UFC Heavyweight Rankings: Which star prospect ranked higher in the top-10 between Aspinall and Daukaus?

ufc heavyweight rankings
Sep 24, 2021; Las Vegas, Nevada, USA; Curtis Blaydes during weigh-ins for UFC 266 at Park Theater. Mandatory Credit: Gary A. Vasquez-USA TODAY Sports

Although heavyweights may not be the most technical of the various divisions in the Ultimate Fighting Championship, it always remains a popular weight class when the elites of the division clash.

There are few things better than seeing combatants near 265-pounds go toe-to-toe in the Octagon. With that in mind, here are MixedMartialArts.com’s top-10 UFC heavyweight rankings:

UFC Heavyweight rankings

10. Tom Aspinall (11-2)

On the heels of another impressive showing in the co-main of UFC Vegas 36, Tom Aspinall has landed in our top-10. The brightest heavyweight prospect from the UK in nearly a decade has become a must-see fighter over four showings in the Octagon. He has competed in the promotion four times and earned finishes each fight. With the last two against notable names in Andre Arlovski and Sergey Spivak.

  • Next fight: Waiting for next booking

9. Chris Daukaus (12-3)

ufc heavyweight rankings
Sep 25, 2021; Las Vegas, Nevada, USA; Chris Daukaus reacts following his TKO victory against Shamil Abdurakhimov during UFC 266 at T-Mobile Arena. Mandatory Credit: Gary A. Vasquez-USA TODAY Sports

In 13 months, Chris Daukaus has gone from a CFFC talent with strong potential, to one of the 10 best heavyweights in the world. He’s scored four straight finishes in the Octagon and earned another at UFC 266 against a skilled veteran in Shamil Abdurakhimov. Recent reports now have him being set up for the most important booking of his young career in December against former interim-title challenger Derrick Lewis next.

  • Next fight: vs. Derrick Lewis (December 18)

8. Marcin Tybura (20-7)

After a difficult 2019, where he lost twice by knockout, Marcin Tybura has grown as a fighter and is in the midst of his best run inside the Octagon. In winning five straight, and his last three against top-15 level talent in Ben Rothwell, Greg Hardy, and Walt Harris, he has seemingly put his KO weaknesses behind him. He is one of the better grapplers in the division and is only getting better. He will get a massive test next at UFC 267 against Alexander Volkov. If he can beat the Russian, Tybura’s win streak will become more than just a streak of favorable matchups.

  • Next fight: vs. Alexander Volkov at UFC 267

7. Jairzinho Rozenstruik (12-3)

Jairzinho “Bigi Boy” Rozenstruik has been impressive in his eight-fight stint in the organization. Yes, he has lost twice, but that came against the current champion and one-half of the upcoming interim-title bout. In just two years he has risen into the upper echelon of the weight class and became a feared talent for his striking prowess and power. However, the Suriname native has hit a bit of a ceiling as he’s alternated wins and losses in his last six. Including a defeat to Curtis Blaydes in his most recent outing at UFC 266.

  • Next fight: Waiting for next booking

6. Alexander Volkov (33-9)

ufc heavyweight rankings
June 20, 2020; Las Vegas, NV, USA; Alexander Volkov of Russia kicks Curtis Blaydes in their heavyweight bout during UFC Fight Night at UFC APEX. Mandatory Credit: Chris Unger/Zuffa LLC via USA TODAY Sports

There is no question that Alexander “Drago” Volkov is a top-10 heavyweight. However, his biggest knock is when the time comes to firmly establish himself as a top contender against other elite big men, he has come up short. Like he has in fights against Lewis, Blaydes, and in June against Gane. He remains a dangerous fighter in the division, but one that continues to hover outside the top five. His UFC 267 bout against Marcin Tybura will be a chance to push him closer to the top-five with a big win.

  • Next fight: vs. Marcin Tybura at UFC 267

5. Curtis Blaydes (14-3)

Losing to Derrick Lewis in February was a major setback for Blaydes. Once again, “Razor” used an impressive win streak to get back into the title picture, and a first-round knockout denied him a championship opportunity. He was able to bounce back from that loss at UFC 266 with a definitive win over fellow top-10 talent in Jairzinho Rozenstruik. A matchup with someone of the ilk of Stipe Miocic next would make a lot of sense for both men.

  • Next fight: Waiting for next booking

4. Derrick Lewis (25-8)

If not for the existence of Ngannou, Derrick Lewis would be considered the scariest fighter in the division. Not because of a technical striking style that’s second to none. No, he is a man that just has absurd power in his fists and he knows how to use it. His failed bid at the interim title in August against Ciryl Gane drops him a spot, but he is still a very scary man in the division. He will next face fast-rising big man Chris Daukaus to maintain his spot as elite talent in the weight class.

  • Next fight: vs Chris Daukaus (December 18)

3. Stipe Miocic (20-4)

Despite losing the championship for the second time in March, Stipe Miocic’s place as the best heavyweight of all time remains, for now. The big question is what will be his next booking? A trilogy with Ngannou, to settle the score once and for all? Will he take another long hiatus, which has been his modus operandi in recent years? Similar to the champ, Miocic’s path forward is unclear.

  • Next fight: Waiting for next booking

2. Ciryl Gane (10-0)

Ciryl Gane’s meteoric rise through the division in just two years has been extremely impressive. However, his path to an interim title fight hasn’t been a path of terror where he used heavyweight power to pummel foes. No, in little time “Bon Gamin” has shown to be one of the most technically skilled strikers in the weight class, while also having power commensurate with his size. In August he showed both in completely outclassing Derrick Lewis and earning the interim gold by technical knockout. Now, he will get the ultimate test at UFC 270 against reigning division king and Cameroonian goliath Francis Ngannou.

  • Next fight: vs. Francis Ngannou at UFC 270

1. Champion: Francis Ngannou (16-3)

ufc heavyweight rankings
May 9, 2020; Jacksonville, Florida, USA; Francis Ngannou (red gloves) defeats Jairzinho Rozenstruik (blue gloves) by knockout during UFC 249 at VyStar Veterans Memorial Arena. Mandatory Credit: Jasen Vinlove-USA TODAY Sports

Francis Ngannou is one of the most terrifying forces in mixed martial arts. He has the sort of power in his hands that could stun an elephant, and he has shown every bit of it in his recent wins over Cain Velasquez, Junior Dos Santos, Jairzinho Rozenstruik, and former champion Stipe Miocic. “The Predator” is a wrecking machine that now owns the heavyweight title, and is the official “Baddest Man on the Planet.” However, he may get his greatest test yet in January against former teammate and interim champ Ciryl Gane.

  • Next fight: vs. Ciryl Gane at UFC 270