mma / Columns

411’s MMA Rankings 09.17.19: Lightweight Division – Khabib, Gaethje, More

September 17, 2019 | Posted by Jonathan Solomon
Khabib Nurmagomedov

411’s Official MMA Rankings

Lightweight Division (155 lbs)


1) Khabib Nurmagomedov (28-0)

Height: 5’10

Birthday: September 20, 1988

Currently Fighting With: UFC

Last 5 fights:

– 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

– vs. Michael Johnson – Win via submission (kimura) – UFC 205 – November 12, 2016

Next scheduled appearance:

– Unknown

Comment: Khabib defended the UFC championship for the first time, choking out Dustin Poirier in Abu Dhabi. It was a typical fight for the champion, manhandling his challenger en route to a finish. He has looked so dominant, it’s assumed the only way to beat him will be to knock him out because nobody appears able to submit him. It looks like Khabib’s next two opponents would be Tony Ferguson and Justin Gaethje, both of whom are among the best knockout artists in the entire division.



2) Tony “El Cucuy” Ferguson (25-3)

Height: 5’11

Birthday: February 12, 1984

Currently Fighting With: UFC

Last 5 fights:

– 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

– vs. Lando Vanatta – Win via submission (Brabo choke) – UFC Fight Night – July 13, 2016

Next scheduled appearance:

– Unknown

Comment: Ferguson and Nurmagomedov were slated to fight so many times in the past, it’s become part of MMA folklore. December 2015, April 2016, March 2017, April 2018 — yet hopefully the UFC tries one more time in 2020 to make the fight happen and it would mean more then than any of the previous times. To say the two have been on a collision course for the past four years doesn’t begin to tell their story.



3) Dustin Poirier (25-6, 1 NC)

Height: 5’9

Birthday: January 19, 1989

Currently Fighting With: UFC

Last 5 fights:

– 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

– vs. Anthony Pettis – Win via TKO (rib injury) – UFC Fight Night – November 11, 2017

Next scheduled appearance:

– Unknown

Comment: Poirier was submitted for the first time this month since the famous fight with The Korea Zombie in 2012. In his only UFC championship fight to date, he was unable to mount much offense against Khabib and lost in the third round. He’ll turn 31-years-old after the New Year, but there’s no reason to think Poirier will not be able to remain among the best lightweights.



4) Justin Gaethje (21-2)

Height: 5’11

Birthday: November 14, 1988

Currently Fighting With: UFC

Last 6 fights:

– 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

– vs. Dustin Poirier – Loss via TKO (strikes) – UFC on Fox – April 14, 2018

– vs. Eddie Alvarez – Loss via TKO (strikes) – UFC 218 – December 2, 2017

Next scheduled appearance:

– Unknown

Comment: Gaethje blasted Donald Cerrone in the first round Saturday night and continues to mount one of the most impressive runs in lightweight history. He’s the 155-pound version of Wanderlei Silva in his prime, and there’s no telling how far he can go. He may need one more win, just based on timing, but he can be the next man up following Nurmagomedov/Ferguson and not one person would complain.



5) “Notorious” Conor McGregor (21-4)

Height: 5’8

Birthday: July 14, 1988

Currently Fighting With: UFC

Last 5 fights:

– 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

– vs. Jose Aldo – Win via KO (punch) – UFC 194: Aldo vs. McGregor – December 12, 2015

Next scheduled appearance:

– Unknown

Comment: We’re quickly approaching the one year mark since McGregor last fought — when he was submitted by Khabib. It doesn’t sound like his retirement will stick as he continues to talk about his desire to return and names most of the top lightweights as potential match-ups. There’s a good chance, if he can avoid further legal issues, McGregor returns to the octagon in 2020.



6) Patricio “Pitbull” Freire (29-4)

Height: 5’5

Birthday: July 7, 1987

Currently Fighting With: Bellator MMA

Last 5 fights:

– 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

– vs. Benson Henderson – Loss via TKO (leg injury) – Bellator 160 – August 26, 2016

Next scheduled appearance:

– vs. Juan Archuleta – Bellator 228 – September 28, 2019

Comment: Bellator’s second-ever “champ champ,” Freire will defend the featherweight championship in less than two weeks. It’s a first round fight with Juan Archuleta (23-1) of Bellator’s featherweight grand prix, so don’t expect to see the lightweight title to be on the line anytime soon.



