1 best fighter from every major MMA promotion

Here's who we think is the best fighter in ONE Championship, UFC, Bellator and the PFL.
Johnny Eblen
Johnny Eblen / Cooper Neill/GettyImages

The MMA community constantly debates about who is the best in every weight class. The UFC pound-for-pound rankings are also a big topic of discussion. Oftentimes fans wonder how each promotion's champions might fare against each other in matches we know will never happen.

In this story, I will select who I think is the best fighter in each of the four biggest MMA promotions: UFC, Bellator, PFL, and ONE Championship. For the purpose of this, I will separate Bellator and PFL since they still hold separate events and have different champions. For ONE Championship things will be a bit harder since they offer several various combat sports categories, so I'll choose a personal favorite there. Remember there's no real right or wrong answer and I don't want any angry tweets about how dumb I am for my picks. Instead, tweet me your top four, and let's have a friendly debate.

ONE Championship: Anatoly Malykhin

This was one of the hardest promotions for me to decide. ONE Championship is going through a bit of a change and MMA hasn't been their focus for a while. I have to be honest that I haven't been following it as closely as I used to but it doesn't take a genius to know that the guy holding three belts is probably pretty dang good. Anatoly Malykhin is the current heavyweight, light heavyweight, and middleweight champion and is a beast. He's undefeated in both his amateur and professional careers and has never gone to a decision ... ever.

UFC: Alex Pereira

Maybe recency bias will be coming into play here but I really think Alex Pereira deserves to be the No. 1 pound-for-pound king in the UFC. Right now that honor is Islam Makhachev's and that's not a bad runner-up, but Pereira has accolades that Makhachev doesn't. Makhachev hasn't won titles in two weight classes, Makhachev hasn't taken fights on weeks' notice, and Makhachev hasn't got the aura or personality of Pereira either. I stan hard for Poatan. CHAMA!

Bellator: Johnny Eblen

For me, this was the easiest of all the promotions. Johnny Eblen is widely considered one of the best fighters outside of the UFC right now. He's consistently dismantling his opponents and even won the Bellator vs. PFL title versus Impa Kasanganay, someone everyone thought was PFL's best. If he can get through Fabian Edwards again (which I think he will), we may see him jump ship for the UFC the first chance he gets.

PFL: Brendan Loughnane

As mentioned above, some people might have put Kasanganay in this place and I almost did but I still think Brendan Loughnane is the best. He's the 2022 champion and while he didn't have the best 2023, he's come back with a vengeance in 2024 and I think he will take the title again this year. Loughnane bounced back from his loss to Jesus Pinedo with two finishes this year.