State of the lightweight division after UFC 257

Sep 20, 2018; New York, NY, USA; Khabib Nurmagomedov during a press conference for UFC 229 at Radio City Music Hall. Mandatory Credit: Noah K. Murray-USA TODAY Sports

This past weekend at UFC 257, Dustin Poirier (27-6, 1 NC) and Conor McGregor (22-5) had their highly anticipated rematch. The lightweight champion, Khabib Nurmagomedov (29-0), was watching and trying to decide if he wanted to come back to fighting.

Dustin Poirier had the performance of a lifetime. After losing the first round on all three scorecards, Poirier came back to TKO McGregor in the second round at UFC 257 and proved that he’s the best lightweight in the world not named Khabib Nurmagomedov.

After the event was over, many were wondering what Khabib would do. Khabib had retired after UFC 254 when he dominated Justin Gaethje (22-3) to retain his lightweight title. However, Dana White said that if someone enticed him to come back, he would.

At the UFC 257 post-fight press conference, Dana White said that it didn’t look good for Khabib coming back. At the end of the day, Nurmagomedov dominated the three best lightweights in the UFC in his last three fights. Not only that, but he finished all three of them.

State of the UFC’s lightweight division

For the sake of this, let’s take Khabib out of the question. The number one lightweight in the UFC is Dustin Poirier. He’s proved that over the last few years and now he’s stopped both Conor McGregor and Justin Gaethje.

Right behind Poirier you have McGregor and Gaethje. Charles Oliveira (30-8, 1 NC) is currently on an eight-fight win streak and Poirier said after the fight that he’s probably the most deserving guy in the division of a UFC title shot.

Also at UFC 257, Michael Chandler (22-5) made his debut against Dan Hooker (20-10). Chandler knocked Hooker out in the first round to secure his third straight first round knockout on Saturday night. He’s expected to be in the top five when the rankings come out.

The wildcard in the lightweight division is Nate Diaz (20-12). Diaz is one of the biggest stars in the sport and he’s returning to the lightweight division. After UFC 257, Diaz called for a fight against Dustin Poirier. 

Needless to say, the lightweight division is stacked. Poirier is going to be fighting for the title in his next fight. There are questions around who that will be. Poirier said that he’s only interested in three opponents: McGregor, Diaz, and Oliveira.

However, Dana White said that he believed that Chandler should get the shot at Poirier. If I had to take a guess, I think the UFC is going to put Poirier against Diaz or McGregor for the title. Those are the two biggest fights to make and that’s what The Diamond wants. Fun times ahead at lightweight.