Newly Updated UFC Rankings Lead to Disagreement Among MMA Pundits

Alex Pereira

Getty Alex Pereira

The UFC’s official rankings were updated to reflect the action from UFC 276 on Saturday night, however some MMA pundits don’t agree with the results.

Specifically, “The MMA Hour’s” Ariel Helwani and TSN’s Aaron Bronsteter are confused as to why Alex Pereira isn’t ranked in the middleweight division’s top five.

“Poatan” competed during the July 2 main card and he drew the then-No. 4-ranked 185-pound combatant, Sean Strickland. It was only Pereira’s third fight inside the Octagon and he entered the bout unranked. However, that didn’t stop him from lighting Strickland up, knocking out the American within three minutes of the opening bell.

Many would think that if a fighter defeats a higher-ranked opponent, especially in devastating fashion, they’d take that athlete’s spot in the standings. That wasn’t the case, however, as Poatan only sits at No. 6.

Strickland fell from No. 4 to No. 7 while Marvin Vettori, Derek Brunson and Paulo Costa all moved up one spot. Vettori is now tied with Jared Cannonier at No. 2, Brunson is No. 4 and Costa is No. 5.

Bronsteter shared a screenshot of the new rankings:

Helwani Said Pereira Would Be Higher Than Costa ‘In Any Sensible Ranking,’ Bronsteter Cant Wrap His ‘Head Around’ Pereira Sitting at No. 6

Helwani then replied to Bronsteter’s tweet, questioning why Pereira didn’t move past Costa, a man who hasn’t earned a win as a middleweight, or in general, since August 2019.

“Costa hasn’t won a fight in 3 years,” Helwani wrote. “Pereira should be above him in any sensible ranking.”

Bronsteter then replied to Helwani, tweeting: “I haven’t been able to wrap my head around it. He demolished the #4 ranked fighter and somehow only gets ranked #6.”

Footwear News’ Peter Verry then asked: “Correct me if I’m wrong, but doesn’t the lower ranked fighter typically assume the spot of the higher ranked fighter in the UFC divisional rankings if he or she beats them? Shouldn’t Pereira be No. 4?”

“Typically, but there are no hard and fast rules,” Bronsteter replied.

Former UFC featherweight champion Max Holloway fell two spots in the pound-for-pound standings, dropping from six to eight following his decisive defeat to current king Alexander Volkanovsi at UFC 276.

Earlier in the night, women’s flyweight Maycee Barber earned a unanimous decision win over Jessica Eye, and she swapped spots with the now-retired fighter, hitting No. 10 while Eye dropped to 13.

Rankings Are Determined By Media Member Voting

The official UFC rankings are updated weekly to reflect fight results, retirements, etc, and they are determined by a group of voting media members. The UFC’s website explains:

“Rankings were generated by a voting panel made up of media members. The media members were asked to vote for who they feel are the top fighters in the UFC by weight-class and pound-for-pound. A fighter is only eligible to be voted on if they are in active status in the UFC.

“A fighter can appear in more than one weight division at a time. The champion and interim champion are considered to be in the top positions of their respective divisions and therefore are not eligible for voting by weight-class. However, the champions can be voted on for the pound-for-pound rankings.”

The UFC also discloses who is a part of the rankings panel:

“The rankings panel is comprised of media members from the following outlets: KHON Honolulu, MMA Oddsbreaker, CFMU 93.3,, FightNews, Fight Network, Gazeta Esportiva, Cherokee Scout, Burbank Leader, MMA Weekly, KIOZ 105.3,, Wrestling Observer, Top Turtle Podcast, MMA Fight Radio, BoxeoMundial,, MMA Soldier, MMA NYTT, Blood & Sweat, Inside Fighting Radio.”

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