When Dricus Du Plessis upset longtime No. 2 middleweight Robert Whittaker last summer, the expectation was that he would be next in line to challenge for the UFC championship against Israel Adesanya. But Du Plessis was sidelined by injury, and the title shot went to Sean Strickland, who upset Adesanya in September to win the belt.

Du Plessis maintained his lofty position in the ESPN top 10, however, and simply shifted his focus to targeting a new champion. And after defeating Strickland last weekend at UFC 297, Du Plessis now owns the title and also moves up to No. 1 in the divisional rankings.

The winner of the weekend's other title fight, Raquel Pennington, was already No. 1 at women's bantamweight, so there was no upward mobility for her. But by winning the title in her second shot at UFC gold, Pennington solidified her hold on the top spot.

Jamahal Hill was removed from the light heavyweight rankings because of inactivity.

For the ESPN pound-for-pound MMA rankings, click here. For a list of current UFC champions in all weight classes, click here.

Note: Results are current; rankings as of Jan. 24. To be eligible for the rankings, a fighter must have competed over the past 12 months or must have an upcoming fight booked. Fighters who have been dropped for inactivity can be reinstated only after they compete.

Heavyweight - Light heavyweight - Middleweight - WelterweightLightweight - Men's featherweight - Men's bantamweightMen's flyweight - Women's bantamweight - Women's flyweight - Strawweight

Tom Aspinall celebrates from the top of the heavyweight world -- his spot at least until Jon Jones returns. Jeff Bottari/Zuffa LLC via Getty Images

HEAVYWEIGHT (up to 265 pounds)

1. Tom Aspinall

Promotion: UFCRecord: 14-3Last: W (TKO1) vs. Sergei Pavlovich, Nov. 11, 2023Next: TBD

2. Jon Jones

Promotion: UFC championRecord: 27-1, 1 NCLast: W (Sub1) vs. Ciryl Gane, March 4, 2023Next: TBD

3. Sergei Pavlovich

Promotion: UFCRecord: 18-2Last: L (TKO1) vs. Tom Aspinall, Nov. 11, 2023Next: TBD

4. Ciryl Gane

Promotion: UFCRecord: 12-2Last: W (TKO2) vs. Serghei Spivac, Sept. 2, 2023Next: TBD

5. Curtis Blaydes

Promotion: UFCRecord: 17-4, 1 NCLast: L (TKO1) vs. Sergei Pavlovich, April 22, 2023Next: March 9 vs. Jailton Almeida

6. Alexander Volkov

Promotion: UFCRecord: 37-10Last: W (Sub2) vs. Tai Tuivasa, Sept. 9, 2023Next: TBD

7. Tai Tuivasa

Promotion: UFCRecord: 14-6Last: L (Sub2) vs. Alexander Volkov, Sept. 9, 2023Next: Feb. 17 vs. Marcin Tybura

8. Jailton Almeida

Promotion: UFCRecord: 20-2Last: W (UD) vs. Derrick Lewis, Nov. 4, 2023Next: March 9 vs. Curtis Blaydes

9. Serghei Spivac

Promotion: UFCRecord: 16-4Last: L (TKO2) vs. Ciryl Gane, Sept. 2, 2023Next: TBD

10. Ryan Bader

Promotion: Bellator championRecord: 31-7, 1 NCLast: W (TKO1) vs. Fedor Emelianenko, Feb. 4, 2023Next: Feb. 24 vs. Renan Ferreira

Khalil Rountree Jr. entered the top 10 at light heavyweight after picking up a third-round knockout win over Anthony Smith at UFC Fight Night on Dec. 9. Jeff Bottari/Zuffa LLC via Getty Images

LIGHT HEAVYWEIGHT (up to 205 pounds)

1. Alex Pereira

Promotion: UFC championRecord: 9-2Last: W (TKO2) vs. Jirí Procházka, Nov. 11, 2023Next: TBD

