• The pound-for-pound concept means ranking fighters according to talent, potential, accomplishments, recent level of competition, and victories.
  • Pound-for-pound lists tend to create arguments, and Business Insider's ranking will be no different.
  • Conor McGregor is the first name on this list at No.15. The Irishman has only won one fight since 2016, but his level of competition before that was extraordinary. He is expected to raise his game further in 2020.
  • Keep scrolling to see who ranks above McGregor, and where.
  • Visit Business Insider's homepage for more stories .

15: Conor McGregor 22 wins (19 KOs, 1 sub, and 2 decisions) against 4 losses (4 submissions).

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Organization and weight class : UFC welterweight.

Nationality and style : Irish striker.

Why he's ranked : McGregor is one of mixed martial art's few simultaneous two-weight world champions, meaning he topped two divisions at the same time because of his thumping wins over Jose Aldo in 2015 and Eddie Alvarez in 2016.

But that was then.

Now, he's only won once since besting Alvarez in 2016 a dominant 40-second win over Donald Cerrone , a fighter who entered the Las Vegas bout in January with back-to-back losses.

After annihilating the "Cowboy," McGregor is on the hunt for a meaningful fight; a summer showdown against Justin Gaethje would be just that, and should he win, he would find himself far higher in this list.

14: Jorge Masvidal 35 wins (16 KOs, 2 submissions, and 17 decisions) against 13 losses (1 KO, 2 submissions, and 10 decisions).

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Organization and weight class : UFC welterweight.

Nationality and style : American striker.

Why he's ranked : Since back-to-back losses to Demian Maia and Stephen Thompson in 2017, Masvidal returned with a hat-trick of wow-factor showcase fights in 2019.

He pieced-up Darren Till in London, knocked out Ben Askren in five seconds with a flying knee, and then out-hustled Nate Diaz to become the "baddest mother-f-----" in the game by the end of 2019.

Masvidal is now on the cusp of a UFC title shot against current champion Kamaru Usman, which is a nightmare style match-up for him.

But should he become the new king of the division, he will surely crack the top-10 list of best MMA fighters in the world today, too.

13: Francis Ngannou 14 wins (10 KOs and 4 submissions) against 3 losses (3 decisions).

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Organization and weight class : UFC heavyweight.

Nationality and style : Cameroonian boxer.

Why he's ranked : Francis Ngannou is one of the baddest men on the planet. He's 6-foot-4, 255-pounds, and the heaviest hitter in UFC history.

Insider asked Ngannou whether punchers are born or made, and where he got his concussive power. He told us last year that he is a made puncher, and it was because of child labor in Africa.

Ngannou moved to France later in life, learned to fight, and was signed by the UFC after his sixth bout.

It is an organization he continues to compete in today where he has scalped many big names like Curtis Blaydes, Andrei Arlovski, Alistair Overeem, Cain Velasquez, and Junior dos Santos.

12: Dan Cormier 22 wins (10 KOs, 5 subs, and 7 decisions) against 2 losses (1 KO and 1 decision).

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UFC screenshot

Organization and weight class : UFC heavyweight.

Nationality and style : American wrestler.

Why he's ranked : Dan Cormier is one of the most accomplished athletes in all MMA.

He's fought in King of the Cage, Strikeforce, and the UFC and has won championships in every organization.

It is in the UFC where he made his name, becoming a two-weight champion at light heavyweight and heavyweight.

There is little left for Cormier to achieve, though he may fight just one more time to win back the heavyweight title he lost to the current ruler, Stipe Miocic.

11: Stipe Miocic 19 wins (15 KOs and 4 decisions) against 3 losses (2 KOs and 1 decision).

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Organization and weight class : UFC heavyweight.

Nationality and style : American boxer and a wrestler.

Why he's ranked : Stipe Miocic is one of the most decorated heavyweights in MMA history.

He's a two-time heavyweight champion, the division's current ruler, and he has the most UFC heavyweight title defenses (three) in history.

During that run, he has beaten a who's who of tough guys: Fabricio Werdum, Junior dos Santos, and Francis Ngannou Miocic has slain them.

He's even gone 1-1 with Cormier, and a trilogy bout to decide the rivalry could be on the cards.

10: Alexander Volkanovski 21 wins (11 KOs, 3 subs, 7 decisions) against 1 loss (KO).

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Organization and weight class : UFC featherweight.

Nationality and style : Australian striker.

Why he's ranked : Alexander Volkanovski has won 18 fights in a row in a run that stretches back to 2013.

It is his recent victories that elevated his name to give him global fame, though.

In his last three bouts, he finished the American wrestler Chad Mendes, out-pointed the Brazilian veteran Jose Aldo, and then defeated Max Holloway to claim the UFC featherweight championship in December, last year.

9: Patricio Freire 30 wins (10 KOs, 11 subs, and 9 decisions) against 4 losses (1 KO and 3 decisions).

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Photo by Jerry Lai / USA TODAY Sports / Reuters

Organization and weight class : Bellator MMA lightweight.

Nationality and style : Brazilian jiu-jitsu black belt.

Why he's ranked : Since Patricio Freire suffered the fourth loss of his career against Benson Henderson at Bellator 160 in 2016, he has rebounded by not only winning the Bellator featherweight title but the lightweight title, too.

He's also put the featherweight belt on the line by entering the Bellator World Grand Prix.

Should he win that competition, too, then it's fair to call him one of the gutsiest athletes in combat sports, if he's not already.

8: Israel Adesanya 18 wins (14 KOs and 4 decisions), unbeaten.

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Organization and weight class : UFC middleweight.

