UFC Rankings Update: Jon Jones Is Back – For Now

Joshua Dahl for USA TODAY Sports
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Heading into next week’s (Sat., July 29, 2017) stacked and awaited UFC 214 from the Honda Center in Anaheim, California, a polarizing MMA legend has returned to the official UFC rankings.

This week’s list features the return of former pound-for-pound great Jon Jones, the longtime light heavyweight champion who only lost the belt because of his outside-the-cage troubles and will face arch rival Daniel Cormier in a highly anticipated – and oft-rescheduled – rematch in the UFC 214 main event.

“Bones” is widely regarded as arguably the best mixed martial artist of all-time, and his torrid run as champion from 2011-2015, where he finished a slew of former champions and legends in their own right, ranks as quite possibly the best stretch any UFC fighter has displayed in the octagon. The streak included a unanimous decision win over Cormier in January 2015, and it was thought their highly-publicized rivalry had been put to bed.

But “DC” then went on to capitalize on “Bones'” next, and perhaps, greatest transgression when he was involved in a hit-and-run automobile accident in Albuquerque, New Mexico that left a 25-year-old pregnant woman with a broken arm in April 2015, going on to take his place and submit Anthony “Rumble” Johnson in the UFC 187 headliner to win the title that May.

With Jones sorting out legal issues, he was stripped of the title, and Cormier went on to defend the now-official belt against Alexander Gustafsson in a “Fight of the Year” contender at UFC 192, outlasted Anderson Silva at last summer’s UFC 200 when Jones was forced out of their rematch just days prior because of a USADA drug test, and finally submitted “Rumble” again at April’s UFC 210 from New York.

“Bones,” meanwhile, has only fought once since their original bout, beating late replacement Ovince Saint Preux at UFC 196 last April when Cormier was forced out of that scheduled rematch with a groin injury.

Joshua Dahl for USA TODAY Sports

Obviously, it’s been a long and winding road full of speed bumps for Cormier and Jones to finally face off once again, and the MMA world is cautiously awaiting that the fight will finally happen after three years of the rivalry – even with less than two weeks away.

Prior to the bout, however, Jones has regained a spot on the rankings, coming in at No. 7 on the pound-for-pound list and taking the No. 1 spot at light heavyweight over from Gustafsson. Jones bumped a host of top-ranked and active UFC fighters including champions Tyron Woodley, Michael Bisping, Amanda Nunes, and Robert Whittaker down a notch. There’s no doubt that a healthy, dependable Jones would rank above those fighters if he were actively defending the belt; there’s a case to be made he would still be above new pound-for-pound leader Demetrious Johnson if that were the case.

It’s not, however, and Jones simply needs to prove he can make it to a fight to stay on these rankings, as he’s shown time and again the actual fighting isn’t the hard part. What do you think of his ranking? Is it right too low, or too high given his outside-the-octagon run-ins with law enforcement and repeated substance abuse issues?

Check out the fully updated rankings via UFC.com here:

POUND-FOR-POUND
1 Demetrious Johnson
2 Conor McGregor
3 Daniel Cormier
4 Stipe Miocic
5 Max Holloway
6 Cody Garbrandt
7 Jon Jones *NR
8 Joanna Jedrzejczyk -1
9 Tyron Woodley -1
10 Dominick Cruz -1
11 Michael Bisping -1
12 Jose Aldo -1
13 Amanda Nunes -1
14 Robert Whittaker -1
15 TJ Dillashaw -1

FLYWEIGHT
Champion: Demetrious Johnson
1 Joseph Benavidez
2 Henry Cejudo
3 Ray Borg
4 Wilson Reis
5 Jussier Formiga
6 Sergio Pettis
7 Brandon Moreno
8 Ben Nguyen
9 Tim Elliott +3
10 John Moraga
11 Ian McCall
12 Dustin Ortiz -3
13 Alexandre Pantoja +1
14 Louis Smolka -1
15 Magomed Bibulatov

BANTAMWEIGHT
Champion: Cody Garbrandt
1 Dominick Cruz
2 TJ Dillashaw
3 Raphael Assuncao
4 John Lineker
4 Jimmie Rivera -1
6 Bryan Caraway
7 John Dodson
8 Aljamain Sterling
9 Thomas Almeida
10 Marlon Moraes
11 Eddie Wineland
12 Pedro Munhoz
13 Rob Font
14 Matthew Lopez
15 Johnny Eduardo

