170 Pounds of Fighting Fury

Each weight class in the UFC stands apart from the next with its own set of elite fighters who bring unique skill sets and thrilling fight styles to the octagon. Among these divisions, the UFC Welterweight rankings are at the apex of grit, technical skill, and impressive athleticism.

This division features a dangerous mix of rising stars and established legends. Here, we take a brief look at each fighter's journey, from humble beginnings to the bright lights of the octagon. It takes unwavering dedication and hard-earned skills to climb the steps of this fiercely competitive division.

From devastating knockout artists to grappling phenoms, the Welterweight division is stacked with world class talent. Whether driven by a pursuit for gold or the unyielding desire to prove their mettle, these MMA gladiators compete at the pinnacle of combat sports.

The Top 15 Fighters in the Welterweight Division

Welterweight Champion - Leon Edwards

  1. Kamaru Usman
  2. Belal Muhammad
  3. Shavkat Rakhmonov
  4. Colby Covington
  5. Jack Della Maddalena
  6. Gilbert Burns
  7. Ian Machado Garry
  8. Sean Brady
  9. Stephen Thompson
  10. Geoff Neal
  11. Neil Magny
  12. Joaquin Buckley
  13. Michael Page
  14. Vincente Luque
  15. Kevin Holland

Current Welterweight Champion - Leon Edwards

Leon Edwards is a Jamaican-British Mixed Martial Artist, has firmly established himself as a dominant figure in the UFC Welterweight division. Born and raised in Birmingham, England, he grappled with adversity early in life but fought his way to prominence in the globally renowned UFC platform.

As a versatile striker with a well-rounded ground game, Edwards’ fighting style is testament to his discipline, technique and ceaseless drive. Most recently, Edwards defended his title against #5 ranked Welterweight, Colby Covington.

The journey to his Welterweight Champion title has been marked with memorable bouts against formidable opponents, skillfully navigating through the stacked division with a mix of tactical striking and relentless pressure. His precision, timing, and exceptional ability to control distance inside the octagon, have led him to numerous victories, earning his reign as champion.

Edwards has defended his title twice and we're already looking forward to his next fight. Follow Leon Edwards and his journey as the Welterweight Champion on Instagram @leonedwardsmma.

#1 Welterweight - Kamaru Usman

Kamaru Usman, aka the "Nigerian Nightmare", has been one of the most unbeatable athletes in the UFC Welterweight division. Born in Nigeria and later immigrating to the United States, Usman's journey is a tale of perseverance and determination.

Through intense training, he has honed a particular style that blends powerful wrestling with improving stand-up striking skills. Usman is widely appreciated for his relentless pace and indomitable strength, which he has used time and time again to overpower his opponents.

His ascent to the top of the welterweight division wasn't easy and he's as built an impressive professional MMA record of 20 wins and just 4 losses. He has fought (and defeated) some of the most skilled fighters in the division, displaying both fight IQ and overpowering wrestling physicality.

Usman's legacy in the UFC continues to grow with each match, winning over fans and pundits with his powerful performances. A formidable and dedicated athlete, Kamaru Usman is undoubtedly a standout figure in the UFC welterweight division.

#2 Welterweight - Belal Muhammad

Belal "Remember the Name" Muhammad has earned a solid reputation as a dynamic competitor in the Welterweight Division. Born and raised in Chicago to Palestinian immigrants, Muhammad's fighting spirit was nurtured not just in the gyms, but also by the resilience his hardworking parents exemplified.

Muhammad excels both in striking and grappling, making him a well-rounded fighter. Not only is he an effective volume striker, but he's also known for his competitive wrestling skills.

He has showcased exceptional consistency and endurance while climbing the ranks to the number two spot. Known for pushing the pace and keeping the pressure on his opponents, Muhammad's fights are marked by their intensity and his inability to back down.

Belal Muhammad carries his heritage with pride, fighting not only for his career but also for his community. His journey is an inspiring tale within the UFC universe, making him an immensely compelling figure in the division.

#3 Welterweight - Shavkat Rakhmonov

Shavkat Rakhmonov, the rising Kazakh MMA prodigy, has gained recognition in the Welterweight Division. Appropriately nicknamed "Nomad", Rakhmonov has showcased an impressive string of victories as an aspiring champion in the making.

Rakhmonov blends a modern MMA style with his traditional wrestling background. His fighting style showcases speed, precision, and effective use of range.

His skills at stand-up striking, coupled with his grappling efficiency, make him a formidable opponent. Rakhmonov's continuing rise in UFC demonstrates the growing impact of Kazakh fighters on the global MMA stage.

His impressive performances continue to boost his reputation as a top contender in the division. Rakhmonov's talent and hard work could carry him to the pinnacle of the division in the near future.

#4 Welterweight - Colby Covington

The American-born fighter with an unmistakable penchant for stirring controversy, Colby Covington, has carved out a place for himself in the division. In the octagon on fight night, "Chaos" Covington's performances have earned him the number 5 spot in the ranks.

His high-pressure fighting style and overwhelming pace exhaust opponents, leaving them aware of Covington's physical endurance. As an NCAA Division I All-American wrestler, his grappling credentials translate well to MMA, anchoring his success in the octagon.

