The UFCs lightweight division has widely been regarded as one of the most exciting divisions in all combat sports. As a result, it was no surprise for fans watching UFC 274 on Saturday, May 7, that the two lightweight fights on the main card were incredible to watch. Charles “Du Bronx” Oliveira beat Justin “The Highlight” Gaethje by submission in the first round. Earlier in the night, Michael Chandler had finished Tony Ferguson in the second round with an incredible front kick knockout.

Oliveira, who was the undisputed lightweight champion before this weekend, lost his title due to failing to make weight. The Brazilian, who won his title a year ago in a fight against Michael Chandler, was forced to vacate after being half a pound too heavy on the scale. After winning his fight, he becomes the number one contender and will almost certainly fight again for the title soon.

Oliveira was the favorite to win against Gaethje at Betway, despite the weight miss, showing just how highly he’s rated by fans and experts alike. Despite a difficult start to his UFC career, Du Bronx has become one of its most exciting talents and has set a new record for the most finishes inside the octagon. The question most fans will ask now is who’s next?

Michael Chandler

Chandler and Oliveira previously fought for the vacant title last May, in what was an all-time classic title fight. Chandler had only recently come into the UFC from Bellator but had made a big name for himself after an incredible knockout victory over Dan Hooker. Meanwhile, Oliveira had one of the best winning streaks, including wins over Tony Ferguson and Kevin Lee. Despite being knocked down in the first round by the former Bellator champ, Oliveira came back to win by technical knockout in the second round, breaking a new record for most finishes in the UFC with seventeen.

Since then, Chandler has lost to Justin Gaethje but also managed to beat Tony Ferguson. On Saturday, he made his claim for a shot at the vacant title in a rematch, claiming that he’s the most entertaining fighter in the division. It’s hard to argue with him, and win or lose, his fights are always incredibly exciting. While it would be an exciting fight, however, there are questions over whether Chandler really deserves another shot at the title. Since the fight, he’s lost one and won one. Ideally, he needs another win over a top-ranked opponent for another chance. A rematch with Gaethje would be the best option right now.

Islam Mackhachev

Islam is the current number four ranked lightweight and the highest-ranked fighter who hasn’t fought Oliveira yet. As the cousin of former lightweight champion Khabib and former combat sambo world champion, many expect Islam to be the next to hold the belt. Coming out of Dagestan, he has a fearsome reputation and a similar style of fighting to Khabib. He has lost in the UFC before, however, being knocked out by Adriano Martins back in 2015.

Since his loss, Islam has been working hard and has racked up ten straight wins, including over Dan Hooker and Bobby Green. He’s certainly a challenge for the division. The only problem is that his wins haven’t been over highly ranked fighters. Because of this, some fans think he should still fight once or twice more before having a chance at the title.

Conor McGregor

McGregor hasn’t fought since he broke his leg in a loss to Dustin Poirier back in July 2021. Since then, he’s hinted at comeback fights against whoever holds the current lightweight title, as well as potentially fighting for the welterweight title. For most fans, McGregor is still a draw, but his talent has definitely waned over the years, and after such a severe leg injury, he may not be the fighter he once was. Still, Dana will no doubt be keen to bring him back into the title picture if he’s available, as no other fighter sells as many PPVs as McGregor. A fight against Oliveira would be exciting, but ideally, he should get a win before fighting for the title.