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UFC lightweight rankings: Chandler rises after unbelievable UFC 274 win

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. Mateusz Gamrot (20-1)

Former KSW two-division champion Mateusz Gamrot has proven he is a top-10 level fighter in three straight wins inside the Octagon. All of his victories were finishes and saw the level of competition increase each time. The most recent being a December TKO over former contender Diego Ferreira. In June he gets another high-level test in fellow rising star Arman Tsarukyan.

  • Next Fight: vs. Arman Tsarukyan on June 25

9. Arman Tsarukyan (18-2)

Arman Tsaryukyan has earned his spot in the top-10. In six Octagon appearances, he has been victorious in all but one. That lone defeat came by decision against the division’s hottest fighter and title contender Islam Makhachev. He has victories over solid veterans Matt Frevola, Christos Giagos, and Davis Ramos. “Ahalkalakets” is a force to be reckoned with and gets a fascinating matchup in June against Mateusz Gamrot.

  • Next Fight: vs. Mateusz Gamrot on June 25

Related: UFC tonight: UFC Vegas 52 fight card, betting odds, and watch times

8. Rafael Fiziev (11-1)

Rafael Fiziev is one of the fastest-rising talents in the division after five straight wins in the Octagon. Twice this year, he was unable to make the date for a matchup with former division champion Rafael dos Anjos. Maybe the third time is the charm as he is set to face RDA in July.

  • Next Fight: vs. Rafael dos Anjos on July 2

7. Rafael dos Anjos (31-13)

ufc lightweight rankings
Credit: Stephen R. Sylvanie-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. He will get the chance to make it three straight in a planned main event fight against the red hot Rafael Fiziev this summer.

  • Next Fight: vs. Rafael Fiziev on July 2

6. Dustin Poirier (28-7)

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 seems like his days of cutting weight to make 155 pounds could be over. If a rumored bout with Nate Diaz at welterweight is made, the “Diamond” could begin a rankings freefall soon after.

  • Next Fight: TBD

5. Michael Chandler (23-7)

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

Chandler vs Gaethje was the fight of the year in 2021. Michael Chandler will look to top that, and get his first win in over a year, on May 7 against former division champ Tony Ferguson. Both need a win badly in what is a lightweight dream fight between two of the best 155-pound fighters of the last decade. With so much on the line for each man, this one has all the makings to be another lightweight classic in the spring.

  • Next Fight: TBD

4. Beniel Dariush (21-4-1)

ufc lightweight rankings
Credit: Troy Taormina-USA TODAY Sports

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. Then an ankle injury knocked him out of the bout. The Russian dominated his replacement opponent and now “Benny” is firmly stuck behind Makhachev in the contender queue. Where he goes next is anyone’s guess.

  • Next Fight: TBD

Related: UFC predictions for the promotion’s pay-per-view card on April 9, UFC 273

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. Since the win, his boss Dana White has suggested a re-booking with Dariush could be likely.

  • Next Fight: TBD

1. Champion: 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.

  • Next Fight: TBD