Islam Makhachev Jumps Over Conor McGregor and Tony Ferguson in Rankings After Win Over Thiago Moises

Published 07/21/2021, 5:30 AM EDT
BOSTON, MA – JANUARY 20: Islam Makhachev of Russia celebrates after his knockout victory over Gleison Tibau of Brazil in their lightweight bout during the UFC 220 event at TD Garden on January 20, 2018 in Boston, Massachusetts. (Photo by Jeff Bottari/Zuffa LLC/Zuffa LLC via Getty Images)


Islam Makhachev made a statement in arguably the biggest test of his UFC career. The Dagestani fighter took on Thiago Moises in a five-round main event fight at UFC Vegas 31, which was the first time he headlined a card. Makhachev put on a worthy performance as he dominated from round one and secured a submission win in the fourth round. 

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Following the win, the UFC has rewarded Makhachev with a new ranking. Makhachev now finds himself ranked #5, i.e. is four places higher than he went into the fight against Thiago Moises. Makhachev is currently on an eight-fight win streak. However, he has beaten no one inside the top 10 in the UFC’s lightweight division. Therefore, ranking him at #5 is something that has bewildered both fans and pundits alike. 

Makhachev’s move up in the rankings has meant both Tony Ferguson and Rafael dos Anjos have lost one rank each. Conor McGregor, on the other hand, has slipped to number 9 in the rankings
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Did Islam Makhachev deserve a top 5 ranking?

Going into the fight against Moises, Makhachev, who sat at #9 in the world, was on an impressive 7-fight win streak. However, he had beaten no one in the top 10. His latest win was against the 14th ranked Thiago Moises. 

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Nurmagomedov’s protege is currently on an eight-fight win streak which warrants a jump up in ranking. He jumped the likes of Tony Ferguson, Dan Hooker who have lost their last fights. Although critics might argue that he has never faced a top 10 opponent and therefore does not deserve a top 5 rankings, most of the fighters he has leapfrogged have been winless in their last few fights. Therefore, a top-five ranking for Makhachev at this point in time makes sense. 

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It is now imperative that the UFC matches Makhachev up against someone in the top 5 for his next fight for him to truly cement his place as a top 5 lightweight in the UFC. What do you make of Islam Makhachev’s ranking? Do you think he deserves it? Let us know in the comments below!

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Kevin Binoy

1043 articles

Kevin Binoy is an MMA author at EssentiallySports. He earned a Bachelor's degree from Fergusson College and has been covering sports professionally for over two years. Besides working with the MMA writing team, Kevin is a core member of the organization's web stories team and is responsible for delivering engaging MMA web stories.

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