Pound for pound is a ranking used in combat sports, such as boxing,wrestling, or mixed martial arts, of who the better fighters are relative to their weight, i.e. adjusted to compensate for weight class. As these fighters do not compete directly, judging the best fighter pound for pound is subjective, and ratings vary. They may be based on a range of criteria including "quality of opposition", factors such as how exciting the fighter is or how famous they are, or be an attempt to determine who would win if all those ranked were the same size.
In boxing, the term was historically associated with fighters such as Benny Leonard and Sugar Ray Robinson who were widely considered to be the most skilled fighters of their day, to distinguish them from the generally more popular (and better compensated) heavyweight champions.Since 1990, The Ring magazine has maintained a pound for pound ranking of fighters.
Some mixed martial arts promotions have pound-for-pound rankings, including Ultimate Fighting Championship since 2013, and Bellator MMA since 2021.There are also multiple unofficial MMA pound-for-pound rankings, including by ESPN.com, Sherdog and Tapology.
Combat Press and Beyond Kick publish pound-for-pound rankings for kickboxing / Muay Thai.
Mixed martial arts (MMA), sometimes referred to as cage fighting, no holds barred (NHB), and ultimate fighting, is a full-contact combat sport based on striking, grappling and ground fighting, incorporating techniques from various combat sports and martial arts from around the world. The first documented use of the term mixed martial arts was in a review of UFC 1 by television critic Howard Rosenberg in 1993. The question of who actually coined the term is subject to debate.
Featherweight is a weight class in the combat sports of boxing, kickboxing, mixed martial arts, and Greco-Roman wrestling. It is anybody from 57 to 60 kg.
Holly Rene Holm is an American mixed martial artist who competes in the Ultimate Fighting Championship. She is the former UFC Women's Bantamweight Champion, and a former professional boxer and kickboxer. She was a multiple-time world champion in boxing, defending her titles 18 times in three weight classes, and a two-time Ring magazine fighter of the year. She is ranked by BoxRec as the best female professional boxer of all time. She has the notable distinction of being the first fighter to hold a world boxing title and a UFC title.
Gegard Mousasi, is a Dutch mixed martial artist and former kickboxer, currently competing in Bellator MMA, where he is the two-time and current Bellator Middleweight Champion. As of March 29, 2021 he is #3 in the Bellator men's pound-for-pound rankings. He is also the former DREAM Light Heavyweight Champion, former DREAM Middleweight Champion, former Cage Warriors World Middleweight Champion, and the former Strikeforce Light Heavyweight Champion, thus making Mousasi an overall six-time MMA world champion. At the moment of his departure from the UFC in July 2017, he was #4 in the official UFC middleweight rankings, and he is currently ranked the #3 Middleweight MMA fighter and the #9 pound-for-pound fighter in the world by Fight Matrix.
Paul Anthony Daley is an English professional mixed martial artist and kickboxer. A professional competitor since 2003, Daley has formerly competed for the UFC, Bellator MMA, Cage Rage, Final Fight Championship, Strikeforce, EliteXC, ShoXC, BAMMA, Cage Warriors, Cage Contender, Shark Fights, Pancrase, and Impact FC. Daley is a former Cage Rage World Welterweight Champion and Cage Rage British Welterweight Champion. As of May 25, 2021, he is #6 in the Bellator Welterweight Rankings.
Raymond Lee Daniels is an American Kenpoist, Karateka, Tae Kwon Do practitioner, kickboxer and mixed martial artist known for his flashy and aggressive style of fighting. He currently competes for Bellator MMA and Bellator Kickboxing, where he is the current Bellator Kickboxing Welterweight Champion.
Fedor Vladimirovich Emelianenko is a Russian heavyweight mixed martial artist (MMA), sambist, and judoka, currently competing for Rizin Fighting Federation and Bellator MMA. He has won championships and accolades in multiple sports, most notably in MMA Pride Fighting Championships, FIAS World Combat Sambo Championship, and Russian Judo Federation National Championship.
