Former UFC lightweight champion Khabib Nurmagomedov has given his thoughts on Islam Makhachev finally being given the #1 spot in the pound-for-pound rankings.
Last month, Islam Makhachev knocked out Alexander Volkanovski to successfully retain his UFC lightweight championship. In doing so, many felt as if he established himself as the pound-for-pound best fighter in the UFC. Alas, at the time, Jon Jones was kept at the top of the mountain.
However, that’s now changed. In the wake of Jones being forced out of UFC 295 through injury, Islam Makhachev has been promoted to #1. It’s a moment that he’s been waiting a long time for, and it ensures that he now joins his close friend Khabib Nurmagomedov in achieving that particular goal.
In a recent Instagram post, the aforementioned Khabib gave his thoughts on Islam’s accomplishments.
Khabib Nurmagomedov reflects on journey with Islam Makhachev
“It’s an unprecedented case when two fighters, raised from childhood by the same coach, in the same city, in the same gym, trained side-by-side for a long time become singleweight champions in the best league in the world @ufc,” Nurmagomedov said. “And also both became the best fighters regardless of the weight category of their time. And believe me, it’s not a full stop, @islam_makhachev continues to make history… Alhamdulillah for everything, sometimes things happen to us and we think we are so great, but wallaghi it’s all a test and test from Almighty and one day it can all vanish as if nothing happened.
“Be thankful and know that everything comes from the Almighty good and bad and all that brought you from above are historical facts unprecedented in this sport.”
Islam Makhachev takes over top spot in UFC pound for pound rankings
The reigning lightweight champion, Islam Makhachev (25-1 MMA) has taken the No. 1 spot away from the current heavyweight champion Jon Jones (27-1 MMA) on the pound-for-pound official UFC rankings.
Islam Makhachev, 32, recently fought and defeated Alexander Volkanovski (26-3 MMA) via KO this past October at UFC 294.
Jones, 36, was scheduled to defend his title against Stipe Miocic (20-4 MMA) at UFC 295 but had to withdraw due to injury. ‘Bones’, who blew out his pectoral muscle, is not expected to return to the Octagon until mid-2024.
The latest rankings according to UFC.com can be found below:
- 1. Islam Makhachev +1
- 2. Jon Jones -1
- 3. Alexander Volkanovski
- 4. Leon Edwards
- 5. Charles Oliveira
- 6. Sean O’Malley
- 7. Sean Strickland
- 8. Israel Adesanya
- 9. Alexandre Pantoja
- 10. Alex Pereira
- 11. Aljamain Sterling
- 12. Max Holloway
- 13. Jiri Prochazka +1
- 14. Kamaru Usman -1
- 15. Jamahal Hill
Note: (+/- = movement in rankings, T = tie, *NR = Not previously ranked)
The UFC complies it’s rankings according to the following guidelines:
‘Rankings were generated by a voting panel made up of media members. The media members were asked to vot for who they feel are the top fighters in the UFC by weight-class and pound-for-pound. A fighter is only eligible to be voted on if they are in active status in the UFC.
A fighter can appear in more than one weight division at a time. The champion and interim champion are considered to be in the top positions of their respective divisions and therefore are not eligible for voting by weight-class. However, the champions can be voted on for the pound-for-pound rankings.’
Do you believe Makhachev is worthy of the number 1 spot in the pound-for-pound rankings?