7) “Cowboy” Donald Cerrone (36-13, 1 NC)

Height: 6′

Birthday: March 29, 1983

Currently Fighting With: UFC

Last 5 fights:

– vs. Justin Gaethje – Loss via TKO (strikes) – UFC Fight Night – September 14, 2019

– vs. Tony Ferguson – Loss via TKO (doctor stoppage) – UFC 238 – June 8, 2019

– vs. Al Iaquinta – Win via decision (unanimous) – UFC Fight Night – May 4, 2019

– vs. Alexander Hernandez – Win via TKO (strikes) – UFC Fight Night – January 19, 2019

– vs. Mike Perry – Win via submission (armor) – UFC Fight Night – November 10, 2018

Next scheduled appearance:

– Unknown

Comment: It looks like Cerrone is the top fighter in the second-level of UFC lightweights, just outside top title contenders. His two losses since June both saw Cowboy take big damage in defeats. As long as he’s fighting, he’ll continue to be one of the most popular fighters, so it’s only a question of who he wants to fight.



8) Al Iaquinta (14-5-1)

Height: 5’9

Birthday: April 30, 1987

Currently Fighting With: UFC

Last 5 fights:

– vs. Donald Cerrone – Loss via decision (unanimous) – UFC Fight Night – May 4, 2019

– vs. Kevin Lee – Win via decision (unanimous) – UFC on Fox – December 15, 2018

– vs. Khabib Nurmagomedov – Loss via decision (unanimous) – UFC 223 – April 7, 2018

– vs. Diego Sanchez – Win via KO (strikes) – UFC Fight Night – April 22, 2017

– vs. Jorge Masvidal – Win via decision (split) – UFC Fight Night: Mendes vs. Lamas – April 4, 2015

Next scheduled appearance:

– Unknown



9) Patricky “Pitbull” Freire (21-8)

Height: 5’7

Birthday: January 21, 1986

Currently Fighting With: Bellator MMA & Rizin FF

Last 5 fights:

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

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

– vs. Derek Campos – Win via TKO (strikes) – Bellator 194 – February 16, 2018

– vs. Benson Henderson – Win via decision (split) – Bellator 183 – September 23, 2017

– vs. Josh Thomson – Win via KO (punch) – Bellator 172 – February 18, 2017

Next scheduled appearance:

– Unknown

Comment: Patricky was officially named as one of the eight lightweights in Rizin’s upcoming lightweight grand prix. The tournament will start on October 12 and the opening round match-ups will be determined later this week. Pitbull is the only fighter of the group to have not yet debuted with the group (the seven other fighters include Hiroto Uesako, Roberto de Souza, Damien Brown, Luiz Gustavo, Johnny Case, Tofiq Musaev and Tatsuya Kawajiri.



10) Gregor Gillespie (13-0)

Height: 5’9

Birthday: March 18, 1987

Currently Fighting With: UFC

Last 5 fights:

– vs. Yancy Medeiros – Win via TKO (strikes) – UFC Fight Night – January 19, 2019

– vs. Vinc Pichel – Win via submission (arm triangle choke) – UFC Fight Night – June 1, 2018

– vs. Jordan Rinaldi – Win via TKO (strikes) – UFC on Fox – January 27, 2018

– vs. Jason Gonzalez – Win via submission (arm triangle choke) – UFC Fight Night – September 16, 2017

– vs. Andrew Holbrook – Win via KO (strikes) – UFC 210 – April 8, 2017

Next scheduled appearance:

– Unknown



11) Michael Chandler (19-5)

Height: 5’8

Birthday: April 24, 1986

Currently Fighting With: Bellator MMA

Last 5 fights:

– 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

– vs. Goiti Yamauchi – Win via decision (unanimous) – Bellator 192 – January 20, 2018

– vs. Brent Primus – Loss via TKO (doctor stoppage due to injury) – Bellator 189 – June 24, 2017

Next scheduled appearance:

– Unknown



12) 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:

– vs. Saygid Guseyn Arslanaliev – One Championship – October 13, 2019



13) Paul Felder (17-4)

Height: 5’10

Birthday: April 25, 1985

Currently Fighting With: UFC

Last 5 fights:

– 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

– vs. Steven Ray – Win via KO (elbows) – UFC Fight Night – July 16, 2017

Next scheduled appearance:

– Unknown



14) Edson Barboza (20-8)

Height: 5’11

Birthday: January 21, 1986

Currently Fighting With: UFC

Last 5 fights:

– vs. Paul Felder – Loss via decision (split) – UFC 242 – September 7, 2019

– vs. Justin Gaethje – Loss via KO (punch) – UFC on ESPN 2 – March 30, 2019

– vs. Dan Hooker – Win via KO (strikes) – UFC on Fox – December 15, 2018

– vs. Kevin Lee – Loss via TKO (doctor stoppage) – UFC Fight Night – April 21, 2018

– vs. Khabib Nurmagomedov – Loss via decision (unanimous) – UFC 219 – December 30, 2017

Next scheduled appearance:

– Unknown



15) Carlos Diego Ferreira (16-2)

Height: 5’9

Birthday: January 18, 1985

Currently Fighting With: UFC

Last 5 fights:

– 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

– vs. Olivier Aubin-Mercier – Win via decision (unanimous) – UFC on Fox – January 30, 2016

Next scheduled appearance:

– Unknown