USA TODAY Sports/MMA Junkie rankings, Nov. 17: RDA’s big lightweight return

Pound For Pound Rankings

As Nurmagomedov seemingly rides off into the sunset, he ascends to No. 1 status in the pound-for-pound ranks with an absolutely scintillating win over Justin Gaethje.

Already considered one of the greatest fighters of all-time, Jones said he wants to turn his attention to heavyweight in hopes of building an even more impressive legacy – though he seems awfully caught up in Israel Adesanya at the moment.

While we’re still waiting on an official announcement, it seems Adesanya is going to be gunning for UFC champ-champ status soon against Jan Blachowicz.

After fulfilling his dream of adding a global belt to his collection of championships, ‘Mighty Mouse’ now looks to add ONE’s flyweight belt to the grand prix title he already earned.

Usman may not be the most popular figure on the UFC roster, but he’s certainly effective and is starting to put his name in the history books with his dominant run.

With his trilogy win over Daniel Cormier secured, Miocic is widely considered the greatest heavyweight in UFC history – and perhaps even all of MMA.

Bader was certainly disappointed to lose his Bellator champ-champ status, but he does still have one belt and promises to return in top form.

It wasn’t as convincing as the first time around, but Volkanovski picked up a second win over Max Holloway and says he wants to continue taking out top contenders.

Poirier continues to be one of the most exciting fighters in the game, and his grit is immeasurable – qualities he hopes will net him another UFC title shot in the near future.

Khabib Nurmagomedov proved to be too much for Justin Gaethje at UFC 254, but ‘The Highlight’ could very well get another title shot in the very near future.

With a fantastic win over Jared Cannonier, Whittaker proved himself the No. 1 contender in the UFC’s middleweight division but made it clear he doesn’t want to fight again until 2021.

Costa was frustrated after suffering the first loss of his career and has been campaigning for a rematch with Israel Adesanya, though it certainly doesn’t seem to be in the cards right now.

Honorable Mentions

USA TODAY Sports/MMA Junkie rankings, Nov. 17: RDA’s big lightweight return

It’s quite a busy run for MMA, as we enter the third straight November week in which we have major events from Bellator and the UFC, and Contender Series on Tuesday, to boot.

Last week, Raphael dos Anjos partied like it’s 2015. The former UFC lightweight champion had found middling success over the past few years at welterweight. But he returned to the weight class over which he formerly ruled on Saturday at UFC Fight Night 182.

There, he took on a game last-minute foe in the always tough Paul Felder. And he showed the form at 155 which made him champ. RDA got two 50-45 scores in the fight, an accurate portrayal of the bout, along with a nonsensical 48-47 Felder for which officially made the fight a split decision.

Dos Anjos, then, dives right back into the sport’s deepest pool, as he places No. 7 in the new USA TODAY Sports/MMA Junkie rankings.

The UFC’s card came two nights after an eventful Bellator 252. In the evening’s main event, lightweight and featherweight champ Patricio Freire made short work of Pedro Carvalho in a fight which was both for Freire’s latter title and also a quarterfinal fight in the grand prix tournament.

So where did “Pitbull,” who is just now starting to get his due as one of the world’s truly elite competitors, rank at featherweight after another impressive finish To find out where both he all the other competitors who scored big wins place, click on the drop-down menu at the top of the page.

Ranking Criteria

The rankings take into account a fighter’s wins/losses, quality of competition, finishing rate/dominance and frequency of fights.

Fighters are no longer eligible to be ranked after they’ve been inactive for 24 months, either due to injuries, drug/conduct suspensions, contract disputes or self-imposed hiatuses.

Fighters serving drug/conduct suspensions are eligible to be ranked, so long as they’re not inactive for more than 24 months.

To the best of our ability, fighters will be ranked in their primary weight class. Catchweight fights and bouts outside the fighter’s primary weight class can have a positive or negative impact on the ranking. However, non-titleholders can be ranked in only one weight class at a given time, and in most cases, they won’t be ranked in a new weight class until they’ve had their first fight at that weight.