Islam Makhachev made a statement in arguably the biggest test of his UFC career. The Dagestani fighter took on Thiago Moises in a five-round main event fight at UFC Vegas 31, which was the first time he headlined a card. Makhachev put on a worthy performance as he dominated from round one and secured a submission win in the fourth round.
Following the win, the UFC has rewarded Makhachev with a new ranking. Makhachev now finds himself ranked #5, i.e. is four places higher than he went into the fight against Thiago Moises. Makhachev is currently on an eight-fight win streak. However, he has beaten no one inside the top 10 in the UFC’s lightweight division. Therefore, ranking him at #5 is something that has bewildered both fans and pundits alike.
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Did Islam Makhachev deserve a top 5 ranking?
Going into the fight against Moises, Makhachev, who sat at #9 in the world, was on an impressive 7-fight win streak. However, he had beaten no one in the top 10. His latest win was against the 14th ranked Thiago Moises.
Nurmagomedov’s protege is currently on an eight-fight win streak which warrants a jump up in ranking. He jumped the likes of Tony Ferguson, Dan Hooker who have lost their last fights. Although critics might argue that he has never faced a top 10 opponent and therefore does not deserve a top 5 rankings, most of the fighters he has leapfrogged have been winless in their last few fights. Therefore, a top-five ranking for Makhachev at this point in time makes sense.
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It is now imperative that the UFC matches Makhachev up against someone in the top 5 for his next fight for him to truly cement his place as a top 5 lightweight in the UFC. What do you make of Islam Makhachev’s ranking? Do you think he deserves it? Let us know in the comments below!