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Jon Jones? Khabib Nurmagomedov? The real pound-for-pound No. 1 is ...

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Helwani: Khabib is the most dominant fighter in UFC history (1:24)

Ariel Helwani doesn't know if Khabib Nurmagomedov is the GOAT or best fighter in UFC history, but is certain he is the most dominant. For more UFC, sign up here for ESPN+ http://plus.espn.com/ufc (1:24)

Khabib Nurmagomedov was as dominant as usual in defeating Dustin Poirier at UFC 242 on Saturday. The lightweight champion ran his record to 28-0 overall, 12-0 in the UFC. No one has done it better. That must make him the clear pound-for-pound No. 1 fighter in MMA, right?

Not so fast. There's this guy named Jon Jones who has been residing at the top of the mountain seemingly forever. The UFC's light heavyweight champ is 25-1 with a no contest, the loss on his record a highly questionable disqualification from a decade ago. He doesn't appear ready to budge anytime soon.

So who's the best in the sport, regardless of weight division or fight promotion?

This was the question ESPN's panel of voters wrestled with, and in the end, you might say it came down to a split decision. Brett Okamoto and Jeff Wagenheim voted to elevate Nurmagomedov, previously ranked second, to the top spot. Ariel Helwani and Marc Raimondi opted to stick with Jones. So "Bones" and Khabib are tied for No. 1.

Here is what ESPN's panelists think:

Okamoto: Pound-for-pound rankings are about splitting hairs. You can make a strong case for Nurmagomedov or Jones as No. 1. Both are undefeated -- Nurmagomedov officially, Jones unofficially. Nurmagomedov is clearly dominant in one specific area -- wrestling. Jones is the complete package, and he seems to enjoy beating his opponents in their areas of strength. I have Nurmagomedov at No. 1 because he has a skill set that no one seems to have any idea what to do with, let alone defeat. Jones is coming off a razor-thin decision against Thiago Santos. Both are great, but I feel Nurmagomedov has a slight edge in consistency right now. I know exactly what I'm getting with Nurmagomedov, and I know that something has proved, thus far, impossible to beat or even slow down.

Raimondi: Jones is the pound-for-pound best fighter in the world until he loses. In 21 UFC fights, Jones has never been beaten. The only loss on his record is that ridiculous disqualification against Matt Hamill in 2009. Nurmagomedov is absolutely amazing. But he has two title defenses. Jones has 10.

Helwani: Honestly, I don't have a great reason why I went with Jones, other than he was No. 1 last month and didn't lose, so I don't think it's right to bump him. There's no wrong answer here. Nurmagomedov is most certainly deserving, but Jones has been at the top longer, so he gets the nod.

Wagenheim: For me, pound-for-pound rankings come down to who's most dominant within his or her domain. That's the only way I can fathom stacking up, say, 125-pound Henry Cejudo alongside Stipe Miocic, a heavyweight champ nearly twice his size. And by that measure, I see Nurmagomedov totally in command every time out, while Jones squeaked by in his last fight and didn't exactly blow the doors off his previous opponent, either. "Jonny Bones" is an all-time great, but right now my No. 1 is Khabib.

On the women's side, there also is some movement in the pound-for-pound top 10. In winning the UFC strawweight championship on Aug. 31, Zhang Weili knocked off previously No. 4 Jessica Andrade and now takes her spot, bumping the Brazilian down the rankings.

(You can find Okamoto's division-by-division rankings here.)

Note: Rankings were updated Sept. 11.

Men's pound-for-pound rankings

T-1. Jon Jones

Record: 25-1, 1 NC
Weight class: Light heavyweight
Last: W (SD) Thiago Santos, July 6
Next: TBD

T-1. Khabib Nurmagomedov

Record: 28-0
Weight class: Lightweight
Last: W (SUB3) Dustin Poirier, Sept. 7
Next: TBD

3. Henry Cejudo

Record: 15-2
Weight class: Flyweight/bantamweight
Last: W (TKO3) Marlon Moraes, June 8
Next: TBD

4. Stipe Miocic

Record: 19-3
Weight class: Heavyweight
Last: W (TKO4) Daniel Cormier, Aug. 17
Next: TBD

5. Daniel Cormier

Record: 22-2, 1 NC
Weight class: Heavyweight
Last: L (TKO4) Stipe Miocic, Aug. 17
Next: TBD

6. Tony Ferguson

Record: 25-3
Weight class: Lightweight
Last: W (TKO2) Donald Cerrone, June 8
Next: TBD

7. Demetrious Johnson

Record: 29-3-1
Weight class: Flyweight
Last: W (UD) Tatsumitsu Wada, Aug. 2
Next: Oct. 12 vs. Danny Kingad

T-8. Max Holloway

Record: 21-4
Weight class: Featherweight
Last: W (UD) Frankie Edgar, July 27
Next: Dec. 14 vs. Alexander Volkanovski

T-8. Robert Whittaker

Record: 20-4
Weight class: Middleweight
Last: W (SD) Yoel Romero, June 9, 2018
Next: Oct. 6 vs. Israel Adesanya

10. Kamaru Usman

Record: 15-1
Weight class: Welterweight
Last: W (UD) Tyron Woodley, March 2
Next: TBD

Other fighters receiving votes: Dustin Poirier and Israel Adesanya.

How our writers voted

Brett Okamoto
1. Khabib Nurmagomedov
2. Jon Jones
3. Henry Cejudo
4. Tony Ferguson
5. Robert Whittaker
6. Stipe Miocic
7. Daniel Cormier
8. Demetrious Johnson
9. Max Holloway
10. Kamaru Usman

Marc Raimondi
1. Jon Jones
2. Khabib Nurmagomedov
3. Daniel Cormier
4. Henry Cejudo
5. Tony Ferguson
6. Stipe Miocic
7. Demetrious Johnson
8. Robert Whittaker
9. Kamaru Usman
10. Max Holloway

Ariel Helwani
1. Jon Jones
2. Khabib Nurmagomedov
3. Henry Cejudo
4. Stipe Miocic
5. Daniel Cormier
6. Tony Ferguson
7. Kamaru Usman
8. Dustin Poirier
9. Max Holloway
10. Israel Adesanya

Jeff Wagenheim
1. Khabib Nurmagomedov
2. Jon Jones
3. Henry Cejudo
4. Stipe Miocic
5. Demetrious Johnson
6. Daniel Cormier
7. Max Holloway
8. Tony Ferguson
9. Dustin Poirier
10. Kamaru Usman


Women's pound-for-pound rankings

1. Amanda Nunes

Record: 18-4
Weight class: Bantamweight/featherweight
Last: W (TKO1) Holly Holm, July 6
Next: Dec. 14 vs. Germaine de Randamie

2. Valentina Shevchenko

Record: 18-3
Weight class: Flyweight
Last: W (UD) Liz Carmouche, Aug. 10
Next: TBD

3. Cris Cyborg

Record: 21-2, 1 NC
Weight class: Featherweight
Last: W (UD) Felicia Spencer, July 27
Next: TBD

4. Zhang Weili

Record: 20-1
Weight class: Strawweight
Last: W (TKO1) Jessica Andrade, Aug. 31
Next: TBD

5. Rose Namajunas

Record: 9-4
Weight class: Strawweight
Last: L (TKO2) Jessica Andrade, May 11
Next: TBD

6. Jessica Andrade

Record: 20-7
Weight class: Strawweight
Last: L (TKO1) Zhang Weili, Aug. 31
Next: TBD

7. Joanna Jedrzejczyk

Record: 15-3
Weight class: Flyweight
Last: L (UD) Valentina Shevchenko, Dec. 8
Next: Oct. 12 vs. Michelle Waterson

T-8. Germaine de Randamie

Record: 9-3
Weight class: Bantamweight
Last: W (TKO1) Aspen Ladd, July 13
Next: Dec. 14 vs. Amanda Nunes

T-8. Tatiana Suarez

Record: 8-0
Weight class: Strawweight
Last: W (UD) Nina Ansaroff, June 8
Next: TBD

10. Holly Holm

Record: 12-5
Weight class: Bantamweight
Last: L (TKO1) Amanda Nunes, July 6
Next: TBD

Other fighter receiving a vote: Ketlen Vieira.

How our writers voted

Brett Okamoto
1. Amanda Nunes
2. Valentina Shevchenko
3. Cris Cyborg
4. Zhang Weili
5. Jessica Andrade
6. Rose Namajunas
7. Joanna Jedrzejczyk
8. Germaine de Randamie
9. Tatiana Suarez
10. Ketlen Vieira

Marc Raimondi
1. Amanda Nunes
2. Valentina Shevchenko
3. Cris Cyborg
4. Zhang Weili
5. Rose Namajunas
6. Joanna Jedrzejczyk
7. Jessica Andrade
8. Tatiana Suarez
9. Germaine de Randamie
10. Holly Holm

Ariel Helwani
1. Amanda Nunes
2. Valentina Shevchenko
3. Cris Cyborg
4. Zhang Weili
5. Jessica Andrade
6. Rose Namajunas
7. Joanna Jedrzejczyk
8. Tatiana Suarez
9. Germaine de Randamie
10. Holly Holm

Jeff Wagenheim
1. Amanda Nunes
2. Cris Cyborg
3. Valentina Shevchenko
4. Zhang Weili
5. Rose Namajunas
6. Joanna Jedrzejczyk
7. Jessica Andrade
8. Germaine de Randamie
9. Tatiana Suarez
10. Holly Holm