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UFC lightweight rankings: Michael Chandler rumored for Nov. return at MSG

Jason Burgos
ufc lightweight rankings

The UFC lightweight rankings are a showcase of some of the very best talents in MMA. The division has long been the deepest and most talent-rich in the promotion and often several of its top competitors can also be found in the UFC pound-for-pound rankings.

With that in mind, here are the official Sportsnaut rankings for the top 10 155-pound fighters in the best cage fighting promotion in all the land.

10. Jalin Turner (13-5)

ufc lightweight rankings
Credit: Stephen R. Sylvanie-USA TODAY Sports

Jalin Turner is one of the hottest fighters in the lightweight division and has been an absolute force over the last two years. Five straight wins, five straight finishes, three by submission. At just 27, and with an uncanny size and reach for the weight class, Turner is a serious threat in the weight class and is deserving of a name foe in his next fight.

  • Next fight: TBD

9. Mateusz Gamrot (21-1)

Former KSW two-division champion Mateusz Gamrot has proven he is a top-10 level fighter in winning his first four Octagon appearances and his most recent in the main event of UFC Vegas 57 against Tsarukyan. The upside on Gamrot is major and the UFC has noticed by giving him a top-five test in October when he faces the red hot Beniel Dariush.

  • Next fight: vs. Beniel Dariush at UFC 280 on Oct. 22

Related: UFC tonight: Fight card, betting odds, and watch times for Saturday’s UFC event

8. Rafael dos Anjos (31-14)

ufc lightweight rankings
Credit: Adam Hagy-USA TODAY Sports

After an unsuccessful run at welterweight, former lightweight king Rafael dos Anjos returned to the UFC lightweight division in 2020 and has won two straight as a 155-pound fighter. At UFC Vegas 58 he had a chance to steal the momentum of Rafael Fiziev and possibly jump into the top five. However, Fiziev handed him just the fourth knockout loss of his long career and ended any realistic chances he had of being a lightweight champion again.

  • Next fight: TBD

7. Dustin Poirier (28-7)

ufc lightweight rankings
Credit: Gary A. Vasquez-USA TODAY Sports

Dustin Poirier is one of the very best lightweight fighters that has ever lived. However, with two title fight losses under his belt — both submission defeats — it seemed like his days of cutting weight to make 155 pounds could be over and he might move up to 170-pounds. But all signs point to a clash with Michael Chandler at the UFC’s return to New York City in November.

  • Next fight: TBD

6. Rafael Fiziev (12-1)

At UFC Vegas 58, Rafael Fiziev stamped his place as one of the most dangerous fighters in the division. He did something Khabib Nurmagomedov and Kamaru Usman could not do in finishing Rafael dos Anjos, and he did so in the fifth frame. Proving his striking gifts are dangerous even into the championship rounds. He is deserving of a top-five foe next.

  • Next fight: TBD

5. Beniel Dariush (21-4-1)

Beniel Dariush was on the cusp of earning a title opportunity heading into February. He had a matchup with fellow contender Islam Makhachev lined up with the winner likely to earn a championship opportunity later in the year. Makhachev went on to win dominantly and is not set to fight for the title at UFC 280. Dariush will now also compete on the same card when he takes a high-risk matchup with fast-rising lightweight Mateusz Gamrot.

  • Next fight: vs. Mateusz Gamrot at UFC 280 on Oct. 22

4. Michael Chandler (23-7)

ufc lightweight rankings
Credit: Mark J. Rebilas-USA TODAY Sports

Michael Chandler has been worth every penny the UFC used to bring him in from Bellator. Each bout he has been in has delivered in every way with action and highlight-reel moments. His May win over Tony Ferguson was nothing different. While he may not be in line for a title shot next, he is in the discussion. Now, all indications are he will square off with former interim champion Dustin Poirier in November inside Madison Square Garden.

  • Next fight: TBD

Related: UFC predictions for the promotion’s card on Saturday night

3. Justin Gaethje (23-4)

ufc lightweight rankings
Credit: Mark J. Rebilas-USA TODAY Sports

Justin Gaethje got a second chance at UFC lineal gold at UFC 274. Despite being the underdog on fight night, he was still a popular betting favorite. However, his night ended similar to his championship opportunity against Khabib Nurmagomedov in 2020: He tapped to a submission. He is still an elite fighter at lightweight, but he will need to win a few fights before he gets a third chance at the division title.

2. Islam Makhachev (22-1)

If there was any doubt that Islam Makhachev was next in line for the Oliveira vs Gaethje title fight winner later this year, the Russian wrestler cleared that all up at UFC Vegas 49 with utter dominance against replacement opponent Bobby Green. Of course, it wasn’t as meaningful as beating Dariush, but 10 straight wins and four consecutive finishes — including over Dan Hooker and Thiago Moises — are how you let the world know you are the No. 1 contender.

On Oct. 22 at UFC 280 he will get his chance to prove his elite status when he faces Charles Oliveira to prove who is the best fighter and grappler in the division.

  • Next fight: vs. Charles Oliveira at UFC 280 on Oct. 22

1. Charles Oliveira (32-8)

While missing weight led to Charles Oliveira having to vacate his title at UFC 274, he proved on fight night that he is still the uncrowned king of the weight class with a destructive submission victory over Justin Gaethje. There is no doubt he is the undisputed best lightweight in the world, but the win also proved he is a legitimate pound-for-pound superstar.

At UFC 280 he will get another legacy opportunity against Islam Makhachev and maybe the chance to goad a legend out of retirement for revenge.