2. Jirí Procházka

Promotion: UFCPrevious ranking: 3Record: 29-4-1Last: L (TKO2) vs. Alex Pereira, Nov. 11, 2023Next: April 13 vs. Aleksandar Rakic

3. Jan Blachowicz

Promotion: UFCPrevious ranking: 4Record: 29-10-1Last: L (SD) vs. Alex Pereira, July 29, 2023Next: TBD

4. Magomed Ankalaev

Promotion: UFCPrevious ranking: 5Record: 19-1-1Last: W (KO2) vs. Johnny Walker, Jan. 13, 2024Next: TBD

5. Vadim Nemkov

Promotion: Bellator championPrevious ranking: 6Record: 17-2, 1 NCLast: W (UD) vs. Yoel Romero, June 16, 2023Next: Feb. 24 vs. Bruno Cappelozza

6. Corey Anderson

Promotion: BellatorPrevious ranking: 7Record: 17-6, 1 NCLast: W (SD) vs. Phil Davis, June 16, 2023Next: TBD

7. Nikita Krylov

Promotion: UFCPrevious ranking: 8Record: 30-9Last: W (Sub1) vs. Ryan Spann, March 11, 2023Next: TBD

8. Khalil Rountree Jr.

Promotion: UFCPrevious ranking: 10Record: 37-19Last: W (TKO3) vs. Anthony Smith, Dec. 9, 2023Next: TBD

9. Johnny Walker

Promotion: UFCRecord: 21-8Last: L (KO2) vs. Magomed Ankalaev, Jan. 13, 2024Next: TBD

10. Anthony Smith

Promotion: UFCPrevious ranking: UnrankedRecord: 37-19Last: L (TKO3) vs. Khalil Rountree Jr., Dec. 9, 2023Next: TBD

Khamzat Chimaev beat Kamaru Usman at UFC 294 to earn a spot in the middleweight top 10. Chris Unger/Zuffa LLC via Getty Images

MIDDLEWEIGHT (up to 185 pounds)

1. Dricus du Plessis

Promotion: UFC championPrevious ranking: 2Record: 21-2Last: W (SD) vs. Sean Strickland, Jan. 20, 2024Next: TBD

2. Israel Adesanya

Promotion: UFCPrevious ranking: 1Record: 24-3Last: L (UD) vs. Sean Strickland, Sept. 9, 2023Next: TBD

3. Robert Whittaker

Promotion: UFCRecord: 24-7Last: L (TKO2) vs. Dricus Du Plessis, July 8, 2023Next: Feb. 17 vs. Paulo Costa

4. Jared Cannonier

Promotion: UFCRecord: 17-6Last: W (UD) vs. Marvin Vettori, June 17, 2023Next: TBD

5. Sean Strickland

Promotion: UFCRecord: 28-6Last: L (SD) vs. Dricus Du Plessis, Jan. 20, 2024Next: TBD

6. Marvin Vettori

Promotion: UFCRecord: 19-7-1Last: L (UD) vs. Jared Cannonier, June 17, 2023Next: April 6 vs. Brendan Allen

7. Johnny Eblen

Promotion: Bellator championRecord: 14-0Last: W (TKO3) vs. Fabian Edwards, Sept. 23, 2023Next: Feb. 24 vs. Impa Kasanganay

8. Khamzat Chimaev

Promotion: UFCRecord: 13-0Last: W (MD) vs. Kamaru Usman, Oct. 21, 2023Next: TBD

9. Brendan Allen

Promotion: UFCRecord: 23-5Last: W (Sub3) vs. Paul Craig, Nov. 18, 2023Next: April 6 vs. Marvin Vettori

10. Derek Brunson

Promotion: PFLRecord: 24-9Last: W (UD) vs. Ray Cooper III, Nov. 24, 2023Next: TBD

UFC welterweight champion Leon Edwards beat Colby Covington by unanimous decision in the main event at UFC 296 to retain the title. Sean M. Haffey/Getty Images

WELTERWEIGHT (up to 170 pounds)

