Conor McGregor down to lowest UFC ranking for eight years ahead of 2023 comeback
UFC superstar Conor McGregor has hit a new low after falling outside the promotion's ranked places for the first time in eight years.
'The Notorious' hasn't fought since breaking his tibia and fibula in his latest defeat to Dustin Poirier at UFC 264 in July 2021. McGregor, 34, has been busy filming his Hollywood debut in the rebooted 'Road House' but is expected to make a UFC comeback in 2023.
However, he'll do so as un unranked contender as the Dubliner looks to regain some relevance in the world's leading mixed martial arts organisation. The latest rankings update revealed McGregor lost his No. 14 spot in the lightweight pecking order having failed to compete in 2022.
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It's the first time since 2014 that he won't be counted among the top 15 in any UFC division. McGregor made his rankings debut in 2014 when he was a rising force at featherweight, dominating the division before scaling up to 155 pounds.
The Irishman made his UFC lightweight debut when he faced Eddie Alvarez for the title in November 2016. However, that remains McGregor's sole win in the weight class, having lost to Khabib Nurmagomedov in 2018 before more recently suffering back-to-back defeats against Dustin Poirier.
Both of McGregor's match-ups against Nate Diaz came at welterweight, while his 40-second win over Donald Cerrone also came at 170 pounds. That win over 'Cowboy' accounts for his sole success since the end of 2016, however, having lost three of his last four outings.
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Rising star Grant Dawson has taken McGregor's place at 14th in the lightweight rankings. 'KGD' is enjoying an 11-fight unbeaten streak and is gaining much attention after the last eight of those fights took place in the UFC.
It remains unknown as to when McGregor will make his long-awaited return, or whom he will be facing for that matter. However, his return isn't expected to take place until later in the year considering he's been outside USADA's testing pool in 2022 and requires six months of testing to be eligible to fight.
No. 5 lightweight Michael Chandler has long campaigned for a clash with The Notorious, though UFC president Dana White recently talked down the prospect. Meanwhile, a trilogy clash against Nate Diaz looks all but impossible after the Stockton fighter's contract with the UFC expired.
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