12uppercut Boxing + MMA Universal Pound-for-Pound Rankings: The Lioness Sleeps Tonight

Jon Jones, Amanda Nunes, Canelo Alvarez, and Gennadiy Golovkin all had their say in 2019.
Jon Jones, Amanda Nunes, Canelo Alvarez, and Gennadiy Golovkin all had their say in 2019.

Aaaand we're back! In November, 12uppercut sought to break down barriers between the respective fandoms of boxing and MMA to determine who's really the best and baddest across the punch-tastic world of combat sports. Now, we present our first official update of our gender-integrated fighter rankings unified across boxing and mixed martial arts (not just UFC!). Let's start with the best of the best!

1. Amanda Nunes: UFC Women’s Featherweight and Bantamweight Champ

Amanda Nunes
Amanda Nunes defended her UFC women's bantamweight title against Germaine de Randamie on December 14 | Steve Marcus/Getty Images

Previous Ranking: 1

The Lioness remains the GOAT. Name one person with any legitimate shot at beating her at 135 pounds (because 145 ain't EVER gonna happen.)

LAST FIGHT: Def. Germaine De Randamie (unanimous decision) on 14 December 2019 at UFC 245

2. Canelo Alvarez: Unified Middleweight, WBA Super Middleweight, and WBO Light Heavyweight Champ

Canelo Alvarez
Canelo Alvarez has a claim to be the finest P4P boxer in the land after defeating Sergey Kovalev. | Steve Marcus/Getty Images

Previous Ranking: 2

Canelo just keeps winning, and he's officially entering the all-time conversation. You don't have to like 2019's surefire boxer of the year, but you do have to respect the crown.

LAST FIGHT: Def. Sergey Kovalev (TKO) on 2 November 2019

3. Vasiliy Lomachenko: Unified Lightweight and WBO Junior Lightweight Champ

Vasily Lomachenko
Vasyl Lomachenko owns the 135-pound division and is The Ring magazine's pound-for-pound No. 1. | Richard Heathcote/Getty Images

Previous Ranking: 4

Here we go! You ain't even ready for Hi-Tech's upcoming lightweight unification fight against bang-bang rising star Teofimo Lopez.

LAST FIGHT: Def. Luke Campbell (unanimous decision) on 31 August 2019

4. Jon Jones: UFC Light Heavyweight Champ

Last Ranking: 5

“Jo(h)n Jones / You son of a gun / You call yourself a big, big man / And still you try to kill my hand / Jo(h)n Jones / You son of a gun”
--Rudy Mills, “John Jones” (1968)

LAST FIGHT: Def. Thiago Santos (split decision) on 6 July 2019 at UFC 239

5. Terence Crawford: WBO Welterweight Champ

Last Ranking: 3

Bud is a bad, bad man. He's dangerous. But he doesn't have a career-defining victory to make him a legend, and let's be honest, "Mean Machine" should have been awarded a knockdown against him at MSG that was scored otherwise. That'll drop you two spots on our rankings even in victory.

LAST FIGHT: Def. Egidijus Kavaliauskas (TKO ) on 14 December 2019

6. Naoya Inoue: Unified Bantamweight Champ

Last Ranking: 6

Sometimes, deadly things can come in small packages.

LAST FIGHT: Def. Nonito Donaire (unanimous decision) on 7 November 2019

7. Khabib Nurmagomedov: UFC Lightweight Champ

Khabib Nurmagomedov, Dustin Poirier
Khabib Nurmagomedov returns to the Octagon at UFC 249 in Brooklyn to face Tony Ferguson. | Francois Nel/Getty Images

Last Ranking: 7

Has anyone had a better decade than Khabib? Well, our new decade could start out amazingly for the Bad Man From Degestan, too. April 18 against Tony Ferguson at the Barclays Center can't come soon enough.

LAST FIGHT: Def. Dustin Poirier (submission) on 7 September 2019 at UFC 242

8. Henry Cejudo: UFC Bantamweight and Flyweight Champ

Henry Cejudo
Henry Cejudo has the rare distinction of holding simultaneous UFC championship belts. | Sarah Stier/Getty Images

Last Ranking: 8

Triple C wants Jose Aldo now? That's just cruel, man. This really is the darkest timeline.

LAST FIGHT: Def. Marlon Moraes (TKO) on 8 June 2019 at UFC 238

9. Errol Spence Jr.: Unified Welterweight Champ

Errol Spence Jr., Shawn Porter, Jack Reiss
Errol Spence Jr. defeated Shawn Porter in September in the potential Fight of the Year. | Jayne Kamin-Oncea/Getty Images

Last Ranking: 9

We sincerely hope that Errol Spence is able to recover from what appeared to be a truly awful car accident this fall. He's simply one of the best there is.

LAST FIGHT: Def. Shawn Porter (split decision) on 28 September 2019

10. Stipe Miocic: UFC Heavyweight Champ

Stipe Miocic
Stipe Miocic reasserted himself with a KO win over Daniel Cormier at UFC 241. | Joe Scarnici/Getty Images

Last Ranking: 10

Stipe hits hard, man.

LAST FIGHT: Def. Daniel Cormier (TKO) on 17 August 2019 at UFC 241

Tier 2

11) Oleksandr Usyk

12) Daniel Cormier

13) Israel Adesanya

14) Kamaru Usman

15) Demetrious Johnson

16) Tony Ferguson

17) Alexander Volkanovski

18) Katie Taylor

19) Gennadiy Golovkin

20) Max Holloway

Tier 3

21) Mikey Garcia

22) Manny Pacquiao

23) Juan Francisco Estrada

24) Valentina Schevchenko

25) Dustin Poirier

26) Deontay Wilder

27) Tyson Fury

28) Artur Beterbiev

29) Cecilia Braekhus

30) Tyron Woodley

Honorable Mentions

Douglas Lima, Colby Covington, Robert Whittaker, Oscar Valdez, Josh Taylor, Jose Ramirez

Frequently Asked Questions

Q1: How are these rankings actually determined?

A1: There is no panel of voters and there is no mathematical formula. This ranking fully embraces subjectivity for the sake of debate, and mostly considers overall dominance, longevity, and degree of difficulty (for instance, champs who have moved up or down across weight divisions for tougher tests).

Q2: How is it possible to compare, say, a female MMA fighter to a male boxer?

A2: It isn't possible. Next!

Q3: Who gained and fell the most spots since the last rankings?

A3: The biggest fall is Max Holloway, who went from 12th to 20th, but remained in Tier 2. Biggest gainer is the man who beat him at UFC 245, Alexander Volkanovski, who went from unranked to No. 17.

Q4: Are you saying Amanda Nunes could beat up everyone on this list?

A4: *Sips tea*

Q5: How come [FIGHTER X], who is clearly a bucket of suck, is ranked ahead of [FIGHTER Y], who is far and away the GOAT?

A5: Hey, like 12uppercut on Facebook!