For most hardcore MMA fans, the consensus is that 155 is the deepest division in the game. With the current champion being arguably the greatest ever, and that guy not being Conor McGregor means that it is a star studded division. With the recent retirement of Khabib, it is up for grabs on who will be the next champion. As of today, the rankings still show Khabib in the champion spot, but if we take him at his word then he will be out of the picture soon and this leaves us to ask one question: Who’s ready to rumble?
This weekend we have a match between RDA and Paul Felder. This won’t be a title match by any measure, but could this boost one of the two into the contender role? I believe so. Conor and Poirier are also set to fight at the end of January; however, it seems as if there may be some mixing and matching between that.
As of now, Dustin has not signed his end of the contract and he has openly tweeted to tell Dana White to send the “real” contract over. None of us knows what this means, but if he is asking for more money than that can be an issue, seeing how the UFC has been extremely stingy with their money since the pandemic has begun. They have been openly negotiating about money with Jon Jones, Jorge Masvidal, and more.
Michael Chandler, who just came over from Bellator and was placed in the replacement role for the Gaethje-Khabib fight, is also in the conversation for a title fight. If anything would have happened to either of them, he could have been the interim champion in his first ever UFC fight. This has to mean he is in the talks as being a contender and he has since come out and stated he wanted to fight Tony Ferguson.
If Tony, who just lost to Gaethje for the interim title, is still in the contender spot than this will be a #1 contender fight possibly. There is also Charles Oliveira who is on a six fight win streak but doesn’t have the big name fights that may launch him into contendership right away. Dan Hooker, who recently lost to Poirier, is also still close to contending for a title as well.
With all of these guys in position to be champion, there is nobody who is head and shoulders above the rest of the pack to be anointed the next king of 155. Also, a point to note is that Dana White has not stripped Khabib of his title just yet and he also thinks that Khabib may be convinced to come back for the right fight. He stated that GSP is the guy he wanted to fight, but a rematch with Conor McGregor may be too lucrative for him to turn down.
The interim title has not been placed on Conor’s next fight also, which shows how much confidence Dana has in being able to bring Khabib back. If he was being stripped, the belt would 100% be placed on this fight just to keep the division going. This royal rumble that will occur within the next 3 months will be a site to see.