New year, who dis? 12uppercut is blasting off into 2020 with aplomb, and we have two debutantes on our combined, gender-integrated boxing and mixed martial arts pound-for-pound ratings to show for it. Claressa Shields earned her spot by becoming the single fastest boxer (regardless of gender!) to win world titles in three weight divisions, while Conor McGregor crashes our list after making quick work of Cowboy Cerrone at UFC 246.
As always, this ranking is split into three tiers of 10 fighters each. And right on cue, we must begin with the GOAT.
1. Amanda Nunes: UFC Women’s Featherweight and Bantamweight Champ
Previous Ranking: 1
You can't stop this train.
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
Previous Ranking: 2
So, who's next for ol' Saul: Billy Joe Saunders or Callum Smith? The answer shouldn't matter a lick. Right this minute, Canelo is the best all-around boxer on earth.
LAST FIGHT: Def. Sergey Kovalev (TKO) on 2 November 2019
3. Vasyl Lomachenko: Unified Lightweight and WBO Junior Lightweight Champ
Previous Ranking: 3
Teofimo Lopez's speed and power figure to be a stern test for Hi-Tech. But you've got to beat the man to be the man, and Lomachenko's sterling resume speaks for itself.
LAST FIGHT: Def. Luke Campbell (unanimous decision) on 31 August 2019
4. Jon Jones: UFC Light Heavyweight Champ
Last Ranking: 4
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: 5
This needs to be a big year for Bud Crawford. For a man who's proven so much, he walks around like a man who still needs to justify his own legacy. That means we've got to arrange an Errol Spence fight, and it had better happen in 2020.
LAST FIGHT: Def. Egidijus Kavaliauskas (TKO) on 14 December 2019
6. Naoya Inoue: Unified Bantamweight Champ
Last Ranking: 6
No small man should have all that power.
LAST FIGHT: Def. Nonito Donaire (unanimous decision) on 7 November 2019
7. Khabib Nurmagomedov: UFC Lightweight Champ
Last Ranking: 7
Is Khabib's long-awaited, long-delayed lightweight title fight against Tony Ferguson actually happening this time? We'll believe it when we see it. Better get McGregor to stand by as a last-minute replacement just in case, right??
LAST FIGHT: Def. Dustin Poirier (submission) on 7 September 2019 at UFC 242
8. Errol Spence Jr.: Unified Welterweight Champ
Last Ranking: 9
Seeing Errol Spence back in public and speaking off the cuff was incredibly encouraging following his scary car accident just days after beating Shawn Porter in a big-time welterweight thriller. Now, he and PBC need to figure out how to make nice with Top Rank and organize a unification bout with Bud Crawford. Or Manny Pacquiao, even.
LAST FIGHT: Def. Shawn Porter (split decision) on 28 September 2019
9. Henry Cejudo: UFC Bantamweight Champ
Last Ranking: 8
Triple C loses points for relinquishing the 125-pound championship. But to hear him tell it, he saved the whole division. His reward should be a bantamweight bloodbath with Aljamain Sterling...or, ya know, he could just leave.
LAST FIGHT: Def. Marlon Moraes (TKO) on 8 June 2019 at UFC 238
10. Stipe Miocic: UFC Heavyweight Champ
Last Ranking: 10
We need Miocic-Cormier III this summer, don't we? Look me in the eyes and tell me we don't need that.
LAST FIGHT: Def. Daniel Cormier (TKO) on 17 August 2019 at UFC 241
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) Gennady Golovkin
20) Max Holloway
21) Mikey Garcia
22) Manny Pacquiao
23) Claressa Shields
24) Juan Francisco Estrada
25) Valentina Shevchenko
26) Dustin Porier
27) Deontay Wilder
28) Tyson Fury
29) Conor McGregor
30) Artur Beterbiev
Cecelia Braekhus, Tyron Woodley, Douglas Lima, Robert Whittaker, Oscar Valdez
Frequently Asked Questions
Q1: How are these rankings determined? Are advanced analytics involved?
A1: No. There is no mathematical formula. There is no panel of voters. This ranking is fully subjective 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 can you possibly compare a female boxer to a male mixed martial artist?
A2: You can't!
Q3: Who gained and fell the most spots since the last rankings?
A3: The biggest gainers are Claressa Shields (23rd) and Conor McGregor (29th), who each made their debuts on our list after being previously unranked. The only change in the top 10 saw Errol Spence and Henry Cejudo switch places. Cecilia Braekhus and Tyron Woodley were the only fighters to drop out of the rankings, earning honorable mentions this time.
Q4: Wait, are you literally saying Amanda Nunes could beat up every other professional figher on earth?
A4: *Sips cachaça*
Q5: How come [FIGHTER A], who is clearly human trash undeserving of love, is ranked ahead of [FIGHTER B], who is absolutely greatest ever to clench a fist?