Traditionally, Covington's relentless forward movement and striking volume, combined with his takedown abilities, have made him a worthy opponent. As an unapologetic self-promoter, he has worked hard at the art of getting noticed.

This has garnered attention for him both inside and outside the cage, making decisive statements that have a polarizing effect on fight fans.

#5 Welterweight - Jack Della Maddalena

Jack Della Maddalena's impressive record of 17 wins and 2 losses, makes him one of the top contenders in the 170-pound division right now. Back in September 2021, Maddalena fought (and defeated) Ange Loosa on Dana White's Contender Series 39.

This victory over Loosa earned Maddelena his UFC contract. Since then, Maddalena has been on an undefeated streak within the division.

In March 2024, while apparently battling staph infection leading up to his fight against Gilbert Burns at UFC 299, Jack Della Maddalena also broke his arm during the first round of their fight. Despite these setbacks, Maddalena came back to finish Burns by KO.

#6 Welterweight - Gilbert Burns

Gilbert Burns, widely recognized as "Durinho" (which loosely translates to "Tiny Tough Guy") is a professional fighter with a remarkable presence in this division. Born and raised in Rio de Janeiro, Brazil, Burns started his combat training in BJJ, where he was a world champion before transitioning to MMA.

His Brazilian Jiu-Jitsu black belt reflects in his dominant grappling and submission skills in the octagon, but Burns is by no means a one-dimensional fighter. He has worked hard to develop his striking game, so he can pose a threat on the ground and the feet.

Burns' current professional record of 22 wins and 7 losses highlight his well-rounded proficiency as an MMA fighter. Most recently, Burns lost his latest fight against Jack Della Maddalena at UFC 299.

#7 Welterweight - Ian Machado Garry

Ian "The Future" Garry joined the UFC in November 2021. Garry fights out of Dublin, Ireland and has continued to prove himself in the MMA circuit. Garry plans on following in the footsteps of fellow Irish mixed martial artist, Conor McGregor.

His striking style and natural reach give him a physical advantage that's backed by a technical stand-up game that has helped him fight his way to an undefeated professional MMA record.

Garry has seen success using not only striking, but wrestling takedowns and has 1 win by submission against Mateusz Figlak when they fought at Cage Warriors 110. Garry's public persona are not without controversy, but Garry won his latest fight against fellow Welterweight, Geoff Neal at UFC 298.

#8 Welterweight - Sean Brady

Sean Brady, an American-born fighter hailing from Philadelphia, has rapidly become a compelling figure in the UFC Welterweight division. With a nearly perfect professional MMA record, Brady shows great potential as a contender in this intensely competitive weight class.

Skilled in grappling and striking, Brady brings a well-rounded strategy to the octagon. He has been recognized for his elite level Brazilian Jiu-Jitsu technique, which have helped him win several submission victories.

Brady's ability to mix up strikes and takedowns makes him an unpredictable (and dangerous) opponent in the cage. His discipline, readiness, and resilience have helped steer his path through the UFC ranks.

Brady's rapidly evolving skill set, poised demeanor, and nearly undefeated professional record mark him as a special talent to watch.

#9 Welterweight - Stephen Thompson

Stephen "Wonderboy" Thompson was born and raised in Simpsonville, South Carolina. Thompson's journey into combat sports began with Kempo karate and kickboxing, where he became an unbeaten kickboxing champion before transitioning into MMA.

Thompson's unique striking style combines impressive speed, deception, and angular movement. His background in karate is unmistakable in his fighting approach, offering a different tempo and rhythm that puzzles many opponents.

Since joining the UFC in 2012, Thompson has proven himself as a recurrent powerhouse and fan favorite. His sportsmanship and humble demeanor outside the cage, combined with his dynamic fighting style, makes him not just a fan favorite, but also an invaluable asset to the UFC.

Throughout his career, Wonderboy Thompson has been a remarkable ambassador for the sport, embodying the spirit and discipline of a true martial artist.

#10 Welterweight - Geoff Neal

Geoff "Handz of Steel" Neal fights out of Texas and possesses lethal striking power. Until 2019, Neal worked as a restaurant server while navigating his career in professional mixed martial arts.

This is a testament to his determination and resilience. Handz of Steel poses a significant knockout threat to his opponents, winning 9 of his professional fights by knockout.

When you consider his striking accuracy and technical prowess, Neal's striking game can change the pace of a match in a matter of seconds. In addition, Neal has also taken the time to improve his grappling.

Neal's latest bout ended in a loss by split decision against Ian Garry at UFC 298 in February 2024.

Fighting Through Victories, Defeats, Triumphs and Setbacks

When the cage door closes, all the accolades, records, and hype dissolve, leaving nothing but the fighter's skill and will. While differences in style and flair set these fighters apart, they are connected by the singular purpose - to win the championship belt.

Each victory, defeat, triumph, and setback shapes their path, ideally molding them into stronger versions of themselves. As we wrap up, we want to underline the fluid nature of rankings.

They are simply snapshots of an ongoing saga. In the dynamic arena of the UFC's Welterweight division, today's underdog could be tomorrow's champion, all in the blink of an eye.