1. Leon Edwards

Promotion: UFC championRecord: 22-3, 1 NCLast: W (UD) vs. Colby Covington, Dec. 16, 2023Next: TBD

2. Kamaru Usman

Promotion: UFCRecord: 20-4Last: L (MD) vs. Khamzat Chimaev, Oct. 21, 2023Next: TBD

3. Belal Muhammad

Promotion: UFCRecord: 23-3, 1 NCLast: W (UD) vs. Gilbert Burns, May 6, 2023Next: TBD

4. Shavkat Rakhmonov

Promotion: UFCRecord: 18-0Last: W (Sub2) vs. Stephen Thompson, Dec. 16, 2023Next: TBD

5. Khamzat Chimaev

Promotion: UFCRecord: 13-0Last: W (MD) vs. Kamaru Usman, Oct. 21, 2023Next: TBD

6. Gilbert Burns

Promotion: UFCRecord: 22-6Last: L (UD) vs. Belal Muhammad, May 6, 2023Next: March 9 vs. Jack Della Maddalena

7. Colby Covington

Promotion: UFCRecord: 17-4Last: L (UD) Leon Edwards vs. , Dec. 16, 2023Next: TBD

8. Jason Jackson

Promotion: Bellator championRecord: 17-4Last: W (KO3) vs. Yaroslav Amosov, Nov. 17, 2023Next: Feb. 24 vs. Ray Cooper III

9. Stephen Thompson

Promotion: UFCRecord: 17-6-1Last: L (Sub2) vs. Shavkat Rakhmonov, Dec. 16, 2023Next: TBD

10. Geoff Neal

Promotion: UFCRecord: 15-5Last: L (Sub3) vs. Shavkat Rakhmonov, March 4, 2023Next: Feb. 17 vs Ian Garry

Justin Gaethje celebrates with the BMF belt after defeating Dustin Poirier at UFC 291. Josh Hedges/Getty Images

LIGHTWEIGHT (up to 155 pounds)

1. Islam Makhachev

Promotion: UFC championRecord: 25-1Last: W (KO1) vs. Alexander Volkanovski, Oct. 21, 2023Next: TBD

2. Charles Oliveira

Promotion: UFCRecord: 34-9, 1 NCLast: W (TKO1) vs. Beneil Dariush, June 10, 2023Next: April 13 vs. Arman Tsarukyan

3. Justin Gaethje

Promotion: UFCRecord: 25-4Last: W (KO2) vs. Dustin Poirier, July 29, 2023Next: April 13 vs. Max Holloway

4. Arman Tsarukyan

Promotion: UFCRecord: 21-3Last: W (KO1) vs. Beneil Dariush, Dec. 2, 2023Next: April 13 vs. Charles Oliveira

5. Dustin Poirier

Promotion: UFCRecord: 29-8, 1 NCLast: L (KO2) vs. Justin Gaethje, July 29, 2023Next: March 9 vs. Benoit Saint Denis

6. Beneil Dariush

Promotion: UFCRecord: 22-6-1Last: L (KO1) vs. Arman Tsarukyan, Dec. 2, 2023Next: TBD

7. Mateusz Gamrot

Promotion: UFCRecord: 23-2, 1 NCLast: W (TKO2) vs. Rafael Fiziev, Sept. 23, 2023Next: March 9 vs. Rafael Dos Anjos

8. Rafael Fiziev

Promotion: UFCRecord: 26-8Last: L (TKO2) vs. Mateusz Gamrot, Sept. 23, 2023Next: TBD

9. Dan Hooker

Promotion: UFCRecord: 29-12Last: W (SD) vs. Jalin Turner, July 8, 2023Next: TBD

10. Jalin Turner

Promotion: UFCRecord: 14-7Last: W (KO1) vs. Bobby Green, Dec. 2, 2023Next: TBD

Ilia Topuria gets his shot at the featherweight title on Feb. 17. Cooper Neill/Zuffa LLC

MEN'S FEATHERWEIGHT (up to 145 pounds)

