mma / Columns

411’s Lightweight MMA Rankings: Conor McGregor, Dustin Poirier, More

October 27, 2020 | Posted by Jonathan Solomon
Conor McGregor EA UFC 3

411’s Official MMA Rankings

Lightweight Division (155 lbs)


1) Khabib Nurmagomedov (29-0)

Height: 5’10

Birthday: September 20, 1988

Currently Fighting With: UFC

Last 5 fights:

– vs. Justin Gaethje – Win via submission (triangle choke) – UFC 253 – September 19, 2020

– vs. Dustin Poirier – Win via submission (rear naked choke) – UFC 242 – September 7, 2019

– vs. Conor McGregor – Win via submission (neck crank) – UFC 229 – October 6, 2018

– vs. Al Iaquinta – Win via decision (unanimous) – UFC 223 – April 7, 2018

– vs. Edson Barboza – Win via decision (unanimous) – UFC 219 – December 30, 2017

Next scheduled appearance:

– Unknown

Comment: Nurmagomedov dominated Justin Gaethje and choked him out in the second round in Abu Dhabi, then left his gloves inside the cage as he announced his retirement. Citing the death of his father and his mother’s desire to see him stop competing, Khabib thanked his team, UFC brass and his faith. Clearly, in the heat of the moment, many fighters have announced retirements only to return months later. However, considering the impact his dad had on his life and career, it would certainly appear odd if Khabib was to jump back into action anytime soon.

Perhaps if Georges St. Pierre came out of his second retirement, Khabib would want that one fight and nothing else.

Regardless, he retires as arguably the most dominant fighter in MMA history. Nobody else has been able to reach the end of their career undefeated, primarily because they fight long enough to reach the point that their skills diminish (Fedor Emelianenko immediately comes to mind). The way Nurmagomedov has been able to physically dominate opponents is something we’ve not seen to that extent. Nobody stood a chance on the ground, let alone if Khabib mounted them.

Looking at the best UFC lightweights of all-time, Khabib is atop that list. Even though he has the same amount of successful title defenses (3) as B.J Penn, Benson Henderson and Frankie Edgar, his dominance was unmatched. Sure, Penn obliterated Sean Sherk, Kenny Florian and Diego Sanchez, but our mental gymnastics has the trio of Conor McGregor, Dustin Poirier and Gaethje as the tougher opponents. Where it gets interesting is if you consider Edgar over Penn based on the fact Edgar won their two fights. If so, the best UFC lightweights list looks like: 1) Khabib Nurmagomedov, 2) Frankie Edgar, 3) B.J. Penn, 4) Benson Henderson, 5) Take Your Pick. Yes, Henderson beat Edgar twice, but since Edgar was the man to stop Penn’s dominance at 155-pounds, he gets the nod. Where would the best and only PRIDE lightweight champion Takanori Gomi fit into this debate?



2) Justin Gaethje (22-3)

Height: 5’11

Birthday: November 14, 1988

Currently Fighting With: UFC

Last 6 fights:

– vs. Khabib Nurmagomedov – Loss via submission (triangle choke) – UFC 253 – September 19, 2020

– vs. Tony Ferguson – Win via TKO (strikes) – UFC 249 – May 9, 2010

– vs. Donald Cerrone – Win via TKO (strikes) – UFC Fight Night – September 14, 2019

– vs. Edson Barboza – Win via KO (punch) – UFC on ESPN 2 – March 30, 2019

– vs. James Vick – Win via KO (punch) – UFC Fight Night – August 25, 2018

Next scheduled appearance:

– Unknown

Comment: It appeared early on that Gaethje was simply outmatch physically by the champion, Nurmagomedov. Amazingly, two of the tree cage-side judges scored the first round for Gaethje (I have no idea which fight they were watching). In the aftermath, he seemed upbeat at the fact he didn’t suffer any significant damage (he was only choked unconscious) and would be back in action within a few months. It’s uncertain when the UFC will crown a new champion but whenever they do, Gaethje will likely not be too far from a second chance at the title.



3) Dustin Poirier (26-6, 1 NC)

Height: 5’9

Birthday: January 19, 1989

Currently Fighting With: UFC

Last 5 fights:

– vs. Dan Hooker – Win via decision (unanimous) – UFC on ESPN – June 27, 2020

– vs. Khabib Nurmagomedov – Loss via submission (rear naked choke) – UFC 242 – September 7, 2019

– vs. Max Holloway – Win via decision (unanimous) – UFC 236 – April 13, 2019

– vs. Eddie Alvarez – Win via TKO (strikes) – UFC on Fox – July 28, 2018

– vs. Justin Gaethje – Win via TKO (strikes) – UFC on Fox – April 14, 2018

Next scheduled appearance:

– Unknown

Comment: It seems more and more likely that Poirier and Conor McGregor will have their rematch after months of back and forth about details. It was reported the fight would be at lightweight (instead of welterweight) and the winner could be the next man up to fight Justin Gaethje.



