Questions were asked about the current status of the official UFC rankings after eagle-eye fans discovered that Conor McGregor Khabib had replaced Nurmagomedov as the top-ranked fighter in the UFC.

Khabib cemented his place at the top of the rankings following his loss to Justin Gaethje at UFC 254 last month after submitting the American challenger in the second round of his world title on Fight Island.

Immediately thereafter, a tearful Nurmagomedov announced his retirement from the sport – but not before calling on the UFC to cement his place at the top of the promotion’s open weight rankings.

“It was my last fight here. I only know one thing I want from UFC,” Khabib told UFC commentator Jon Anik in the cage. “You have to make me the number one pound-for-pound fighter in the world because I deserve it.”

The UFC was mandated to bring Khabib to the top over Jon Jones, where it was believed he would stay for some time.

However, from Saturday something had changed. As pointed out by a number of fight fans on Twitter, Khabib had lost his top spot – and had been replaced by arch-rival Conor McGregor, the Irishman he defeated in Las Vegas in 2018.

And yes, the same listing of McGregor as number one appeared on the Russian version of the UFC homepage. Khabib had now fallen to third place.

Questions are now asked how or why the change was made. McGregor has only faced once since losing to Khabib at UFC 229, beating Donald Cerrone in a 40-second shellacking in January – but even Dubliner’s most ardent supporters would find it hard to bring a case that suggests McGregors recent work is enough to place him at the top.

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So, if not an administrative mistake, what else? Could any of McGregor’s supporters have “hacked” the UFC website to change his hero’s ranking – or would UFC have downgraded Khabib in their official ranking after he retired and filled the void with his hottest rival?

Time will tell, but as of this writing, at least on computer screens, McGregor can claim to be the sport’s best fighter. The internet says so.


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