Former two-weight world champion, ‘The Notorious’ Conor McGregor has re-entered the UFC’s official welterweight rankings at #15, following the recent release of former lightweight champion, Anthony ‘Showtime’ Pettis.
Cracking the 170-pound top-fifteen, McGregor also leapfrogged former interim 155-pound titleholder, Tony ‘El Cucuy‘ Ferguson into the #4 spot at lightweight following the latter’s recent UFC 256 unanimous decision loss to the #3 rated, Charles ‘Do Bronx’ Oliveira. Canadian outlet, TSN was first to report the updated UFC rankings.
Slated to headline UFC 256 on January 23 from the Flash Forum on Yas Island in Abu Dhabi UAE, McGregor rematches one-time foe, former interim titleholder, Dustin ‘The Diamond’ Poirier with stakes higher than even given the current lie of the lightweight land.
Making his first Octagon appearance in just over a year, the Dubliner last made the walk at UFC 246 in January this year, scoring a forty-second knockout victory over veteran one-time title chaser, Donald ‘Cowboy’ Cerrone in a welterweight main event. The return marked the 32-year-old’s first appearance since a UFC 229 loss to Khabib ‘The Eagle’ Nurmagomedov.
Featuring three-times at 170-pounds during his seven-year Octagon stint, McGregor is 2-1 at the weight class, dropping his divisional debut against Nate Diaz at UFC 196 before avenging his first promotional loss at UFC 202 in August of 2016.
Sitting at #4 in the lightweight ranks, McGregor has only appeared at 155-pounds on two occasions and holds a 1-1 record. Prior to his neck crank loss to the above mentioned, Khabib — the Straight Blast Gym mainstay headlined UFC 205 in November of 2016 against then-champion, Eddie ‘The Underground King’ Alvarez — where he nabbed the lightweight championship to become the promotion’s first two-weight world champion held simultaneously.
After rumblings during the initial stages of the Poirier vs. McGregor II negotiations suggested the pairing had a decent possibility of taking place at 170-pounds, UFC president Dana White maintained the re-run made no sense at that weight, declaring it would take place at lightweight instead, as the pair attempt to make inroads to their second undisputed title challenges.