<
>

ESPN's MMA divisional rankings: Heavyweight

Check out my rankings within each division by clicking on the links below.

Who is the best fighter regardless of weight class? See ESPN's pound-for-pound rankings. Plus, check out our women's pound-for-pound rankings.

Note: Results through April 10.


Divisional Rankings

Heavyweight | Light heavyweight
Middleweight | Welterweight | Lightweight
Featherweight | Bantamweight | Flyweight
Women's bantamweight | Women's strawweight


HEAVYWEIGHT DIVISION (265 pounds)

1. Stipe Miocic (16-2)
Four months after knocking Fabricio Werdum out cold to win the UFC championship, Miocic was back at it with another first-round finish over Alistair Overeem at UFC 203. With ice in his veins and lead in his hands, Miocic is looking like he might be the long-term champ this division has never had.
Next: UFC 211 on May 13, vs. Junior dos Santos

2. Fabricio Werdum (21-6-1)
Werdum rebounded from a title loss to Stipe Miocic in May with another dominant showcase against Travis Browne -- his second win over Browne in less than three years. Afterward, Werdum landed a front kick to Browne's coach for getting out of hand, just for good measure.
Next: UFC 213 on July 8, vs. Alistair Overeem

3. Cain Velasquez (14-2)
A healthy Velasquez is the best Velasquez. The former champion looked terrific in an absolute drubbing of Travis Browne in July. If he can stay healthy, he's a good bet to reclaim the UFC heavyweight title he has already won twice before.
Next: TBD

4. Alistair Overeem (41-15)
It's not easy to put Mark Hunt away, which is exactly what Overeem did at UFC 209 on March 4. The heavyweight bounced back from his loss to Stipe Miocic in a big way, knocking out Hunt with his notorious knee shots.
Next: UFC 213 on July 8, vs. Fabricio Werdum

5. Junior dos Santos (18-4)
The former champion bounced back from a knockout loss to Overeem in a major way, as he dominated Ben Rothwell in a five-round decision in April. Following an injury layoff, dos Santos will fight for the UFC title in May.
Next: UFC 211 on May 13, vs. Stipe Miocic

6. Ben Rothwell (36-10)
A terrific four-fight winning streak came to a screeching halt in April, as Rothwell was badly outclassed by former champion Junior dos Santos. He'll continue to hang around the title mix if he comes back strong, but he just lost a big opportunity to distinguish himself.
Next: TBD

7. Francis Ngannou (10-1)
Ngannou is the most exciting heavyweight prospect the UFC has had in recent years, and he started off 2017 with a win over a ranked opponent, Andrei Arlovski. Ngannou still needs to prove himself against more ranked competition, but it's hard to argue with five consecutive finishes in the UFC.
Next: TBD

8. Derrick Lewis (18-4)
Facing his toughest test to date, Lewis stomped Travis Browne in the second round of their main-event fight in February. "The Black Beast" is one of a kind when it comes to personality, and he now has a signature win to hang his hat on.
Next: UFC Fight Night on June 10, vs. Mark Hunt

9. Josh Barnett (35-8)
A battle between two former UFC champions ended well for Barnett, as he submitted Andrei Arlovski in the third round of a fight in September. Unfortunately for Barnett, he failed an out of competition drug test two months later.
Next: TBD

10. Vitaly Minakov (18-0)
The Russian heavyweight was stripped of his Bellator MMA title in May due to inactivity. It's still unclear when we should expect to see Minakov fight next, but the 31-year-old has been very good in the cage when he has actually been in it and is unbeaten in six years.
Next: TBD