When talking about the absolutely loaded UFC lightweight division, there isn’t only one name to keep an eye on. There are numerous contenders in the division that can vie for the title belt that is currently held by Eddie Alvarez. Names like Rafael Dos Anjos, Tony Ferguson, Khabib Nurmagomedov, Nate Diaz and Edson Barboza round out an absolutely loaded top five in the rankings. Also there are the likes of Dustin Poirier and Michael Chiesa on the rise among those as well.
There are numerous contenders in the division that can vie for the title belt that is currently held by Eddie Alvarez.
The State Of the UFC Lightweight Division
The Rise of Dustin Poirier
Poirier is slated to main event the UFC’s first ever show in Hidalgo, Texas. And his fight is sure to have the matchmakers closely watching the newly rejuvenated Poirier take on fellow top ten fighter Michael Johnson, for what should be a five round war. Since coming off a loss to the now UFC featherweight champion Connor McGregor, “The Diamond” found his way to 155 pounds and has found a spark in him that has resulted in a four fight win streak that includes three of his four fights ending via first round knockout. The question now is, will Poirier be able to handle tougher competition, and can he possibly become a champion in the division full of contenders? We can only tune in to the fight to find out.
The Back end of the Division
The lightweight division is such interesting because the top 15 is full of seasoned vets and newcomers who have massive potential. Beneil Dariush, Will Brooks, Al Iaquinta, Gilbert Melendez and Rashid Magomedov round out the back end of the rankings, and are capable of making an impact. Out of these five men, the one with the most to prove is Will Brooks.
Will Brooks, training out of American Top Team in Coconut Creek, Florida, is a former Bellator lightweight champion. He has an outstanding 18-1 record. He was an absolute must sign when Bellator released him from his contract and the UFC didn’t hesitate do so. Last month he showed UFC matchmakers that he is the real deal when he bested Ross Pearson in three rounds and is now slated to fight Alex Olivera in Portland. Brooks’ wrestling and speed was showcased against Pearson, but now with bigger and better competition ahead. And “Ill Will” is a sure fire breakout star in the UFC’s lightweights. You can read about his release from Bellator here.
Another man who recently entered the rankings, because of his impressive record, is Rashid Magomedov. The Dagestan product is a part of a growing crop of Dagestani fighters to make their way to the UFC. Magomedov is the cream of that crop. Standing 5’9”, his mix of striking and wrestling shows no mercy to his opponents. He has won his first four UFC bouts and is now starting to face a higher level of competition. He is slated to face Beneil Dariush later this year. With a record of 19-1, “The Highlander” is set for big things; if he can get past number 11 ranked Dariush.