4) Tony “El Cucuy” Ferguson (25-4)

Height: 5’11

Birthday: February 12, 1984

Currently Fighting With: UFC

Last 5 fights:

– vs. Justin Gaethje – Loss via TKO (strikes) – UFC 249 – May 9, 2010

– vs. Donald Cerrone – Win via TKO (doctor stoppage) – UFC 238 – June 8, 2019

– vs. Anthony Pettis – Win via TKO (injury) – UFC 229 – October 6, 2018

– vs. Kevin Lee – Win via submission (triangle choke) – UFC 216 – October 7, 2017

– vs. Rafael dos Anjos – Win via decision (unanimous) – TUF Finale – November 5, 2016

Next scheduled appearance:

– Unknown



5) Patricio “Pitbull” Freire (30-4)

Height: 5’5

Birthday: July 7, 1987

Currently Fighting With: Bellator MMA

Last 5 fights:

– vs. Juan Archuleta – Win via decision (unanimous) – Bellator 228 – September 28, 2019

– vs. Michael Chandler – Win via TKO (strikes) – Bellator 221 – May 11, 2019

– vs. Emmanuel Sanchez – Win via decision (unanimous) – Bellator 209 – November 15, 2018

– vs. Daniel Weichel – Win via decision (split) – Bellator MMA – July 14, 2018

– vs. Daniel Straus – Win via submission (guillotine choke) – Bellator 178 – April 21, 2017

Next scheduled appearance:

– vs. Pedro Carvalho – Bellator 252 – November 12, 2020



6) “Notorious” Conor McGregor (23-4)

Height: 5’8

Birthday: July 14, 1988

Currently Fighting With: UFC

Last 5 fights:

– vs. Donald Cerrone – Win via TKO (strikes) – UFC 246 – January 18, 2020

– vs. Khabib Nurmagomedov – Loss via submission (neck crank) – UFC 229 – October 6, 2018

– vs. Eddie Alvarez – Win via TKO (strikes) – UFC 205 – November 12, 2016

– vs. Nate Diaz – Win via decision (split) – UFC 202 – August 20, 2016

– vs. Nate Diaz – Loss via submission (rear naked choke) – UFC 196 – March 5, 2016

Next scheduled appearance:

– Unknown



7) Charles “Do Bronx” Oliveira (29-8, 1 NC)

Height: 5’10

Birthday: October 17, 1989

Currently Fighting With: UFC

Last 5 fights:

– vs. Kevin Lee – Win via submission (guillotine choke) – UFC Fight Night – March 14, 2020

– vs. Jared Gordon – Win via KO (strikes) – UFC Fight Night – November 16, 2019

– vs. Nik Lentz – Win via TKO (strikes) – UFC Fight Night – May 18, 2019

– vs. David Teymur – Win via submission (anaconda choke) – UFC Fight Night – February 2, 2019

– vs. Jim Miller – Win via submission (rear naked choke) – UFC on Fox – December 15, 2018

Next scheduled appearance:

– Unknown



8) Michael Chandler (21-5)

Height: 5’8

Birthday: April 24, 1986

Currently Fighting With: UFC

Last 5 fights:

– vs. Benson Henderson – Win via KO (strikes) – Bellator 243 – August 7, 2020

– vs. Sidney Outlaw – Win via KO (strikes) – Bellator 237 – December 29, 2019

– vs. Patricio “Pitbull” Friere – Loss via TKO (strikes) – Bellator 221 – May 11, 2019

– vs. Brent Primus – Win via decision (unanimous) – Bellator 212 – December 14, 2018

– vs. Brandon Girtz – Win via submission (arm triangle choke) – Bellator 197 – April 13, 2018

Next scheduled appearance:

– Unknown

Comment: Chandler signed with the UFC as a free agent last month after his Bellator deal ran out following his win over the summer. He was all over the UFC PPV Saturday, promoted as a new top contender in the lightweight division. In fact, he was signed to act as a replacement fighter and made weight had either Nurmagomedov or Gaethje been forced out of the main event. No debut fight has been set yet.

Chandler fought twice in Strikeforce at the start of his professional career, then signed with Bellator in 2010. He won the season four lightweight tournament and choked out Eddie Alvarez to win the championship in a class fight. He lost the title back to Alvarez via split decision three years later. In the years that followed, he went 9-5, including second and third reigns as champion.

Now at 34-years-old, Chandler has more than a decades worth of cage fighting experience.



