UFC has produced many top-level fighters over the years who found recognition worldwide. UFC is categorized into 11 categories where fighters can fight using their body weight. The Lightweight is one of them, ranging from 84KG to 93KG. The lightweight division fighters have made headlines over the last decade. Who will be the top 5 Best UFC Lightweight Fighters of All Time?
This article focused on names like Charles Oliveira, Dustin Poirier, Frankie Edgar, and others. However, the number of fights in the lightweight division, the victories margin, and the importance of their fights in the lightweight division are all considered to make this list. So, check out our list of 5 Best UFC Lightweight Fighters of All Time.
5. Tony Ferguson
Tony Ferguson is an American professional mixed martial artist. He started his UFC career in 2008 against Steve Avalos. Tony Ferguson’s UFC career record is 25-10, 12KO. He enjoyed great success in UFC, which earned him an interim Lightweight championship in 2017 when he beat American UFC fighter Kevin Lee. But, he was stripped of the title due to an injury.
Ferguson lost the interim Lightweight championship bout to Justin Gaethje in 2020. After this, his career suffered a downfall as he lost 7 consecutive fights since then. Although his career has been full of ups and downs, he is still the 5th among our 5 Best UFC Lightweight Fighters of All Time.
4. Eddie Alvarez
Eddie Alvarez is an American professional mixed martial artist. Alvarez started his career as a UFC boxer in 2003 with a knockout win over Anthony Ladonna. Eddie’s overall record in UFC is 30-8-2, 17KO. Eddie Alvarez started his journey as a lightweight fighter with a knockout defeat against Nick Thompson in 2007. In 2013, Eddie Alvarez became the first boxer to win championships in Bellator MMA and the UFC.
Eddie Alvarez has been a mainstay in the UFC lightweight division since 2007-2018, which is why he entered our 5 Best UFC Lightweight Fighters of All Time. He faced top names in the division, like Conor McGregor, Dustin Poirier, Michael Chandler, and Donald Cerrone. Alvarez beat Rafael dos Anjos in 2016 to win the UFC lightweight championship. But he lost it in his first defence against Conor McGregor.
3. Islam Makhachev
Islam Ramazanovich Makhachev is a Russian professional mixed martial artist and former Sambo competitor. Islam Makhachev is the Best UFC Fighter of 2023. Islam Makhachev carried the legacy of fellow UFC lightweight champion and his countryman Khabib Nurmagomedov. Makhachev’s unbeaten streak broke in 2015 against Brazilian UFC boxer Adriano Martins. Islam has a phenomenal record in UFC of 25-1, 5KO.
Islam Makhachev has been the current UFC lightweight champion since 2022 that took him among 5 Best UFC Lightweight Fighters of All Time. Makhachev was a world champion and two-time Russian national champion at 74 kg in Combat Sambo. He is the number 1 ranked fighter in UFC men’s pound-for-pound rankings. Islam Makhachev faced the top competition in the division. His relationship with Khabib has been a highlight of the UFC lightweight division in the last few years.
2. Conor McGregor
Conor Anthony McGregor is an Irish professional mixed martial artist and professional boxer. Conor is the first professional UFC boxer to win UFC championships in two weight classes. Conor McGregor is also a former Cage Warriors Featherweight and Lightweight Champion. Overall UFC record of Conor McGregor is 22-6, 19KO. McGregor, also known as ‘The Notorious,’ has been the money guy for UFC in the last decade as his 9 Pay Per View Bout earned over 13 million sales.
McGregor won his first UFC Lightweight Championship in 2016 with a knockout win over Eddie Alvarez. After two years, in 2018, Conor lost the UFC lightweight title to Khabib Nurmagomedov in one of the Best UFC main events of all time. After losing against Dustin Poirier in 2021, Conor did not fight in the UFC. Conor McGregor will be remembered as the front face of the UFC lightweight category. So, he is #2 in our 5 Best UFC Lightweight Fighters of All Time.
1. Khabib Nurmagomedov
Khabib Abdulmanapovich Nurmagomedov is a Russian former professional mixed martial artist who competed in the Lightweight division of the Ultimate Fighting Championship (UFC). Khabib’s overall record is 29-0, 8KO. Khabib is the most successful lightweight fighter in the UFC. Undefeated in his professional career, Khabib retired as the reigning UFC Lightweight Champion with an ideal record. Khabib’s dominant combat and wrestling skills set him apart in the UFC lightweight category.
In 2018, Khabib won the UFC lightweight championship against Al Iaquinta. Khabib became popular worldwide with the famous win over Conor McGregor in 2018. Nurmagomedov retired in 2020 but still earned the place at #1 in our 5 Best UFC Lightweight Fighters of All Time. Nurmagomedov was number 1 in the UFC men’s pound-for-pound rankings at retirement. Khabib also was the longest-reigning UFC Lightweight Champion. In 2022, Khabib was inducted into the UFC Hall of Fame.