Without much doubt, the most stacked division in the UFC is the lightweight ranks, and 2018 promises to be a very special year indeed for the 155lb roster.
You can go down to the likes of Al Iaquinta and James Vick for promising talent who could climb up the rankings this year, and if Nate Diaz does return, then add his name to the equation. Kevin Lee at number seven – who might move up and I think he should – but the remaining top six, plus of course the current champion Conor McGregor gives us plenty to look forward to over the coming months of the new year.
So my wish list for the division is as follows:
Hopefully, McGregor returns to clear up the interim and real title issue. He should fight Tony Ferguson to unify the belt.
Khabib Nurmagomedov would need a dance partner rather than sitting and waiting, Eddie Alvarez would no doubt duly oblige, knowing a win over Khabib probably sets up a chance to win back his belt. That said there is unfinished business between Alvarez and Dustin Poirier, and that certainly is a fight that needs to happen at some point.
If Nurmagomedov and Alvarez do fight, Poirier v Justin Gaethje would be one hell of a fight.
Obviously, a McGregor no show throws up Nurmagomedov vs Ferguson and almost certainly gives us Alvarez v Poirier 2.
So with or without Mr McGregor, the show will go on, and it promises to be some show indeed.
1 Tony Ferguson 24-3-0
2 Khabib Nurmagomedov 25-0-0
3 Eddie Alvarez 29-5-0
4 Edson Barboza 19-5-0
5 Justin Gaethje 18-1-0
6 Dustin Poirier 22-5-0
7 Kevin Lee 16-3-0
8 Nate Diaz 20-11-0
9 Michael Chiesa 14-3-0
10 Michael Johnson 18-12-0
11 Al Iaquinta 13-3-1
12 Beneil Dariush 14-3-1
13 Anthony Pettis 20-7-0
14 Francisco Trinaldo 22-5-0
14 James Vick 12-1-0