UFC divisional rankings: Huge clashes set as Fight Island kicks off at UFC 251 with three title bouts

Watch Now: Kamaru Usman and Jorge Masvidal Will Officially Headline UFC 251 (1:42)

It has been a roller coaster week for UFC 251, which takes place Saturday from Yas Island, Abu Dhabi. First, the planned main event of welterweight champion Kamaru Usman vs. Gilbert Burns was canceled when Burns tested positive for COVID-19. Then, as it seemed the featherweight title rematch between champ Alexander Volkanovski and Max Holloway would be bumped to the main event, the UFC managed to land the welterweight fight everyone wanted with Jorge Masvidal stepping in at the last minute to face Usman.

Usman vs. Masvidal joins Volkanovski vs. Holloway as clashes between No. 1 and 2 fighters in their respective divisions at UFC 251. There’s also the third title fight on the card with No. 1 ranked Petr Yan taking on No. 8 Jose Aldo for the bantamweight championship vacated when Henry Cejudo announced his retirement.

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It’s a stacked card that got better in the final week and one that could shake up the rankings across six divisions.

At UFC 251, there are six fights involving CBS Sports ranked fighters:

  • Welterweight: No. 1 Kamaru Usman (c) vs. No. 2 Jorge Masvidal
  • Featherweight: No. 1 Alexander Volkanovski (c) vs. No. 2 Max Holloway
  • Bantamweight: No. 1 Petr Yan vs. No. 8 Jose Aldo
  • Women’s Strawweight: No. 2 Jessica Andrade vs. No. 9 Rose Namajunas
  • Light Heavyweight: No. 7 Volkan Oezdemir vs. Jiri Prochazka
  • Flyweight: No. 10 Raulian Paiva vs. Zhalgas Zhumagulov

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Rankings are compiled following the submission of ballots by Brent Brookhouse, Brian Campbell, Jack Crosby and Brandon Wise. Without further ado, here’s where things stand ahead of Saturday’s card.

For Brian Campbell’s updated Pound for Pound Rankings, click here.

Flyweight

Fighter

Record

1. Deivieson Figueiredo

17-1

2. Joseph Benavidez

28-6

3. Brandon Moreno

17-5

4. Alexandre Pantoja

21-4

5. Matt Schnell

14-4

6. Kai Kara-France

21-8

7. Askar Askarov

11-0-1

8. Alex Perez

24-5

9. Jussier Formiga

23-8

10. Raulian Paiva

19-3

Bantamweight

Fighter

Record

1. Petr Yan

14-1

2. Aljamain Sterling

19-3

3. Marlon Moraes

23-6-1

T4. Cody Garbrandt

12-3

T4. Cory Sandhagen

12-2

T4. Pedro Munhoz

18-4

7. Jimmie Rivera

22-4

T8. Jose Aldo

28-6

T8. Raphael Assuncao

27-8

10. Sean O’Malley

12-0

Featherweight

Fighter

Record

1. Alexander Volkanovski (c)

22-1

2. Max Holloway

21-5

T3. Korean Zombie

16-5

T3. Zabit Magomedsharipov

18-1

5. Brian Ortega

14-1

6. Yair Rodriguez

12-2

7. Josh Emmett

16-2

8. Calvin Kattar

21-4

9. Dan Ige

14-2

10. Shane Burgos

13-2

Lightweight

Fighter

Record

1. Khabib Nurmagomedov (c)

28-0

2. Justin Gaethje

22-2

T3. Tony Ferguson

25-4

T3. Dustin Poirier

26-6

5. Dan Hooker

20-9

6. Conor McGregor

21-4

7. Charles Oliveira

29-8

8. Paul Felder 

17-5

9. Al Iaquinta

14-6-1

10. Islam Makhachev

18-1

Welterweight

Fighter

Record

1. Kamaru Usman (c)

16-1

2. Jorge Masvidal

35-13

3. Leon Edwards

18-3

4. Colby Covington

15-2

5. Gilbert Burns

19-3

6. Stephen Thompson

15-4-1

7. Tyron Woodley

19-5-1

8. Geoff Neal

13-2

9. Santiago Ponzinibbio

27-3

10. Michael Chiesa

17-4

Middleweight

Fighter

Record

1. Israel Adesanya (c)

19-0

2. Paulo Costa

13-0

3. Robert Whittaker

20-5

4. Jared Cannonier

13-4

5. Yoel Romero

13-5

6. Derek Brunson

20-7

7. Kelvin Gastelum

15-5

8. Jack Hermansson

20-5

9. Darren Till

18-2-1

10. Uriah Hall

15-9

Light heavyweight

Fighter

Record

1. Jon Jones (c)

26-1

2. Jan Blachowicz

26-8

3. Dominick Reyes

12-1

4. Thiago Santos

21-7

5. Corey Anderson

13-5

6. Glover Teixeira

31-7

7. Volkan Oezdemir

17-4

8. Anthony Smith

32-15

9. Aleksandr Rakic

12-2

10. Nikita Krylov

26-7

Heavyweight

Fighter

Record

1. Stipe Miocic (c)

19-3

2. Daniel Cormier

22-2

3. Francis Ngannou

15-3

4. Curtis Blaydes

14-2

5. Junior dos Santos

21-7

6. Derrick Lewis

23-7

7. Alistair Overeem

46-18

8. Alexander Volkov

31-8

9. Walt Harris

13-8

10. Jairzinho Rozenstruik

10-1

Women’s strawweight

Fighter

Record

1. Weili Zhang (c) 

21-1

T2. Jessica Andrade

20-7

T2. Tatiana Suarez

8-0

T2. Joanna Jedzejczyk

16-4

5. Claudia Gadelha

18-4

6. Nina Ansaroff 

10-6

7. Carla Esparza

15-6

8. Michelle Waterson

17-8

9. Rose Namajunas

8-4

10. Angela Hill

12-8

Women’s flyweight

Fighter

Record

1. Valentina Shevchenko (c)

19-3

2. Joanne Calderwood

14-4

3. Katlyn Chookagian

12-3

4. Cynthia Calvillo

9-1-1

5. Lauren Murphy

13-4

Women’s bantamweight

Fighter

Record

1. Amanda Nunes (c)

19-4

2. Aspen Ladd

9-1

3. Germaine de Randamie

9-4

4. Irene Aldana

11-5

5. Holly Holm 

12-5

6. Julianna Pena

9-3

7. Ketlen Vieira

10-1

8. Yana Kunitskaya

12-5

9. Raquel Pennington

11-8

10. Sara McMann

11-5

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