Patrício "Pitbull" Freire is a Brazilian mixed martial artist currently competing in Bellator MMA where he is the current Bellator Lightweight Champion and two-time and current Bellator Featherweight Champion. He is the younger brother of lightweight fighter Patricky Freire. He is the second-ever simultaneous two-weight champion in Bellator MMA history. As of March 29, 2021 he is #1 in the Bellator men's pound-for-pound rankings.
Michael Jerome Reece-Page, is a British kickboxer, boxer, and mixed martial artist of Trinidadian and Jamaican descent. He is recognised in the MMA community for his unorthodox fighting style, which originated from freestyle kickboxing and sport karate. As of April 6, 2021, he is #2 in the Bellator Welterweight Rankings.
Tyson Ka'eo Nam is an American professional mixed martial artist who competes in the Bantamweight division. A professional MMA competitor since 2006, Nam has formerly competed for the UFC, World Series of Fighting, Elite XC, and King of the Cage.
Jessica Jo-Anne Eye is an American professional mixed martial artist. She competes as a flyweight in the Ultimate Fighting Championship (UFC). Called "one of the best strikers in the women's division" in 2015 by FoxSports.com, Eye is known for her quick boxing, agility, and defense. As of May 17, 2021, she is #7 in the UFC women's flyweight rankings.
Brandon Halsey is an American professional mixed martial artist currently competing in the Light Heavyweight division of the Professional Fighters League. A professional competitor since 2012, he has formerly competed for M-1 Global and Bellator, where he was the Middleweight Champion.
While mixed martial arts is primarily a male dominated sport, it does have female athletes. For instance, Female competition in Japan includes promotions such as DEEP Jewels. Now defunct promotions that featured female fighters were Valkyrie, and Smackgirl. Professional mixed martial arts organizations in the United States that invite women to compete are industry leader Ultimate Fighting Championship, the all female Invicta Fighting Championships, Resurrection Fighting Alliance, Bellator Fighting Championships, and Legacy Fighting Championship. Now defunct promotions that featured female fighters were Strikeforce and EliteXC.
Kevin Jesse Lee Jr. is an American professional mixed martial artist. Lee currently competes in the Lightweight division for the Ultimate Fighting Championship (UFC). As of May 26, 2021, he is #11 in the UFC lightweight rankings.
Arlene Blencowe is a mixed martial artist and boxer, currently competing in the Women's Featherweight division of Bellator MMA, where she is the first Australian female fighter in the promotion's history. As of May 11, 2021, she is #6 in the Bellator Women's pound-for-pound Rankings and #2 in the Bellator Women's Featherweight Rankings.
Rafael Carvalho de Souza is a Brazilian mixed martial artist who most recently competed in the light heavyweight and middleweight divisions of Bellator MMA, where he was a former Bellator Middleweight World Champion. As of December 2017, Carvalho is tied with Alexander Shlemenko for most title defenses in the division's history. He also won the Smash Fight middleweight championship in 2013.
Israel Mobolaji Temitayo Odunayo Oluwafemi Owolabi Adesanya is a Nigerian-born New Zealand professional mixed martial artist, and former kickboxer and boxer. As a mixed martial artist, he is currently signed to the Ultimate Fighting Championship (UFC), where he is the UFC Middleweight Champion. In kickboxing, he is a former Glory Middleweight Championship title challenger. As of March 29, 2021 he is #4 in the UFC men's pound-for-pound rankings.
Zarrukh Adashev is an Tajik professional kickboxer and professional mixed martial artist.
Juliana Velasquez Tonasse is a Brazilian professional mixed martial artist currently competing in the flyweight division of Bellator MMA, where she is the current Bellator MMA Women's Flyweight World Champion. Since April 2021, Fight Matrix has her ranked as the #8 Women's Flyweight in the world. and #2 Women's Flyweight according to Sherdog. As of March 29, 2021, she is #2 in the Bellator Women's pound-for-pound Rankings.
The Bellator MMA rankings, which was introduced in March 2021, is generated by a voting panel made up of media members. The media members are asked to vote for who they feel are the top fighters in the Bellator MMA by weight class and pound-for-pound.