UFC welterweight Belal Muhammad has called for an eight-man UFC lightweight tournament including Rafael dos Anjos vs. Charles Oliveira.
The UFC lightweight division is in flux right now with UFC lightweight champion Khabib Nurmagomedov’s status very much in the air. Although “The Eagle” announced his retirement following his submission win over Justin Gaetje at UFC 254, it was later revealed that the promotion will not strip him of his belt. So the division is currently operating with the belief that Nurmagmedov is still the champion — for now.
However, as time goes on, the other fighters in the division will call for the weight class to move forward if Nurmagomedov can’t make up his mind. If that’s the case, then a tournament featuring eight of the top lightweights in the UFC makes sense as a way to crown a new champion. On Saturday following UFC Vegas 14, Muhammad put together his bracket of what he would like to see a potential UFC lightweight tournament look like.
Check out the hypothetical UFC lightweight tournament that Muhammad suggested.
Dustin vs Conor
Dos anjos vs olivera
Chandler vs Tony
Paul vs Justin
— Belal Muhammad (@bullyb170) November 15, 2020
Dustin vs Conor Dos anjos vs olivera Chandler vs Tony Paul vs Justin
All of the fights that Muhammad suggested make sense when you look at the lay of the landscape at 155lbs right now. Both Conor McGregor and Dustin Poirier are already tabbed to headline UFC 257 in January so that one is a gimme. The Rafael dos Anjos vs. Charles Oliveira fight would also be an excellent matchup between two well-rounded lightweights. Tony Ferguson vs. Michael Chandler is also a rumored fight. And then Paul Felder vs. Justin Gaethje would be just fantastic to watch, as well.
We don’t know what the UFC wants to do at lightweight yet, but all of these matchups make sense, and a tournament seems like a very real possibility in the near future.
Do you like the lightweight tournament bracket that Belal Muhammad set up?