Nationality and style : Nigerian-born New Zealand striker.

Why he's ranked : Israel Adesanya was competing in kickboxing shows in 2017 before making his UFC debut in 2018. One year later, he won the UFC middleweight championship, and now he's lining up the division's beastliest men to defend his title.

Adesanya is not normal. And the way he just lit up the division in a clear trajectory to the top bore comparisons to a young Conor McGregor , who flew through the UFC's featherweight and lightweight divisions half a decade ago.

Adesanya dares to be great, and if he books himself a bout against the light heavyweight king Jon Jones, and win, the UFC would have an all-time great on its hands.

7: Douglas Lima 32 wins (14 KOs, 12 subs, 6 decisions) against 7 losses (1 KO, 1 sub, 5 decisions).

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Bellator MMA

Organization and weight class : Bellator MMA welterweight.

Nationality and style : Brazilian jiu-jitsu black belt and Muay Thai expert.

Why he's ranked : Oh, man. If you don't like experiencing pain, never and we mean ever, share a cage with Douglas Lima.

He'll happily leg kick your thigh so hard, over and over, until you need crutches at best or a wheelchair at worst.

Lima is a Christian away from the cage but a devil inside it.

He's a three-time Bellator welterweight champion, has highlight-reel performances on his record, and is just two months shy from challenging Gegard Mousasi for the vacant middleweight title in May.

6: Tony Ferguson 25 wins (12 KOs, 8 subs, 5 decisions) against 3 losses (1 sub and 2 decisions).

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Organization and weight class : UFC welterweight.

Nationality and style : American wrestler and boxer.

Why he's ranked : Tony Ferguson has won 12 fights in a row, many of them against top tier opponents, and continues to produce Fight of the Night type classics.

He's unpredictable and unconventional, but when it comes to trading blows within the confines of a closed cage, he'll happily open cuts all over your face until your barely recognizable.

His next bout, an April 18 showdown in Brooklyn against Khabib Nurmagomedov, is one of the most important fights which could have been made in MMA.

It pits two top-ranked athletes in their prime against one another. And we can't wait.

5: Demetrious Johnson 30 wins (5 KOs, 12 subs, 13 decisions) against 3 losses (3 decisions).

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ONE Championship

Organization and weight class : ONE Championship flyweight.

Nationality and style : American wrestler.

Why he's ranked : Demetrious Johnson was one of the most dominant athletes in all sports through the 2010s.

He was a winning machine, making 11 title defenses of his UFC flyweight belt, including victories over Joseph Benavidez, Kyoji Horiguchi, and even Henry Cejudo.

But when Cejudo beat him in a rematch in 2018, it was unclear where Johnson would go.

He ended up moving to ONE Championship a Singapore-based MMA firm and he won three fights in a row, getting crowned the company's Flyweight Grand-Prix champion in his first year of competition.

Winning is all Johnson knows.

4: Kamaru Usman 16 wins (7 KOs, 1 sub, 8 decisions) against 1 loss (sub).

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Organization and weight class : UFC welterweight.

Nationality and style : Nigerian wrestler and jiu-jitsu black belt.

Why he's ranked : Kamaru Usman has been crushing the UFC competition ever since his debut with the world's premier MMA firm in 2015.

He's already beaten Leon Edwards, Rafael dos Anjos, and Tyron Woodley, a bout which saw him get crowned middleweight champion.

But it was his first UFC title defense against the MAGA hat-wearing Colby Covington that edged him further into the consciousness of wider combat sports fans, as he beat Covington so bad he left his jaw hanging off its bloody hinges.

3: Henry Cejudo 15 wins (7 KOs and 7 decisions) against 2 losses (1 KO and 1 decision).

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Organization and weight class : UFC flyweight.

Nationality and style : American wrestler.

Why he's ranked : In the five fights Cejudo has fought since suffering back-to-back losses against Demetrious Johnson and Joseph Benavidez, Cejudo has beaten Sergio Pettis, Demetrious Johnson, and TJ Dillashaw.

He had pretty much cleared out the flyweight division, so what does he go and do then?

He goes up a weight class and winsthe UFC bantamweight title by finishing Marlon Moraes in three rounds last year.

2: Jon Jones 25 wins (10 KOs, 6 subs, 9 decisions) against 1 loss (DQ) and 1 NC.

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Organization and weight class : UFC light heavyweight.

Nationality and style : American mixed martial artist.

Why he's ranked : There was a time when Jon Jones was on a killer run. That Jones was awesome.

But then things unraveled.

Forget about the controversies, the out-of-Octagon misdemeanors , and the failed drug tests , Jones hasn't looked like the old Jones for a very long time.

Though his standards appear to have slipped, Jones remains a light heavyweight champion with the UFC and continues to collect wins.

1: Khabib Nurmagomedov 28 wins (8 KOs, 10 subs, and 10 decisions), unbeaten.

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Organization and weight class : UFC lightweight.

Nationality and style : Russian wrestler.

Why he's ranked : Here he is, Insider's pound-for-pound No.1 athlete in all MMA.

His name is Khabib Nurmagomedov, he's unbeaten after 28 bouts, and he's smashed his way through his opponents while barely even losing a round.

The only round he may not have won is arguably the third round of his 2018 fight against Conor McGregor, but he dropped the Irishman in the second and stopped him with a neck crank in the fourth. He also trash-talked McGregor throughout the fight.

Nurmagomedov has since beaten Dustin Poirier in style and is set to defend his UFC title on April 18 against Tony Ferguson in one of the most significant championship fights in the history of the company.

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