After sporting events were put on hold around the world, due the coronavirus pandemic, fans are readily anticipating UFC 249 – despite the news that Tony Ferguson won’t be facing the lightweight champion Khabib Nurmagomedov. But fear not – a replacement has been drafted, Justin Gaethje. In readiness of the headline event on April 18th, check out the latest Betfair UFC free betting tips and read on as we take a look at the current top 10 fighters in the lightweight division.
- 1) Tony Ferguson (25-3)
The former interim UFC Lightweight Champion currently holds the record for the most consecutive wins in the division, at 12. He recently beat Donald Cerrone by TKO to secure a Fight of the Night bonus. El Cucuy will be back in action at UFC 249 and his opponent has finally been announced – Justin Gaethje. Unfortunately, UFC 249 has been postponed, due to the Coronavirus pandemic, so we won’t be able to see El Cucuy in action. But you can find the latest UFC betting odds here.
- 2) Dustin Poirier (25-6)
The Diamond lost his first fight in six most recently at UFC 242, when he took on Khabib for title unification. The former interim lightweight champion had a brief stint at featherweight level, but has since cemented his place as one of the best lightweight fighters in the division.
- 3) Conor McGregor (22-4)
The former two-division champion recently made his return to the Octagon and McGregor beat Cerrone by TKO to secure the Performance of the Night. He had previously fought at welterweight level, but two years ago faced Khabib for the lightweight title – which he lost before announcing his retirement. The Notorious Dubliner famously took on Floyd ‘Money’ Mayweather – his first and to date, only professional boxing match.
- 4) Justin Gaethje (21-2)
Having won 18 of his 21 career fights by knockout, Gaethje has quickly cemented his name in the UFC. In his six bouts, he has received four Fight of the Night and three Performance of the Night awards. His last win came in September, at Fight Night versus Cerrone. The rumor mill suggested he was the favourite to take on Ferguson – but the latest odds don’t favour him in the Octagon.
- 5) Dan Hooker (20-8)
The New Zealander was the King in the Ring Middleweight Kickboxing Champion and in the Australian Fight Championship, successfully defended his lightweight title twice. He joined the UFC in 2014, and won his third successive bout in February – a split decision win over Paul Felder.
- 6) Donald Cerrone (36-14)
Cowboy holds numerous UFC records, not least the most victories and most knockdowns in history – in a career that has spanned a decade with the organisation. Cerrone is on a three-bout losing streak, having lost to Ferguson, Gaethje and McGregor all in the space of the last year. With five fights left on his current contract, he’s very much considered a veteran of UFC.
- 7) Paul Felder (17-5)
The Irish Dragon has been a professional for almost 10 years, but his last outing in the Octagon ended in defeat – to Hooker at Fight Night in Auckland – although he was awarded the Fight of the Night bonus. Felder previously fought as a welterweight, when he was drafted in as a replacement at UFC 226 but lost that bout too, to Mike Perry.
- 8) Charles Oliveira (29-8)
The Brazilian has jumped five places in the rankings, having won his last seven bouts – most recently in March, when he beat Kevin Lee by submission. Oliveira holds many UFC records, including most submission wins in UFC history (14) as well as the most in the lightweight division (six). He is a 10-time winner of the Performance of the Night award.
- 9) Al Iaquinta (14-6-1)
He may have lost his last two fights in the Octagon, but Iaquinta still makes the top 10. Both losses came via unanimous decision and despite winning just one Fight of the Night and Performance of the Night accolade, respectively, Iaquinta previously challenged for the Lightweight Championship. Iaquinta’s only draw came in the early stages of his career, when he was fighting for the Ring of Combat.
- 10) Kevin Lee (18-6)
Falling two places but completing the top 10 is Lee, who like some of the other names in this list, has recently taken a dip in form. He previously lost to Ferguson for the interim Lightweight Championship title, and has also fought as a welterweight during his six-year UFC career – missing the catchweight limit on two occasions. His last defeat came at the hands of Oliveira at Fight Night 170 – which took place behind closed doors, due to the coronavirus pandemic.