Pound for pound

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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 relative to 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. They may be based on a range of criteria including "quality of opposition", factors such as how exciting the fighter is or how famous they are[citation needed], or be an attempt to determine who would win if all those ranked were the same size.


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[edit]

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

Kickboxing / Muay Thai[edit]

Combat Press and Beyond Kick publish pound-for-pound rankings for kickboxing / Muay Thai.[14][15]


  1. ^ "BBC pound-for-pound British rankings". BBC. Retrieved 2011-06-17.
  2. ^ Bader, Mark. "USA Men's P4P Freestyle Rankings". flowrestling.org. Retrieved 20 October 2018.
  3. ^ "The pound for pound debate". Fighters Only Magazine. Archived from the original on 2010-04-23. Retrieved 2010-06-29.
  4. ^ a b Dettloff, William. "Pound-for-Pound: A History". HBO.com. Retrieved 2012-06-17.
  5. ^ "UFC releases its first official fighter rankings". Sportsnet. February 5, 2013.
  6. ^ "Bellator MMA Fighter Rankings: Patricio Pitbull, Cris Cyborg top pound-for-pound lists in inaugural tabulation". CBS Sports. March 29, 2021.
  7. ^ "MMA pound-for-pound rankings: Kamaru Usman's takeover is No. 1 among many changes". ESPN.com. April 28, 2021. Retrieved 17 June 2011.
  8. ^ "Sherdog's Pound-for-Pound Top 10 Rankings". Sherdog. April 26, 2021.
  9. ^ "Sherdog's WMMA Pound-for-Pound Top 10". Sherdog. April 26, 2021.
  10. ^ "Pound-for-Pound Top 15 Rankings". Fight Matrix. September 12, 2021.
  11. ^ "Women's Pound-for-Pound Top 15 Rankings". Fight Matrix. September 12, 2021.
  12. ^ "The Current Best Pound-for-Pound MMA Fighters". Retrieved May 12, 2021.
  13. ^ "The Current Best Pound-for-Pound Female MMA Fighters". Retrieved May 12, 2021.
  14. ^ "Combat Press Kickboxing Rankings: May 2021". May 10, 2021.
  15. ^ @beyond_kick (March 31, 2020). "Our P4P Kickboxing Rankings for April 2020" (Tweet) – via Twitter.

External links[edit]