The State of the UFC’s Lightweight Division



UFC 257 has come and gone. The lightweight tournament was blown into smithereens after the second round of the main event when Conor McGregor was knocked out by Dustin Poirier. That threw a big wrench in the UFC’s unofficial plan for a lightweight tournament. The UFC will need to crown a new lightweight kingpin, but the people already know that the king is now Poirier.

Dustin Poirier has put himself in a position to call the shots. Poirier has gone on the record to say he will not fight Micheal Chandler in post-fight interviews after UFC 257. Chandler defeated Dan Hooker in a first-round knockout Saturday night. Michael “Iron” Chandler will now find himself in the title mix at the 155-pound division.


McGregor and Hooker will fall in the UFC lightweight rankings but they shouldn’t fall far. The obvious fight to make in the perfect world is Poirier versus Justin Gaethje for the 155-strap. However, the UFC doesn’t always make sense. But it DOES always make dollars and cents.

Poirier wants either a trilogy with McGregor or a fight with Nate Diaz. With that in mind, the Tarps Off MMA boys decided to sit down and discuss where the lightweight division goes from here.

Those are my predictions as to how things would play out if I was in Uncle Dana’s shoes. Dustin Poirier has earned whatever fight he wants and the Lightweight UFC Championship belt. Let Poirier get his money fight and then reassess the division after we see McGregor versus Gaethje and Chandler versus Oliveira.

Hooker would be an extremely tough matchup for Tony Ferguson. Although, Ferguson would be a great opportunity for Hooker to get back in the win column after two straight losses. Rafael dos Anjos and Al Iaquinta are both big draws. That fight would allow the UFC to hype the winner into another great fight.

Chris Mancuso, Terry Tam, Adam Caplan, and I all sat down on the Tarps Off MMA podcast to discuss the state of the lightweight division. Watch it here and subscribe to the Tarps Off Sports YouTube channel.

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