FEATHERWEIGHT
Champion: Max Holloway
1 Jose Aldo
2 Frankie Edgar
3 Ricardo Lamas
4 Cub Swanson
5 Chan Sung Jung
6 Yair Rodriguez
7 Jeremy Stephens
8 Brian Ortega
9 Renato Moicano
10 Dennis Bermudez
11 Dooho Choi +1
12 Darren Elkins -1
13 Mirsad Bektic
14 Renan Barao
15 Jason Knight

LIGHTWEIGHT
Champion: Conor McGregor
1 Khabib Nurmagomedov
2 Tony Ferguson
3 Eddie Alvarez
4 Edson Barboza
5 Justin Gaethje +1
6 Nate Diaz -1
7 Kevin Lee
8 Dustin Poirier
9 Michael Johnson
10 Michael Chiesa
11 Al Iaquinta
12 Beneil Dariush
13 Anthony Pettis
14 Evan Dunham
15 Gilbert Melendez

WELTERWEIGHT
Champion: Tyron Woodley
1 Demian Maia
2 Stephen Thompson
3 Robbie Lawler
4 Jorge Masvidal
5 Carlos Condit +1
6 Neil Magny -1
7 Donald Cerrone
8 Santiago Ponzinibbio +6
9 Colby Covington
10 Rafael Dos Anjos
11 Gunnar Nelson -3
12 Kamaru Usman
13 Dong Hyun Kim -2
14 Ryan LaFlare -1
15 Tarec Saffiedine

MIDDLEWEIGHT
Champion: Michael Bisping
1 Robert Whittaker (Interim Champion)
2 Yoel Romero
3 Luke Rockhold
4 Jacare Souza
5 Chris Weidman +1
6 Anderson Silva +1
7 Derek Brunson +1
8 Kelvin Gastelum *NR
9 David Branch
10 Krzysztof Jotko
11 Vitor Belfort
12 Thales Leites
13 Tim Boetsch
14 Uriah Hall
15 Thiago Santos

LIGHT HEAVYWEIGHT
Champion: Daniel Cormier
1 Jon Jones *NR
2 Alexander Gustafsson -1
3 Jimi Manuwa -1
4 Glover Teixeira -1
5 Volkan Oezdemir -1
6 Mauricio Rua -1
7 Corey Anderson -1
7 Ovince Saint Preux
9 Misha Cirkunov -1
10 Ilir Latifi -1
11 Rogerio Nogueira -1
12 Patrick Cummins -1
13 Gian Villante
14 Tyson Pedro -2
15 Gadzhimurad Antigulov -1

HEAVYWEIGHT
Champion: Stipe Miocic
1 Alistair Overeem
2 Fabricio Werdum
3 Cain Velasquez
4 Junior Dos Santos
5 Francis Ngannou
6 Mark Hunt
7 Derrick Lewis
8 Alexander Volkov
9 Stefan Struve
10 Marcin Tybura
11 Aleksei Oleinik
12 Tim Johnson
13 Andrei Arlovski
14 Travis Browne
15 Curtis Blaydes

WOMEN’S STRAWWEIGHT
Champion: Joanna Jedrzejczyk
1 Claudia Gadelha
2 Karolina Kowalkiewicz
3 Rose Namajunas
4 Jessica Andrade
5 Tecia Torres
6 Michelle Waterson
7 Carla Esparza
8 Cynthia Calvillo +6
9 Randa Markos
10 Joanne Calderwood -2
11 Felice Herrig -1
12 Paige VanZant -1
13 Cortney Casey -1
14 Maryna Moroz -1
15 Jessica Aguilar

WOMEN’S BANTAMWEIGHT
Champion: Amanda Nunes
1 Valentina Shevchenko
2 Holly Holm
3 Julianna Pena
4 Ronda Rousey
5 Raquel Pennington
6 Sara McMann
7 Cat Zingano
8 Germaine de Randamie +2
9 Liz Carmouche -1
10 Alexis Davis -2
11 Marion Reneau
12 Ketlen Vieira
13 Bethe Correia
14 Katlyn Chookagian -1
15 Leslie Smith *NR