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The 36-year-old MMA fighter saw his eight-year undefeated streak come to an end earlier this month after a stunning performance from Gaethje at UFC 249.
And ex-interim lightweight champ Ferguson, who was on a 12-fight winning streak before his defeat, locked down the No 6 spot in ESPN's rankings back in March.
However, 'El Cucuy' has crashed out of the publication's latest reshuffle after UFC returned this month amid the coronavirus pandemic.
Gaethje, who won the interim UFC lightweight championship, has entered the rankings at the No 10 spot.
According to ESPN, the 31-year-old UFC star has the "opportunity to move up dramatically if he can dethrone No 1-ranked [Khabib] Nurmagomedov."
Alexander Volkanovski and Demetrious Johnson both benefited from the updated rankings with their ninth- and eighth-placed finishes respectively.
UFC welterweight champ Kamaru Usman and UFC middleweight champ Israel Adesanya tied for sixth place in ESPN's rankings.
ESPN's final ranking order was based on votes cast by Ariel Helwani, Brett Okamoto, Marc Raimondi and Jeff Wagenheim.
Posted below are ESPN's top 10 fighters in its pound-for-pound rankings.
10. Justin Gaethje (Record: 22-2)
9. Alexander Volkanovski (Record: 21-1)
8. Demetrious Johnson (Record: 30-3-1)
T-6. Kamaru Usman (Record: 16-1)
T-6. Israel Adesanya (Record: 19-0)
5. Daniel Cormier (Record: 22-2, 1 NC)
4. Stipe Miocic (Record: 19-3)
3. Henry Cejudo (Record: 16-2)
2. Jon Jones (Record: 26-1, 1 NC)
1. Khabib Nurmagomedov (Record: 28-0)
Khabib Nurmagomedov's manager Ali Abdelaziz, who also represents Gaethje, fired out a shot at Ferguson by calling on him to retire from MMA.
Ferguson was taken to hospital after the UFC 249 clash due to injuries, but he has since been discharged and won't receive surgery on his broken orbital bone.
However, 'El Cucuy' has since entered into a heated social media spat with UFC superstar Conor McGregor.
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