- Conor McGregor climbed to third in UFC’s official rankings, despite having not fought for 18 months and getting arrested this month.
- UFC experts and fighters think the Irishman is getting preferential treatment.
- Commentator Joe Rogan said “the rules get bent” because of money, while women’s featherweight champion Cris Cyborg said the ranking system is “flawed.”
Conor McGregor has muscled his way up UFC’s official world rankings even though he hasn’t fought since 2016 and was recently arrested for an alleged attack on a bus carrying UFC athletes.
In UFC’s weekly pound-for-pound list, a subjective ranking that contains all fighters regardless of weight class or sex, McGregor finds himself tied in third place alongside heavyweight champion Stipe Miocic.
This is a higher position than his previous rank of fourth and he now finds himself five rungs higher than ninth place Khabib Nurmagomedov, the recently-installed UFC lightweight champion.
McGregor’s placement on UFC’s list is extraordinary.
This is because the 29-year-old has not fought in UFC since his second round knockout victory over former lightweight world champion Eddie Alvarez in November 2016.
Since then, he lost a boxing rules contest against Floyd Mayweather, got in trouble for mounting a cage and shoving a referee at a Bellator event last year, and got arrested for an alleged attack at an official UFC event earlier this month.
His ranking as a top three fighter comes after UFC commentator Joe Rogan said McGregor receives preferential treatment from the company.
“He just keeps f****** up with this kind of stuff and no one’s saying, ‘Get rid of him!’ He’s worth so much money. It’s really fascinating,” Rogan said on a recent episode of his official “Joe Rogan Experience” podcast.
“There’s so much money to be made, that’s the problem – the rules get bent,” he added.
One of McGregor’s fellow fighters didn’t seem impressed either.
UFC women’s world featherweight champion Cris Cyborg, ranked the tenth best fighter on the planet by UFC, could not understand how McGregor managed to climb the chart at the same time Nurmagomedov dropped a position.
“Something is flawed with the UFC Rankings,” she tweeted.
Something is flawed with the UFC Rankings. Conor hasn't fought in 2 years, breaks a bus window and moves up the P4P rankings while Khabib remains undefeated and moves down. https://t.co/hc7onuhdBO
— #CyborgVsNunes #UFC232 (@criscyborg) April 25, 2018
Before McGregor can return to a UFC octagon, he must return to a New York City courtroom having been released on a $US50,000 bond.
There is speculation that he could face Nurmagomedov for the UFC lightweight title later this year.
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