UFC superstar Conor McGregor might have been the highest-paid athlete in sports over the last 12 months according to Forbes, but the 32-year-old is no longer listed among the most elite fighters in his own sport overall. According to the latest UFC rankings published on Tuesday, McGregor is no longer considered one of the top 15 pound-for-pound fighters in the company.
McGregor had previously hung around in those rankings by a thread at No. 15 before Charles Oliveira defeated Michael Chandler at UFC 262 to become the UFC’s new lightweight champion.
But after the Brazilian scored his incredible comeback victory over Chandler on May 15 to grab UFC gold for the first time, Oliveira shot up into the pound-for-pound rankings at No. 11 and McGregor toppled out of them.
It was a huge leap up from relative obscurity for the UFC’s new lightweight champion Oliveira. Not only did it send McGregor out of the pound-for-pound rankings, but it also pushed the rest of the fighters ranked below Olvieira’s new perch down the list, too.
That includes Robert Whittaker, Justin Gaethje and Petr Yan.
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McGregor Moved Up in UFC’s Lightweight Rankings
But it wasn’t all bad news for the Irishman on Tuesday. McGregor actually moved up in the UFC’s 155-pound lightweight rankings from No. 6 to No. 5.
Sure, McGregor was leapfrogged by Beneil Dariush after the Iranian-born American dominated Tony Ferguson in the co-main event of UFC 262, but McGregor skipped past “El Cucuy” after Ferguson’s stunning defeat.
McGregor remained ranked in his division behind No. 1 contender Dustin Poirier, No. 2 Justin Gaethje, No. 3 Dariush, and No. 4 Chandler. It’s one of the most stacked divisions in the sport, but McGregor could win his way back up the ranks via future fights.
Oliveira is the champion, and now the world turns its attention to what riveting matchups UFC president Dana White seeks to make happen next.
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UFC 264: Poirier vs. McGregor 3 on July 10
McGregor faces Poirier in an important rematch on July 10 at UFC 264.
McGregor and Poirier are tied 1-1 after a 2014 featherweight bout saw McGregor win and a 2021 lightweight battle saw Poirier score the victory.
Now, McGregor is badly in need of a victory to salvage his standing among the top fighters in MMA. He was the first-ever UFC “champ champ” and one of only seven fighters in history to win a UFC championship in more than one division.
But now’s he’s not even considered by pundits to be one of the top 15 fighters across all weight classes in the UFC.
Since defeating Eddie Alvarez for UFC gold at 155 pounds, McGregor has won exactly one fight. McGregor defeated Donald Cerrone at UFC 246 in January 2020.
Cerrone is winless in his last five, so some are starting to wonder whether McGregor’s victory was really that impressive after all.
McGregor can remove all doubts by beating Poirier in the rematch this summer. That won’t be easy, but nothing in the UFC ever is.
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