How The UFC's Lightweight Rankings Looked In 2016, Two Fighters Still Ranked In The Top Ten Now
Nurmagomedov and Ferguson were ranked first and third, respectively, in the UFC's lightweight division back in April 2016.
And the two UFC stars, who have been matched against each other five times without fighting in the Octagon, are still ranked in the top ten today with the undefeated Russian phenom now the 155lbs king while the American fighter has improved his spot to No.2.
In 2016, Rafael dos Anjos was the UFC lightweight champion after beating Anthony Pettis at UFC 185.
Nurmagomedov, Eddie Alvarez, Ferguson, Donald Cerrone and Nate Diaz were ranked first, second, third, fourth and fifth, respectively.
Edson Barboza, former champion Pettis, Michael Johnson, Michael Chiesa and Beneil Dariush were also ranked in the top ten.
UFC's lightweight rankings in 2016:
Champion: Rafael dos Anjos
1. Khabib Nurmagomedov
2. Eddie Alvarez
3. Tony Ferguson
4. Donald Cerrone
5. Nate Diaz
6. Edson Barboza
7. Anthony Pettis
8. Michael Johnson
9. Michael Chiesa
10. Beneil Dariush
In 2020, everyone in the top ten of the division has changed except for two UFC lightweights in the shape of Nurmagomedov, who won the vacant title at UFC 223 in 2018, and Ferguson, who held the interim title in 2017 before being stripped.
Justin Gaethje is ranked No.1 after beating Ferguson for the interim belt at UFC 249 last month.
Ferguson, Dustin Poirier, former champion Conor McGregor and Dan Hooker are ranked second, third, fourth and fifth, respectively.
Paul Felder, Charles Oliveira, Kevin Lee, Al Iaquinta and Diego Ferreira make up the top ten.
UFC's lightweight rankings in 2020:
Champion: Khabib Nurmagomedov
1. Justin Gaethje (interim champion)
2. Tony Ferguson
3. Dustin Poirier
4. Conor McGregor
5. Dan Hooker
6. Paul Felder
7. Charles Oliveira
8. Kevin Lee
9. Al Iaquinta
10. Diego Ferreira
To remain in the top ten of the UFC's lightweight division is a testament to Nurmagomedov and Ferguson's ability and dedication to their craft.
They've fended off competition from old and new challengers as they continue to ply their trade in the business end of the division.
But will they ever face off inside the Octagon?