It was big in the Middle East, which Nurmagomedov proved himself an icon. it was big in Nurmagomedov’s Russian homeland, where reportedly 26 million people watched the fight. It’s big back here in North America, where the ramifications of the lightweight champion’s decisive victory is being felt by the sport’s deepest division.
And yet, despite the event’s undoubtedly monumental nature, it didn’t mean nearly as much as you might think in the latest edition of the USA Today Sports/MMA Junkie rankings.
Nurmagomedov was already ranked No. 1 in our pound-for-pound rankings, so that’s where he stays. As for Poirier, how far can you drop him after losing to a fighter who sports a 28-0 record in this day and age? With Donald Cerrone at No. 4 and Al Iaquinta No. 5 at 155, it doesn’t seem to make sense to drop him below the No. 3 at which he entered the fight, so that’s where he stays.
As for the rest of the weekend, there were impressive performances by heavyweight Curtis Blaydes and strawweight Joanna Calderwood which merit consideration, as well as the Bellator 226 heavyweight title fight in which champion Ryan Bader dominated Cheick Kongobefore an accidental eye poke ended things.
So to see where all those fighters landed, or check up on your favorite (or least favorite) fighters, click on the rankings above.