9) Dan Hooker (20-9)

Height: 6’0

Birthday: February 13, 1990

Currently Fighting With: UFC

Last 5 fights:

– vs. Dustin Poirier – Loss via decision (unanimous) – UFC on ESPN – June 27, 2020

– vs. Paul Felder – Win via decision (split) – UFC Fight Night – February 23, 2020

– vs. Al Iaquinta – Win via decision (unanimous) – UFC 243 – October 6, 2019

– vs. James Vick – Win via KO (punch) – UFC on ESPN – July 20, 2019

– vs. Edson Barboza – Loss via TKO (body punch) – UFC on Fox – December 15, 2018

Next scheduled appearance:

– Unknown



10) Diego Ferreira (17-2)

Height: 5’9

Birthday: January 18, 1985

Currently Fighting With: UFC

Last 5 fights:

– vs. Anthony Pettis – Win via submission (rear naked choke) – UFC 246 – January 18, 2020

– vs. Mairbek Taisumov – Win via decision (unanimous) – UFC 242 – September 7, 2019

– vs. Rustam Khabilov – Win via decision (unanimous) – UFC Fight Night – February 23, 2019

– vs. Kyle Nelson – Win via TKO (strikes) – UFC 231 – December 8, 2018

– vs. Jared Gordon – Win via TKO (strikes) – UFC Fight Night – February 18, 2018

Next scheduled appearance:

– Unknown



11) Patricky “Pitbull” Freire (23-9)

Height: 5’7

Birthday: January 21, 1986

Currently Fighting With: Bellator MMA & Rizin FF

Last 5 fights:

– vs. Tofig Musayev – Loss via decision (unanimous) – Rizin FF 20 – December 31, 2019

– vs. Luiz Gustavo – Win via TKO (strikes & soccer kick) – Rizin FF 20 – December 31, 2019

– vs. Tatsuya Kawajiri – Win via KO (flying knee) – Rizin FF 19 – October 12, 2019

– vs. Ryan Scope – Win via decision (split) – Bellator Newcastle – February 9, 2019

– vs. Roger Huerta – Win via KO (punch) – Bellator 205 – September 21, 2018

Next scheduled appearance:

– Unknown

Comment: Patricky was scheduled to fight last month at Bellator 249 against Jaleel Willis. However, while waiting to fight, Friere was suffering from labyrinthitis, an infection from a cold/flu according to MMAFighting.com.



12) Paul Felder (17-5)

Height: 5’10

Birthday: April 25, 1985

Currently Fighting With: UFC

Last 5 fights:

– vs. Dan Hooker – Loss via decision (split) – UFC Fight Night – February 23, 2020

– vs. Edson Barboza – Win via decision (split) – UFC 242 – September 7, 2019

– vs. James Vick – Win via decision (unanimous) – UFC on ESPN – February 17, 2019

– vs. Mike Perry – Loss via decision (split) – UFC 226 – July 7, 2018

– vs. Charles Oliveira – Win via TKO (elbows) – UFC 218 – December 2, 2017

Next scheduled appearance:

– Unknown



13) Islam Makhachev (18-1)

Height: 5’10

Birthday: September 27, 1991

Currently Fighting With: UFC

Last 5 fights:

– vs. Davi Ramos – Win via decision (unanimous) – UFC 242 – September 7, 2019

– vs. Arman Tsarukyan – Win via decision (unanimous) – UFC Fight Night – April 20, 2019

– vs. Kajan Johnson – Win via submission (armor) – UFC on Fox – July 28, 2018

– vs. Gleison Tibau – Win via KO (punch) – UFC 220 – January 20, 2018

– vs. Nik Lentz – Win via decision (unanimous) – UFC 208 – February 11, 2017

Next scheduled appearance:

– vs. Rafael dos Anjos – UFC Fight Night – November 14, 2020



14) Kevin Lee (18-6)

Height: 5’9

Birthday: September 4, 1992

Currently Fighting With: UFC

Last 5 fights:

– vs. Charles Oliveira – Loss via submission (guillotine choke) – UFC Fight Night – March 14, 2020

– vs. Gregor Gillespie – Win via KO (head kick) – UFC 244 – November 2, 2019

– vs. Rafael dos Anjos – Loss via submission (arm triangle choke) – UFC Fight Night – May 18, 2019

– vs. Al Iaquinta – Loss via decision (unanimous) – UFC on Fox – December 15, 2018

– vs. Edson Barboza – Win via TKO (doctor stoppage) – UFC Fight Night – April 21, 2018

Next scheduled appearance:

– Unknown



15) Eddie Alvarez (30-7, 1 NC)

Birthday: November 11, 1984

Currently Fighting With: One Championship

Last 5 fights:

– vs. Eduard Folayang – Win via submission (rear naked choke) – ONE Championship – August 2, 2019

– vs. Timofey Nastyukhin – Loss via TKO (strikes) – ONE Championship – March 31, 2019

– vs. Dustin Poirier – Loss via TKO (strikes) – UFC on Fox – July 28, 2018

– vs. Justin Gaethje – Win via TKO (strikes) – UFC 218 – December 2, 2017

– vs. Dustin Poirier – No Contest (illegal strikes) – UFC 211: Miocic vs. dos Santos – May 13, 2017

Next scheduled appearance:

– Unknown