UFC Rankings Rant: Ronda Rousey is Not a Top 10 Pound-for-Pound Fighter

By McKinley Noble
UFC 175 Ronda Rousey
Stephen R. Sylvanie-USA Today Sports

It’s not very hard to argue that UFC champion Ronda Rousey is the greatest female fighter in MMA history.

With just three years logged in the sport as a professional, the Olympian judoka stands alone at the top of women’s division with nary a single decent challenger in sight. Undefeated with a 10-0 record — not counting a stellar 3-0 amateur run — Rousey has effortlessly beaten everyone in her path, including all-time women’s MMA greats like Miesha Tate and Sarah Kaufman, solidifying her place in the history books.

However, none of that means Rousey is one of the “pound-for-pound” best active fighters in all of mixed martial arts.

Yes, compared to the rest of the UFC’s female bantamweights, Rousey’s untouchable. But when you put her achievements up against that of UFC champions and top-ranked contenders from almost any other division, even Rousey’s dominance simply doesn’t measure up.

Can you really say that Rousey is an all-around better fighter than UFC welterweight champion Johny Hendricks? Or how about former UFC lightweight champion Benson Henderson?

Both of those fighters (and several others) deserve to be ranked at the top of their divisions just like Rousey. However, the key difference is that most of the UFC’s other top names had to defeat vastly better competition along the way to claim their rankings spots. Pound-for-pound, every other UFC weight class simply has better fighters.

But as of July 9, the official UFC rankings — aggregated by ballots from hapless, uneducated radio hosts and bloggers — now have Rousey ranked above fighters with far superior resumes:

UFC Rankings, Pound-for-Pound

1. Jon Jones
2. Jose Aldo
3. Cain Velasquez
4. Demetrious Johnson
5. Chris Weidman
6. Anthony Pettis
7. Anderson Silva
8. Renan Barao
9. Ronda Rousey
10. Johny Hendricks
11. T.J. Dillashaw
12. Vitor Belfort
13. Benson Henderson
14. Alexander Gustafsson
15. Gilbert Melendez

As good as Rousey has been over the years, her placement in the rankings simply holds no water when you consider the shallowness of the UFC women’s 135-pound division.

Keep in mind, this is a weight class that’s so weak, two of its “Top 15” fighters (Jessica Rakoczy and Raquel Pennington) actually have losing records. Even the worst UFC fighters in the next weakest divisions are at least batting more than a .500 average with their win-loss tallies. Women’s MMA, on the other hand, simply doesn’t have a single division with that kind of history, depth or talent — which is one major reason why an athletic genius like Rousey stands out so far ahead of her pack.

McKinley Noble is an MMA conspiracy theorist. Follow him at @KenTheGreat1 on Twitter, send a “Like” via Facebook or add him to your network via Google.

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