The UFC’s Lightweight division is one of the most stacked divisions the UFC has ever seen. It features star attraction Conor McGregor, and two beasts in Tony Ferguson and Khabib Nurmagomedov. With Eddie Alvarez and Dustin Poirier coming off massive wins, and Barboza and Kevin Lee looking to bounce back, what should the UFC do with it’s lightweight division?
There’s a couple more names that need to be thrown into the mix, one being the warrior that is Justin Gaethje, and the other being the ever controversial Nate Diaz. Let’s not forget beasts like Al Iquinta, Michael Chiesa and James Vick. Not many of the top lightweights are scheduled for a fight at the moment, so there’s a mass amount of match ups that can be made. Let’s start with the big one, Conor Mac and the two monsters chasing him.
McGregor is the champ, a champ who hasn’t defended his belt, a belt he won in November 2016. Champions should remain active if they can, McGregor isn’t injured, so he should be fighting. At the end of the day he doesn’t call the shots, the UFC brass does, they should give Mac an ultimatum, either face interim champ Tony Ferguson or drop the belt. If it was down to me I’d give healthy champions 12 months to defend or they should vacate. This means simply put, Mac is out of my picture until he sorts out whatever contract issues he has. Tony Ferguson should be promoted to undisputed champion, and he should face off against Khabib for the belt before Ramadan. It’s a fight I’ve wanted to see for a long time and something hardcore fans have wanted for a while. McGregor is clogging up the division, either defend or vacate.
With the best fighting for the belt and Mac out the picture, we need a new number one contender. For me it’s obvious who should fight, Eddie Alvarez vs Dustin Poirier. They’re both coming off big wins and they need to rematch after their last fight was a no contest due to an illegal knee. It’d be a fun scrap and the winner should certainly be number one contender.
I like to match up people both coming off wins or coming off losses, and two men coming off losses are Justin Gaethje and Edson Barboza. They’d be sure to have an absolute war on the feet, with Gaethje being a warrior and Barboza being a technical wizard, both men are in dire need of a win if they want to stay in the top five of the rankings so it’s a high stakes, fun fight.
James Vick deserves a big fight, it’s something he’s deserved for a long time, Trinaldo deserves a big fight too. When the pair face off next month the winner should get a fight with Kevin Lee, it’d be a big step up and something that’d be much deserved.
This leaves Al Iquinta and Michael Chiesa, it’d be a great, well rounded fight, and a win for either of them would propel them to a very big fight late in the year.
That leaves one very big name left, Nate Diaz. It’s unclear whether Diaz will return, maybe he will if the price is right, much like his nemesis McGregor. If Mac drops the belt as I think he should, it sets up a trilogy fight with Diaz when both men so choose to return.