus Nicolau

Promotion: UFC
Record: 18-2-1
Last: W (UD) David Dvorak, March 26, 2022
Next: TBD


WOMEN'S BANTAMWEIGHT (up to 135 pounds)

1. Amanda Nunes

Promotion: UFC champion
Record: 22-5
Last: W (UD) Julianna Peña, July 30, 2022
Next: TBD


2. Julianna Peña

Promotion: UFC
Record: 11-5
Last: L (UD) Amanda Nunes, July 30, 2022
Next: TBD


3. Ketlen Vieira

Promotion: UFC
Record: 13-2
Last: W (SD) Holly Holm, May 21, 2022
Next: TBD


4. Holly Holm

Promotion: UFC
Record: 14-6
Last: L (SD) Ketlen Vieira, May 21, 2022
Next: TBD


5. Raquel Pennington

Promotion: UFC
Record: 14-8
Last: W (UD) Aspen Ladd, April 9, 2022
Next: TBD


6. Irene Aldana

Promotion: UFC
Record: 14-6
Last: W (KO3) Macy Chiasson, Sept. 10, 2022
Next: TBD


7. Yana Kunitskaya

Promotion: UFC
Record: 14-6, 1 NC
Last: L (TKO1) Irene Aldana, July 10, 2021
Next: TBD


8. Sara McMann

Promotion: UFC
Record: 13-6
Last: W (UD) Karol Rosa, March 26, 2022
Next: TBD


9. Macy Chiasson

Promotion: UFC
Record: 8-3
Last: L (KO3) Irene Aldana, Sept. 10, 2022
Next: TBD


10. Pannie Kianzad

Promotion: UFC
Record: 16-6
Last: W (UD) Lina Lansberg, April 16, 2022
Next: TBD


WOMEN'S FLYWEIGHT (up to 125 pounds)

1. Valentina Shevchenko

Promotion: UFC champion
Record: 23-3
Last: W (SD) Taila Santos, June 11, 2022
Next: TBD


2. Jessica Andrade

Promotion: UFC
Record: 23-9
Last: W (Sub1) Amanda Lemos, April 23, 2022
Next: Jan. 21 vs. Lauren Murphy


3. Manon Fiorot

Promotion: UFC
Record: 10-1
Last: W (UD) Katlyn Chookagian, Oct. 22, 2022
Next: TBD


4. Katlyn Chookagian

Promotion: UFC
Record: 18-5
Last: L (UD) Manon Fiorot, Oct. 22, 2022
Next: TBD


5. Lauren Murphy

Promotion: UFC
Record: 16-5
Last: W (UD) Miesha Tate, July 16, 2022
Next: Jan. 21 vs. Jessica Andrade


6. Alexa Grasso

Promotion: UFC
Record: 15-3
Last: W (UD) Viviane Araujo, Oct. 15, 2022
Next: TBD


7. Taila Santos

Promotion: UFC
Record: 19-1
Last: L (SD) Valentina Shevchenko, June 11, 2022
Next: TBD


8. Liz Carmouche

Promotion: Bellator champ
Record: 17-7
Last: W (TKO4) Juliana Velasquez, April 22, 2022
Next: Dec. 9 vs. Juliana Velasquez


9. Juliana Velasquez

Promotion: Bellator
Record: 12-1
Last: L (TKO4) Liz Carmouche, April 22, 2022
Next: Dec. 9 vs. Liz Carmouche


10. Viviane Araujo

Promotion: UFC
Record: 11-4
Last: L (UD) Alexa Grasso, Oct. 15, 2022
Next: TBD


STRAWWEIGHT (up to 115 pounds)

1. Zhang Weili

Promotion: UFC champion
Previous ranking: 3
Record: 23-2
Last: W (Sub2) Carla Esparza, Nov. 12, 2022
Next: TBD


2. Carla Esparza

Promotion: UFC
Previous ranking: 1
Record: 19-7
Last: L (Sub2) Zhang Weili, Nov. 12, 2022
Next: TBD


3. Rose Namajunas

Promotion: UFC
Previous ranking: 2
Record: 11-5
Last: L (SD) Carla Esparza, May 7, 2022
Next: TBD


4. Amanda Lemos

Promotion: UFC
Previous ranking: 9
Record: 12-2-1
Last: W (TKO3) Marina Rodriguez, Nov. 5, 2022
Next: TBD


5. Marina Rodriguez

Promotion: UFC
Previous ranking: 4
Record: 16-2-2
Last: L (TKO3) Amanda Lemos, Nov. 5, 2022
Next: TBD


6. Yan Xiaonan

Promotion: UFC
Previous ranking: 5
Record: 14-3, 1 NC
Last: W (MD) Mackenzie Dern, Oct. 1, 2022
Next: TBD


7. Mackenzie Dern

Promotion: UFC
Previous ranking: 6
Record: 12-3
Last: L (MD) Yan Xiaonan, Oct. 1, 2022
Next: TBD


8. Tecia Torres

Promotion: UFC
Previous ranking: 7
Record: 12-6
Last: L (SD) Mackenzie Dern, April 9, 2022
`Next: TBD


9. Amanda Ribas

Promotion: UFC
Previous ranking: 8
Record: 11-3
Last: L (SD) Katlyn Chookagian, May 14, 2022
Next: Dec. 3 vs. Tracy Cortez


10. Michelle Waterson-Gomez

Promotion: UFC
Record: 18-10
Last: L (Sub2) Amanda Lemos, July 16
Next: TBD