Pound for pound is a ranking used in combat sports, such as boxing,[1] wrestling,[2] or mixed martial arts,[3] of who the better fighters are irrespective of their weight, i.e. adjusted to compensate for weight class. As these fighters do not compete directly, judging the best fighter pound for pound is subjective, and ratings vary.


Main article: Boxing pound for pound rankings

In boxing, the term was historically associated with fighters such as Benny Leonard and Sugar Ray Robinson who were widely considered to be the most skilled fighters of their day, to distinguish them from the generally more popular (and better compensated) heavyweight champions.[4] Since 1990, The Ring magazine has maintained a pound for pound ranking of fighters.[4]

Mixed martial arts

Main articles: UFC Rankings, Bellator MMA Rankings, and ONE Championship Rankings

Some mixed martial arts promotions have pound-for-pound rankings, including Ultimate Fighting Championship since 2013, ONE Championship since 2020,[5] and Bellator MMA since 2021.[6][7] There are also multiple unofficial MMA pound-for-pound rankings, including by ESPN.com,[8] Sherdog,[9][10] Fight Matrix,[11][12] MMA Fighting[13] and Tapology.[14][15]

Kickboxing / Muay Thai

See also: ONE Championship Rankings

ONE Championship publishes pound-for-pound rankings for kickboxing and Muay Thai since 2020.[5] Combat Press and Beyond Kickboxing also publish pound-for-pound rankings for kickboxing.[16][17]


  1. ^ "BBC pound-for-pound British rankings". BBC. Retrieved 17 June 2011.
  2. ^ Bader, Mark (31 May 2017). "USA Men's P4P Freestyle Rankings". FloWrestling. Archived from the original on 20 October 2018. Retrieved 20 October 2018.
  3. ^ "The pound for pound debate". Fighters Only Magazine. Archived from the original on 23 April 2010. Retrieved 29 June 2010.
  4. ^ a b Dettloff, William. "Pound-for-Pound: A History". HBO.com. Retrieved 17 June 2012.
  5. ^ a b "ONE Championship Unveils First Official Athlete Rankings". ONE Championship. 27 April 2020.
  6. ^ "UFC releases its first official fighter rankings". Sportsnet. 5 February 2013.
  7. ^ "Bellator MMA Fighter Rankings: Patricio Pitbull, Cris Cyborg top pound-for-pound lists in inaugural tabulation". CBS Sports. 29 March 2021.
  8. ^ "MMA pound-for-pound rankings: Just one small move in men's top 10, but voters add new names". ESPN.com. 23 September 2022.
  9. ^ "Sherdog's Pound-for-Pound Top 10 Rankings". Sherdog. 22 August 2022.
  10. ^ "Sherdog's WMMA Pound-for-Pound Top 10". Sherdog. 22 August 2022.
  11. ^ "Pound for Pound". Fight Matrix. Retrieved 16 October 2022.
  12. ^ "Women's Pound for Pound". Fight Matrix. Retrieved 16 October 2022.
  13. ^ Al-Shatti, Shaun (13 September 2022). "MMA Pound-for-Pound Rankings, September 2022: Khamzat Chimaev smashes his way into top 20". MMA Fighting. Archived from the original on 21 April 2023.
  14. ^ "The Current Best Pound-for-Pound MMA Fighters". Tapology MMA Rankings. Retrieved 12 May 2021.
  15. ^ "The Current Best Pound-for-Pound Female MMA Fighters". Tapology MMA Rankings. Retrieved 12 May 2021.
  16. ^ Aittama, Zach (10 May 2021). "Combat Press Kickboxing Rankings: May 2021". Combat Press. Archived from the original on 9 October 2023.
  17. ^ Beyond Kickboxing [@beyond_kick] (31 March 2020). "Our P4P Kickboxing Rankings for April 2020" (Tweet). Archived from the original on 17 May 2021 – via Twitter.