Okay, we get it, the UFC rankings are odd sometimes, but this one takes the biscuit. Lightweight contenders Nate Diaz and TJ Grant have been removed from this week’s rankings update, and this head-scratching decision seems to lack logic. Usually, fighters are removed due to inactivity, though Diaz fought just 6 months ago, while Grant has been out for less than a year.
Prior to the update, Grant was ranked #3 in the division, while Diaz held the #6 spot. As a result, Gray Maynard – who has suffered two losses in a row against, you guessed it, Grant and Diaz – has moved up to fill the #8 spot. The UFC are yet to comment on the situation, though the inactivity reason is out of the picture, with many questioning whether contract negotiations have broken down with either, or both, fighters.
TJ Grant has won five in a row since moving down to lightweight in 2011, with his last two wins coming via first round TKO. This run of form earned the Canadian a title shot, though injury led to Grant being forced to pull out of the shot at Pettis’ lightweight belt and he is yet to return since his knockout win over Maynard in May 2013.
Nate Diaz, meanwhile, bounced back from two consecutive losses – including an unsuccessful shot at the title – by defeating former contender Maynard in November. That win put Diaz back in the top 10, but a series of odd events occurred since that win. After tweets asking to be released from his contract, stating in interviews that he is hoping to earn more money, and reportedly turning down a fight with Donald Cerrone, the latest odd piece of Diaz news is that he has been taken out of the UFC rankings just 6 months after an impressive win.
To add fuel to the fire, former champion Dominick Cruz remains in the rankings, holding the #9 spot at bantamweight. Cruz hasn’t fought in almost 3 years.
As a result, here is how the lightweight rankings stand: