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Conor McGregor inexplicably moves up UFC rankings despite not having fought in 17 months

The former two-weight champion was formally stripped of both of his titles after not having defended either belt since November 2016.

Conor McGregor is taken from the 78th Precinct in Brooklyn last month.
Conor McGregor is taken from the 78th Precinct in Brooklyn last month.
Image: SIPA USA/PA Images

CONOR MCGREGOR’S RELATIONSHIP with UFC has been pretty chaotic as of late.

The former two-weight champion was formally stripped of both of his titles after not having defended either belt since November 2016. His most recent interaction with the brand was his bizarre bus attack in Brooklyn, where he and some of his entourage caused a scene during the prelude to UFC 223, leading to multiple fighters withdrawing due to injury and McGregor getting arrested and charged with three counts of assault.

UFC president Dana White called the incident ”disgusting,” but never formally suspended the sport’s biggest star.

Despite this remarkable stretch, McGregor somehow moved up in UFC’s most recent pound-for-pound fighter rankings. Even more inexplicably, Khabib Nurmagomedov, who fought and won McGregor’s recently reclaimed title and remains undefeated in UFC, somehow moved down the list.

According to UFC, the rankings are “generated by a voting panel made up of media members,” so it’s not as if the brand was intentionally moving McGregor up the rankings after his attack. Still, it appears as though some of the voters were so impressed with how McGregor handled himself against that bus, that it warranted a move up the leaderboard.

There’s no doubt that McGregor remains one of the best fighters on the planet, but the fluctuations in the rankings amidst so much chaos between him and UFC appears asynchronous at best. Still, regardless of any of McGregor’s wild actions, the fact remains that when he returns to the octagon, it will be the biggest UFC event of the year.

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