1. Alexander Volkanovski

Promotion: UFC championRecord: 26-3Last: L (KO1) vs. Islam Makhachev, Oct. 21, 2023Next: Feb. 17 vs. Ilia Topuria

2. Max Holloway

Promotion: UFCRecord: 25-7Last: W (KO3) vs. Chan Sung Jung, Aug. 26, 2023Next: April 13 vs. Justin Gaethje

3. Yair Rodriguez

Promotion: UFCRecord: 15-4, 1 NCLast: L (TKO3) vs. Alexander Volkanovski, July 8, 2023Next: Feb. 24 vs. Brian Ortega

4. Patricio Freire

Promotion: Bellator championRecord: 35-7Last: L (KO1) vs. Chihiro Suzuki, July 30, 2023Next: Feb. 24 vs. Jesus Pinedo

5. Ilia Topuria

Promotion: UFCRecord: 14-0Last: W (UD) vs. Josh Emmett, June 24, 2023Next: Feb. 17 vs. Alexander Volkanovski

6. Josh Emmett

Promotion: UFCRecord: 19-4Last: W (KO1) vs. Bryce Mitchell, Dec. 16, 2023Next: TBD

7. Movsar Evloev

Promotion: UFCPrevious ranking: 8Record: 18-0Last: W (UD) vs. Arnold Allen, Jan. 20, 2024Next: TBD

8. Arnold Allen

Promotion: UFCPrevious ranking: 7Record: 19-3Last: L (UD) vs. Movsar Evloev, Jan. 20, 2024Next: TBD

9. Giga Chikadze

Promotion: UFCRecord: 15-3Last: W (UD) vs. Alex Caceres, Aug. 26, 2023Next: TBD

10. Bryce Mitchell

Promotion: UFCRecord: 16-2Last: L (KO1) Josh Emmett, Dec. 16, 2023Next: TBD

Sean O'Malley upset the balance of power in the UFC men's bantamweight division. Cooper Neill/Zuffa LLC via Getty Images

MEN'S BANTAMWEIGHT (up to 135 pounds)

1. Sean O'Malley

Promotion: UFC championRecord: 17-1, 1 NCLast: W (TKO2) vs. Aljamain Sterling, Aug. 19, 2023Next: March 9 vs. Marlon Vera

2. Aljamain Sterling

Promotion: UFCRecord: 23-4Last: L (TKO2) vs. Sean O'Malley, Aug. 19, 2023Next: April 13 vs. Calvin Kattar

3. Merab Dvalishvili

Promotion: UFCRecord: 16-4Last: W (UD) vs. Petr Yan, March 11, 2023Next: Feb. 17 vs. Henry Cejudo

4. Henry Cejudo

Promotion: UFCRecord: 16-3Last: L (SD) vs. Aljamain Sterling, May 6, 2023Next: Feb. 17 vs. Merab Dvalishvili

5. Cory Sandhagen

Promotion: UFCRecord: 17-4Last: W (UD) vs. Rob Font, Aug. 5, 2023Next: TBD

6. Petr Yan

Promotion: UFCRecord: 16-5Last: L (UD) vs. Merab Dvalishvili, March 11, 2023Next: March 9 vs. Song Yadong

7. Patchy Mix

Promotion: Bellator championRecord: 19-1Last: W (Sub2) vs. Sergio Pettis, Nov. 17, 2023Next: TBD

8. Marlon Vera

Promotion: UFCRecord: 21-8-1Last: W (UD) vs. Pedro Munhoz, Aug. 19, 2023Next: March 9 vs. Sean O'Malley

9. Sergio Pettis

Promotion: BellatorRecord: 23-6Last: L (Sub2) vs. Patchy Mix, Nov. 17, 2023Next: TBD

10. Deiveson Figueiredo

Promotion: UFCRecord: 22-3-1Last: W (UD) vs. Rob Font, Dec. 2, 2023Next: April 13 vs. Cody Garbrandt

