UFC P4P kingpins through the years: Officially launched in February 2013, the UFC pound-for-pound (P4P) rankings are the list of the 15 best fighters (differently for men and women) in the company regardless of division.
A list of 20 unnamed journalists, apart from submitting a top 10 list of every weight class in the promotion, also make a list of the top 15 fighters of men’s and women’s divisions. This list is made by imagining if each fighter was in the same weight division.
These rankings are solely based on a fighter’s performance in their division. Also, for example, if a flyweight is above a heavyweight in the rankings, it does not mean that the Flyweight could defeat their heavier counterpart in an actual fight, it just means that their performance in their own division has been better than someone lower in the rankings. With all that in mind, here are all the fighters who have been at the top of the P4P rankings ever since its inception 10 years ago.
Here Are – UFC P4P Kingpins Through The Years
1) Anderson Silva
“The Spider” was the first ever fighter in UFC to be at the top of the P4P rankings. Considered one of the greatest MMA fighters of all time, Silva’s reign of terror over the Middleweight division from 2006 to 2013, where he did not lose a single fight, is still legendary.
The Middleweight Champion at the time the rankings were started, he lost the title and his first match in seven years just a few months later in July 2013 to Chris Weidman.
Despite only being at the top of the P4P rankings for five months, his name will forever be etched in the history of the ranking for being the first fighter to ever be No.1.
2) Jon Jones
Jon ‘Bones’ Jones has spent the most time on the top of the UFC P4P rankings during a staggering six reigns at the top. First topping the list by dethroning Anderson Silva in July 2013, he was at the top with his Light Heavyweight Championship till April 2015, when he was stripped of the title for testing positive for banned substances.
Despite not losing a fight since first becoming a champion, Jon Jones has so many reigns as the top-ranked P4P fighter because of his multiple run-ins with USADA and the law, him being stripped of the title and the top spot every time something like that happened.
Most recently, Jon Jones regained his spot at the top of the P4P rankings, this time as a Heavyweight. After a three-year hiatus, he returned to the Octagon and defeated Cyril Gane to win the vacated UFC Heavyweight title.
3) José Aldo
After Jon Jones was first suspended back in April 2015, the P4P throne passed to the then Featherweight Champion José Aldo, who had been the UFC Featherweight Champion since the division’s creation in 2011.
He was the top-rated P4P fighter on the roster until UFC 194 in December 2015, when he lost the spot and the title. While the top P4P spot to the next person on this list, he lost his first UFC fight and the Featherweight title to Conor McGregor.
4) Demetrious Johnson
The ‘Mighty Mouse’ inherited the top P4P spot from José Aldo after the latter lost the Featherweight title to Conor McGregor. The most dominant champion in UFC history, he defended the UFC Flyweight title a record 11 times and was the division’s first-ever Champion.
First topping the P4P rankings in December 2015, he lost the top spot a month later when Jon Jones defeated Daniel Cormier. His next reign at the top was a year long, starting in July 2016 and lasting till July 2017. When Jones’ win turned into a no-contest later that month, Johnson retook the spot in August 2017. This final reign at the top ended a month before Demetrius’ first loss since becoming the Champion at UFC 227 against Henry Cejudo.
5) Daniel Cormier
After both of his fights against Jon Jones had controversial results, Daniel Cormier moved to Heavyweight and won the division’s title from Stipe Miocic at UFC 226 in July 2018. This win also pushed him to the top of the P4P rankings. This was partly because he was already the Light Heavyweight Champion at the time.
He remained in the top spot for over a year, when in August 2019 at UFC 241, he lost the title back to Miocic in the second match of their trilogy. After losing his third and final match to Miocic, at UFC 252, Danel Cormier announced his retirement from the sport.
6) Khabib Nurmagomedov
Khabib Nurmagomedov is one of the extremely few fighters to have retired from the sport undefeated. ‘The Eagle’, despite being one of the most dominant fighters of all time, only gained the top spot at the very end of his career.
Following what turned out to be his last career fight, defending his Lightweight Championship against Justin Gaethje at UFC 254 in October 2020, Khabib topped the P4P rankings for the first time in his career. His topping the ranking coincided with Jon Jones’ exit from the company. His reign at the top ended when he announced his retirement in March 2021.
7) Kumaru Usman
Having already defended the UFC Welterweight Championship on four occasions, Kumaru Usman became the P4P king in October 2021, replacing yet another reign of Jon Jones. He then defended his title a fifth time at UFC 269 against Colby Covington.
Usman ended up losing his top ranking in August 2022 when, at UFC 278, he lost the title and his first UFC fight to Lean Edwards. He lost yet another match to Edwards at UFC 286 and is now expected to move to Middleweight.
8) Alexander Volkanovski
The current UFC Featherweight Champion replaced Kumaru Usman at the top spot of the P4P rankings after the latter’s defeat to Lean Edwards in August 2022.
After moving up a weight class and challenging Islam Makhachev for the Lightweight title ended in defeat in February 2023, Volkanovski failed to become a double champion, leaving him in a vulnerable spot. The very next month, Jones returned to the UFC after 3 years and won the Heavyweight title. Alexander Volkanovski is ranked three in the P4P rankings, right behind Jon Jones and Islam Makhachev