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.

 

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