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UFC lightweight rankings: Islam Makhachev holds on to spot as the best 155-pounder in the world

RankFighterRecordLast 3 Results
#1Islam Makhachev25-1W-W-W
#2Charles Oliveira34-9W-L-W
#3Justin Gaethje25-4W-W-L
#4Dustin Poirier29-8W-L-W
#5Beniel Dariush22-5-1W-W-W
#6Michael Chandler23-8L-W-L
#7Mateusz Gamrot21-3W-W-W
#8Rafael Fiziev12-2L-W-W
#9Arman Tsarukyan20-3W-W-L
#10Dan Hooker23-12W-W-L

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.

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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. Dan Hooker (23-12)

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

Dan Hooker has had a memorable career in the UFC. He has fought at two divisions, been in the title contention conversation, and delivered some of the best fights in several years. However, after losing four of five it seemed like his best days may have been behind him. However, two straight victories including a wild come-from-behind win at UFC 290 have him back in the UFC lightweight rankings.

Also Read: Conor McGregor next fight – When will “Notorious” make his UFC return?

9. Arman Tsarukyan (20-3)

Arman Tsarukyan has quietly been a top-10 lightweight for quite some time. During his run in the UFC, he has won seven of nine and his only losses in the Octagon have come to the current champion Islam Makhachev and fellow ranked star Mateusz Gamrot. And both were decision defeats.

He proved his elite status again with a dominant win at UFC Vegas 75 in June. The 26-year-old is deserving of a big-name foe in his next UFC matchup.

Also Read: UFC Heavyweight Rankings – Looking at the 10 best at the UFC’s heaviest division

8. Rafael Fiziev (12-3)

ufc lightweight rankings
Credit: Per Haljestam-USA TODAY Sports

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.

However, he has found out fast that with some success comes some tough times. “Atman” suffered a tough loss to Justin Gaethje earlier this year then had it followed up by another defeat after suffering an injury in his UFC Vegas 79 main event against Mateusz Gamrot. It has been a tough 2023 for Fiziev.

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7. Mateusz Gamrot (23-2)

Former KSW two-division champion Mateusz Gamrot has proven he is a top-10 level fighter in winning four of his first six appearances in the Octagon. Despite his setbacks, he has always roared back with big wins, and he is in the midst of a winning streak that now features big victories over ranked fighters in Jalin Turner and Rafael Fiziev.

While both weren’t stellar wins, they are still on the ATT products resume and it is why he rises in our latest UFC lightweight rankings.

Also Read: Khamzat Chimaev next fight – Details on ‘Borz’s’ next scrap in the Octagon

6. Michael Chandler (23-8)

ufc lightweight rankings
Credit: Jessica Alcheh-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 showdown with Dustin Poirier at UFC 281 was the latest edition in his run of fight-of-the-year scraps. While he certainly pushed the former interim champ to the limit, “Iron” came up short in another big fight.

Despite the defeat, Chandler was rewarded with the fight he has been pushing to get for years: a scrap against UFC superstar Conor McGregor. The matchup is set to take place later this year after the pair faceoff as coaches on season 31 of “The Ultimate Fighter.”

Also Read: Jon Jones next fight – When will the MMA GOAT be back in action?

5. Beniel Dariush (22-5-1)

ufc lightweight rankings
Credit: Craig Kidwell-USA TODAY Sports

Despite a longer-than-expected break as he recovered from a serious injury and failed bookings, Beneil Dariush scored another impressive win at UFC 280. He extended his win streak to eight and did so with a decisive victory over a very game and ranked talent in Mateusz Gamrot.

At UFC 288 he was given a fight that likely would have locked up a title fight against former titlist Charles Oliveira. Unfortunately, the Brazilian showed there’s levels to the game and defeated him soundly. Now, Dariush must go back to the drawing board and reclimb the mountain back into contention.

Related: Sean O’Malley next fight – Who will “Suga” face in his UFC return?

4. Dustin Poirier (29-8)

ufc lightweight rankings
Credit: Jessica Alcheh-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. However, he ended a nearly year-long hiatus at UFC 281 and returned to the lightweight division with a vengeance in scoring a third-round submission win over Michael Chandler.

In the follow up he competed in a long-awaited rematch with fellow division great Justin Gaethje. Unfortunately, he was not able to win a second straight against the former interim champ and was on the wrong end of a shocking head-kick knockout. What happens next for “The Diamond” is anyone’s guess.

Related: UFC welterweight rankings – Ranking the top 10 170-pound fighters in the world

3. Justin Gaethje (25-4)

ufc lightweight rankings
Credit: Jeff Swinger-USA TODAY Sports

Justin Gaethje is one of the best lightweight fighters of his generation. While he has never been a very technical and strategic competitor he has earned a legion of fans for being one of the most durable and violent athletes in division history.

However, in those moments where he can be tactical, he is an absolutely scary fighter. Just like he was at UFC 291 in earning a shocking second-round revenge KO win over fellow lightweight great Dustin Poirier. It was a landmark moment that likely set up a title bout for “The Highlight” early in 2024.

Related: Justin Gaethje next fight – When will “The Highlight” return to the cage?

2. Charles Oliveira (32-9)

ufc lightweight rankings
Credit: Craig Kidwell-USA TODAY Sports

Heading into UFC 280, there was a debate around Charles Oliveira’s place in UFC lightweight history and if he was the new GOAT. However, he showed how hard it is to maintain the top spot when he suffered a submission loss to the new king of the weight class Islam Makhachev. The loss was so decisive that an immediate rematch was never in the cards for “Do Bronx.”

However, he earned that second chance in October when he soundly defeated a red-hot Beneil Dariush at UFC 289. It proved that he is still one of the best 155ers ever and will get a chance to be a two-time champ when he faces Makhachev in the UFC 294 main event this Fall.

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1. Islam Makhachev (23-1)

ufc lightweight rankings
Credit: Jasmin Frank-USA TODAY Sports

Many doubted how good Islam Makhachev truly was, and there were some doubters of whether he deserved a lightweight title opportunity against Charles Oliveira. However, he proved he truly is the heir apparent to lightweight GOAT Khabib Nurmagomedov at UFC 280 when he submitted Oliveira. The man with the most submissions in UFC history.

Since then he has only grown his legend and place among the pound-for-pound best fighters in the world. In his first two title defenses, he took on the serious challenge of featherweight king Alexander Volkanovski and scored back-to-back wins. The most recent of which was a definitive first-round KO at UFC 294.

There is little doubt that the Russian star is by far the best 155-pound MMA fighter on Earth.

Related: Islam Makhachev next fight – When does the Russian wrecking machine return to action?