Similar to how he put the featherweight division on hold, lightweight champion Conor McGregor has also put the 155-pound weight class in a frenzy.
Since knocking out Eddie Alvarez last November to become the champion, McGregor has remained on the sidelines as he awaits the birth of his first child. He has also appeared to be dead set on fighting Floyd Mayweather next, making his future in MMA unclear.
Top contenders Khabib Nurmagomedov and Tony Ferguson were scheduled to fight for an interim title this past March, but “The Eagle” was forced to withdraw a day prior due to weight cutting issues.
No. 4-ranked Rafael dos Anjos is moving up to welterweight and No. 5-ranked Edson Barboza has been red-hot, but the logjam at the top of the division has put the lightweight class in an awkward state.
After fighting to a draw with No. 1-ranked Stephen Thompson in a back-and-forth war at UFC 205 last November, welterweight champion Tyron Woodley quickly signed on to rematch “Wonderboy” at UFC 209. “The Chosen One” ended up winning the rematch in what many considered to be a lackluster bout.
No. 3-ranked Demian Maia and No. 5-ranked Jorge Masvidal will do battle at UFC 211 in a few weeks in what could potentially be a title eliminator bout. The only problem, however, is that Woodley has instead expressed interest in ‘money fights’ with Georges St. Pierre, Nick Diaz and Michael Bisping. In fact, it has been rumored that he could fight at UFC 213, a big event for the promotion, which means he could be booked against another big name.
As far as the rest of the division goes, former champion and No. 2-ranked Robbie Lawler has been out of action since last July when he lost to Woodley, but he has been rumored to be returning against No. 8-ranked Donald Cerrone at UFC 213.