Ever since Conor McGregor signalled the potential to make a move up in weight classes many were keen to understand the impact of the Champion of the division leaving to fight at a higher weight.
And now with the chances very high that McGregor’s next bout will also be in a different weight class we thought we would take a look at just what the rest of the 145lbs division has been up too since McGregor was crowned King back at #UFC194.
Since Conor McGregor defeated Jose Aldo to win the UFC Featherweight Title at #UFC194 there has been fourteen Featherweight contests, which is 12% of all the fights the UFC have put on during that time.
Of those fourteen fights only two have taken place on a main card with six taking place on the prelims and six taking place on the fight pass prelims. 58% of the fights have taken place on a UFC Fight Night card with an even split of 21% between PPV’s and UFC on Fox shows.
Only four of the current top fifteen ranked fighters (Brian Ortega, Dennis Bermudez, Tatsuya Kawajiri & Darren Elkins) have competed since McGregor became Champion with none of the top seven (Jose Aldo, Frankie Edgar, Chad Mendes, Max Holloway, Ricardo Lamas, Cub Swanson & Charles Oliveria) competing.
The fourteen fights in the division took a total of 153 minutes and finished in the following fashion;
Unanimous Decision – 7
TKO – 2
Submission – 3
No Contest – 1
Draw – 1
Interestingly there was no split decision wins across the 145lbs division since #UFC194 but there was a majority draw which took place at UFC on Fox: Johnson Vs Bader between Damon Jackson and Levan Makashvili. The one no contest happened at UFC on Fox: Dos Anjos Vs Cerrone 2 which came as a result of an accidental eye poke in the Jim Alers and Cole Miller fight.
The UFC have handed out bonuses to Featherweight fighters in the last fourteen fights in the division. Diego Rivas scored $50k for his flying knee stoppage of Noad Lahat and Luke Sanders also scooping a life changing bonus for his rear naked choke submission over Maximo Blanco.
So what does the above actually mean? Well its clear that there has been a lack of activity between the higher ranked fighters in the division since McGregor won the Gold, with only four of the top fifteen competing. Whilst there will be one or two names who are dead set on only fighting for the Title (Edgar & Aldo) its somewhat strange as to why the others haven’t been pushing for fights between themselves to get them into a position for a future crack at the Title.
I’m sure things will be made clear in the coming weeks in respect of McGregor’s next move but based on the above I don’t believe we can blame him for “holding up the division” and have to rest the blame with the 145lbs roster and the UFC for not putting enough fights on to path a way for the future of the Featherweight division.