USA TODAY Sports/MMA Junkie rankings, Jan. 26: Michael Chandler’s big move

Pound For Pound Rankings

UFC president Dana White has one more meeting set up with Nurmagomedov in Las Vegas, but it seems the reigning lightweight champ is content to stick to his retirement.

Already considered one of the greatest fighters of all-time, Jones said he wants to turn his attention to heavyweight and has no intention of returning to 205 pounds.

A point dediction for a low blow forced Figueiredo to settle for a draw against Brandon Moreno, and the two are expected to meet again in early 2021.

Bader was certainly disappointed to lose his Bellator champ-champ status, but he does still have one belt and promises to return in top form.

Poirier continues to be one of the most exciting fighters in the game, and his grit is immeasurable – qualities he hopes will net him another UFC title shot in the near future.

Holloway delivered a record-breaking destruction of Calvin Kattar and now looks like he’ll get a chance to regain the UFC featherweight title later this year.

Khabib Nurmagomedov proved to be too much for Gaethje at UFC 254, but ‘The Highlight’ could very well get another title shot in the very near future.

Upcoming Fight: vs Paulo Costa | Apr 17, 2021 – UFC Fight Night

With a fantastic win over Jared Cannonier, Whittaker seemed to prove himself the No. 1 contender in the UFC’s middleweight division, but Dana White said he’ll need one more win for a title shot.

Costa was frustrated after suffering the first loss of his career and has been campaigning for a rematch with Israel Adesanya, though it certainly doesn’t seem to be in the cards right now.

Honorable Mentions

USA TODAY Sports/MMA Junkie rankings, Jan. 26: Michael Chandler’s big move

It was quite a week for the UFC on “Fight Island.”

Two cards went down with consequential results for the USA TODAY Sports/MMA Junkie rankings: UFC on ESPN 20 and the big one, UFC 257.

Let’s start with the first show, which was headlined by Michael Chiesa’s one-sided decision victory over Neil Magny. Chiesa improved to 4-0 since he moved up to welterweight, and that bumps him to No. 11 in the divisional rankings.

Then we move on to UFC 257, where, from a rankings perspective, Michael Chandler makes the biggest splash. The three-time Bellator lightweight champion turned heads with his UFC debut, a vicious first-round finish of the respected Dan Hooker in the evening’s co-feature. Chandler was unranked before this, and while one can certainly debate that decision, there’s no denying him now: Chandler enters the new rankings at No. 8.

As for the big one: Dustin Poirier’s victory over Conor McGregor was certainly impressive. But Khabib Nurmagomedov remains recognized as UFC lightweight champion as of this writing, and Poirier was already ranked No. 2, so that’s where he stays. Likewise, McGregor looked sharp in Round 1 and losing to Poirier is nothing to be ashamed of, so we’re keeping him at No. 6.

Those are just a few of the fights of note over the past week. So to see where your favorite — or least favorite — fighter places in the current edition of the USA TODAY Sports/MMA Junkie rankings, click on the drop-down menu above.

Ranking Criteria

The rankings take into account a fighter’s wins/losses, quality of competition, finishing rate/dominance and frequency of fights.

Fighters are no longer eligible to be ranked after they’ve been inactive for 24 months, either due to injuries, drug/conduct suspensions, contract disputes or self-imposed hiatuses.

Fighters serving drug/conduct suspensions are eligible to be ranked, so long as they’re not inactive for more than 24 months.

To the best of our ability, fighters will be ranked in their primary weight class. Catchweight fights and bouts outside the fighter’s primary weight class can have a positive or negative impact on the ranking. However, non-titleholders can be ranked in only one weight class at a given time, and in most cases, they won’t be ranked in a new weight class until they’ve had their first fight at that weight.