Ranked fighters in action this week ending August 20

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Each week, MMA Junkie reviews the resumes of top fighters from the world’s top promotions to complete the USA TODAY Sports/MMA Junkie Rankings. Fighters competing in the UFC, Bellator, PFL and other key promotions are eligible for our global rankings.

Week after week, the top contenders put their rankings on the line when they enter the cage, which makes these fights important. just a little more.

Check below for a breakdown of the ranked fighters who are in action this week.

Flyweight: No. 14 Amir Albazi vs. Francisco Figueiredo

ABU DHABI, UNITED ARAB EMIRATES – JULY 19: Amir Albazi of Iraq celebrates after his submission victory over Malcolm Gordon of Canada in their bantamweight bout during UFC Fight Night event inside Flash Forum on UFC Fight Island on July 19, 2020 in Yas Island, Abu Dhabi, United Arab Emirates. (Photo by Jeff Bottari/Zuffa LLC via Getty Images)

Flyweight Division: No. 14 Amir Albazi meets Francisco Figueiredo at UFC 278.

  • Albazi enters his first fight since January 2021 on a three-fight winning streak. After finishing Malcolm Gordon in the first round of his UFC debut in July 2020, he defeated Zhalgas Zhumagulov by unanimous decision in his last outing.

Heavyweight: No. 10 Alexandr Romanov

Heavyweight Division: No. 10 Alexandr Romanov takes on Marcin Tybura at UFC 278.

  • Romanov is undefeated after 15 professional fights and has won four of his five UFC bouts by stoppage. He tapped Chase Sherman with an Americana in the first round in April.

Middleweight: No. 11 Paulo Costa

Middleweight Division: No. 11 Paulo Costa takes on former champion Luke Rockhold at UFC 278.

  • Costa will be looking to snap a two-fight skid after a title shot against Israel Adesanya and drop his next outing to Marvin Vettori. Prior to those setbacks, Costa won 10 straight fights, including his first five under the UFC banner.

Women’s Featherweight: No. 8 Kayla Harrison vs. Martina Jindrova

PFL 6 at Overtime Elite Arena in Atlanta, Georgia on Friday, July 1, 2022. (Cooper Neill/PFL)

Women’s Featherweight: No. 8 Kayla Harrison takes on Martina Jindrova at 2022 PFL Playoffs 3.

  • Two-time undefeated PFL champion Harrison faces a new opponent in Jindrova. In the regular season, Harrison defeated Kaitlin Young by first-round TKO and Marina Mokhnatkina by unanimous decision.

Bantamweight: No. 5 Merab Dvalishvili vs. No. 6 Jose Aldo

Bantamweight Division: No. 5 Merab Dvalishvili meets former featherweight champion No. 6 Jose Aldo at UFC 278.

  • Dvalishvili enters his first fight of 2022 on a seven-fight winning streak. In 2021 he beat Cody Stamann by decision and Marlon Moraes by TKO to set up this fight against a former UFC champion.
  • Aldo dropped out of his first two fights after moving up to bantamweight, but has since won three straight. On his current streak, the former UFC featherweight champion has defeated Marlon Vera, Pedro Munhoz and Rob Font by unanimous decision.

Welterweight: No. 1 Kamaru Usman vs. No. 3 Leon Edwards

LAS VEGAS, NEVADA – JULY 01: UFC welterweight champion Kamaru Usman and Leon Edwards face off on stage during the UFC 276 ceremonial weigh-ins at T-Mobile Arena on July 01, 2022 in Las Vegas, Nevada. (Photo by Carmen Mandato/Getty Images)

Welterweight Division: UFC No. 1 Welterweight Champion Kamaru Usman is looking to defend his title against No. 3 Leon Edwards in the main event of UFC 278.

  • Usman is seeking the sixth defense of his welterweight title in a rematch against Edwards from 2015. Usman won the first encounter by unanimous decision.
  • Edwards hasn’t lost since first meeting Usman, winning nine in his last 10 outings (one fight ended in a no contest). This will be Edwards’ first UFC title shot.

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