Alexandre Pantoja recorded his first UFC men's flyweight title defense with a win over Brandon Royval in the co-main event at UFC 296. Cooper Neill/Zuffa LLC via Getty Images

MEN'S FLYWEIGHT (up to 125 pounds)

1. Alexandre Pantoja

Promotion: UFC championRecord: 27-5Last: W (UD) vs. Brandon Royval, Dec. 16, 2023Next: TBD

2. Brandon Moreno

Promotion: UFCRecord: 21-7-2Last: L (SD) vs. Alexandre Pantoja, July 8, 2023Next: Feb. 24 vs.Brandon Royval

3. Demetrious Johnson

Promotion: One Championship championRecord: 25-4-1Last: W (UD) vs. Adriano Moraes, May 5, 2023Next: TBD

4. Amir Albazi

Promotion: UFCRecord: 17-1Last: W (SD) vs. Kai Kara-France, June 3, 2023Next: TBD

5. Kai Kara-France

Promotion: UFCRecord: 24-11, 1 NCLast: L (SD) vs. Amir Albazi, June 3, 2023Next: TBD

6. Adriano Moraes

Promotion: One ChampionshipRecord: 20-5Last: L (UD) vs. Demetrious Johnson, May 5, 2023Next: TBD

7. Brandon Royval

Promotion: UFCRecord: 15-7Last: L (UD) vs. Alexandre Pantoja, Dec. 16, 2023Next: Feb. 24 vs. Brandon Moreno

8. Matheus Nicolau

Promotion: UFCRecord: 19-3-1Last: L (KO1) vs. Brandon Royval, April 15, 2023Next: TBD

9. Manel Kape

Promotion: UFCRecord: 19-6Last: W (UD) vs. Felipe dos Santos, Sept. 9, 2023Next: TBD

10. Muhammad Mokaev

Promotion: UFCRecord: 11-0Last: W (Sub2) vs. Tim Elliott, Dec. 3, 2022Next: TBD

Raquel Pennington filled the UFC's championship vacancy at women's bantamweight with a rugged win on Jan. 20. Jeff Bottari/Zuffa LLC via Getty Images

WOMEN'S BANTAMWEIGHT (up to 135 pounds)

1. Raquel Pennington

Promotion: UFC championRecord: 16-8Last: W (UD) vs. Mayra Bueno Silva, Jan. 20, 2024Next: TBD

2. Ketlen Vieira

Promotion: UFCRecord: 14-3Last: W (UD) vs. Pannie Kianzad, July 22, 2023Next: TBD

3. Holly Holm

Promotion: UFCRecord: 15-7Last: L (Sub2) vs. Mayra Bueno Silva, July 15, 2023Next: TBD

4. Irene Aldana

Promotion: UFCRecord: 15-7Last: W (UD) vs. Karol Rosa, Dec.16, 2023Next: TBD

5. Sara McMann

Promotion: BellatorRecord: 14-7Last: L (TKO1) vs. Leah McCourt, Oct. 7, 2023Next: TBD

6. Norma Dumont

Promotion: UFCRecord: 10-2Last: W (UD) vs. Chelsea Chandler, July 15, 2023Next: TBD

7. Pannie Kianzad

Promotion: UFCRecord: 16-7Last: L (UD) vs. Ketlen Vieira, July 22, 2023Next: TBD

8. Karol Rosa

Promotion: UFCRecord: 17-6Last: L (UD) vs. Irene Aldana, Dec. 16, 2023Next: TBD

9. Yana Santos

Promotion: UFCRecord: 14-8, 1 NCLast: L (SD) vs. Karol Rosa, July 1, 2023Next: TBD

10. Miesha Tate

Promotion: UFCRecord: 20-9Last: W (Sub3) vs. Julia Avila, Dec. 2, 2023Next: TBD

Erin Blanchfield scored her sixth straight UFC victory on Aug. 26 in Singapore. Suhaimi Abdullah/Zuffa LLC via Getty Images

