UFC lightweight champion Islam Makhachev has officially seized the pound-for-pound throne.
Makhachev moved into the No. 1 spot in the men’s rankings Tuesday, topping heavyweight champ Jon Jones 17 days after a knockout win over Alexander Volkanovski at UFC 294.
Makhachev follows in the footsteps of his mentor and longtime training partner Khabib Nurmagomedov, the former UFC lightweight champ who became pound-for-pound No. 1 after a successful title defense in his 2020 retirement fight.
After beating featherweight titleholder Volkanovski for the second time on Oct. 21 in Abu Dhabi, United Arab Emirates, Makhachev initially jumped to No. 2 in the rankings – surpassing Volkanovski, who dropped to No. 3 – but remained underneath Jones.
Makhachev has defended the title twice – both times against Volkanovski – since capturing it with a submission of former champion Charles Oliveira in October 2022. Makhachev has won 13 in a row, which is the longest winning streak in UFC lightweight history (tied with Nurmagomedov).
The Russian is expected to defend his belt next in a rematch against Oliveira, though no date has been set.
Jones had been the pound-for-pound king since March when he returned from a three-year layoff and won the vacant heavyweight title. Before Jones’ comeback, Volkanovski was ranked No. 1 and Makhachev No. 2 – even after Makhachev beat Volkanovski by unanimous decision at UFC 284 in February. Jones, who now sits at No. 2 on the list, is widely considered one of the greatest MMA fighters of all time.
UFC welterweight champion Leon Edwards and Oliveira round out the top five of the men’s pound-for-pound rankings, with bantamweight champ Sean O’Malley and middleweight titleholder Sean Strickland following close behind at Nos. 6 and 7.