WOMEN'S FLYWEIGHT (up to 125 pounds)

1. Alexa Grasso

Promotion: UFC championRecord: 16-3-1Last: Split draw vs. Valentina Shevchenko, Sept. 16, 2023Next: TBD

2. Valentina Shevchenko

Promotion: UFCRecord: 23-4-1Last: Split draw vs. Alexa Grasso, Sept. 16, 2023Next: TBD

3. Manon Fiorot

Promotion: UFCRecord: 11-1Last: W (UD) vs. Rose Namajunas, Sept. 2, 2023Next: March 30 vs. Erin Blanchfield

4. Erin Blanchfield

Promotion: UFCRecord: 12-1Last: W (UD) vs. Taila Santos, Aug. 26, 2023Next: March 30 vs. Manon Fiorot

5. Liz Carmouche

Promotion: Bellator championRecord: 20-7Last: W (TKO5) vs. Ilima-Lei Macfarlane, Oct. 7, 2023Next: TBD

6. Jessica Andrade

Promotion: UFCRecord: 25-12Last: W (TKO2) vs. Mackenzie Dern, Nov. 11, 2023Next: TBD

7. Rose Namajunas

Promotion: UFCRecord: 11-6Last: L (UD) vs. Manon Fiorot, Sept. 2, 2023Next: March 23 vs. Amanda Ribas

8. Lauren Murphy

Promotion: UFCRecord: 16-6Last: L (UD) vs. Jessica Andrade, Jan. 21, 2023Next: March 9 vs. Karine Silva

9. Maycee Barber

Promotion: UFCRecord: 13-2Last: W (TKO2) vs. Amanda Ribas, June 24, 2023Next: March 9 vs. Katlyn Chookagian

10. Viviane Araujo

Promotion: UFCRecord: 12-5Last: W (UD) vs. Jennifer Maia, Oct. 14, 2023Next: Feb. 2 vs. Natalia Silva

Tatiana Suarez beat Jessica Andrade by submission at UFC Fight Night on Aug. 5. Jeff Bottari/Zuffa LLC via Getty Images

STRAWWEIGHT (up to 115 pounds)

1. Zhang Weili

Promotion: UFC championRecord: 24-2Last: W (UD) vs. Amanda Lemos, Aug. 19, 2023Next: April 13 vs. Yan Xiaonan

2. Amanda Lemos

Promotion: UFCRecord: 12-3-1Last: L (UD) vs. Zhang Weili, Aug. 19, 2023Next: Feb. 17 vs. Mackenzie Dern

3. Yan Xiaonan

Promotion: UFCRecord: 14-3, 1 NCLast: W (KO1) vs. Jessica Andrade, May 6, 2023Next: April 13 vs. Zhang Weili

4. Tatiana Suarez

Promotion: UFCRecord: 11-0Last: W (Sub2) vs. Jessica Andrade, August 5, 2023Next: TBD

5. Virna Jandiroba

Promotion: UFCRecord: 19-3Last: W (UD) vs. Marina Rodriguez, May 6, 2023Next: TBD

6. Marina Rodriguez

Promotion: UFCRecord: 17-3-2Last: W (TKO2) vs. Michelle Waterson-Gomez, Sept. 23, 2023Next: TBD

7. Jessica Andrade

Promotion: UFCRecord: 25-12Last: W (TKO2) vs. Mackenzie Dern, Nov. 11, 2023Next: TBD

8. Mackenzie Dern

Promotion: UFCRecord: 13-4Last: L (TKO2) vs. Jessica Andrade, Nov. 11, 2023Next: Feb. 17 vs. Amanda Lemos

9. Amanda Ribas

Promotion: UFCRecord: 13-4Last: W (TKO3) vs. Luana Pinheiro, Nov. 18, 2023Next: March 23 vs. Rose Namajunas

10. Luana Pinheiro

Promotion: UFCRecord: 11-2Last: W (TKO3) vs. Amanda Ribas, Nov. 18, 2023Next: TBD