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UFC Welterweight rankings: Will Luque vs Muhammad in April decide the next #1 contender?

ufc welterweight rankings

Aug 7, 2021; Houston, Texas, USA; Vicente Luque (blue gloves) reacts to the fight against Michael Chiesa (red gloves) during UFC 265 at Toyota Center. Mandatory Credit: Troy Taormina-USA TODAY Sports

The Ultimate Fighting Championship welterweight division is as formidable as it has been in years. However, when you have such a dominant champion reigning on top, the question is: Who will be the fighter to rise up and derail Usman's growing legend? With that in mind, here are the official UFC rankings for the top-10 in the welterweight division.

UFC Welterweight rankings

10. Khamzat Chimaev (10-0)

Khamzat Chimaev has quickly become an Octagon sensation. With more wins than strikes landed on him over four UFC fights, the Chechen is the fastest-rising star in the promotion and has the makings of a legitimate title contender in 2022. He is expected to face the second-ranked fighter in our UFC welterweight rankings, Gilbert Burns. A fighter who has the ability to test the young star everywhere.

  • Next fight: vs. Gilbert Burns at UFC 273(unofficial)

9. Neil Magny (25-8)

Like Vicent Luque, Neil Magny has been a consistent and steady talent in the division for quite some time. And at 33, he seems to be rounding into the best version of himself. His January loss to Michael Chiesa was a setback that derailed a hot streak, but "The Haitian Sensation's" May bounce-back W over Geoff Neal quickly made up for it. He will look to continue that hot streak against veteran Max Griffin in March.

  • Next fight: vs. Max Griffin (March 26)

8. Jorge Masvidal (35-15)

Jorge "Gamebred" Masvidal's window to title contention may be shut after two straight title fight losses to champion Kamaru Usman. Covington was unable to beat the champ in at UFC 268 and closed the door on a former besties' fight for gold. With a planned bout against Leon Edwards at UFC 269 falling through, he will now battle former bestie and arch-rival Colby Covington in an uber-grudge match at UFC 272.

Next fight: vs. Colby Covington at UFC 272

7. Stephen Thompson (16-6-1)

Stephen "Wonderboy" Thompson's ability to maintain a spot in the top-five at welterweight has been remarkable. It's one thing to be top-level with grappling at 38-years-old, but to do so with an all striking style is unbelievable. However, having now lost two straight and four of his last six, Thompson's days as a top-five welterweight seem to be over. The question is, for how much longer can he stay a top-10 fighter?

Next fight: Waiting for next booking

6. Belal Muhammad (20-3)

ufc welterweight rankings

Jun 12, 2021; Glendale, Arizona, USA; Belal Muhammad before fighting against Demian Maia during UFC 263 at Gila River Arena. Mandatory Credit: Mark J. Rebilas-USA TODAY Sports

Belal "Remember the Name" Muhammad is like Leon Edwards in being a criminally underappreciated talent at welterweight. While he may not be as flashy as others, racking up an 11-3-1 record in the top promotion in the world deserves respect. And after his dominant UFC 263 win over former two-time title contender Demian Maia, he scored a career-defining W over Stephen Thompson and proclaimed he is as real a contender as there is at 170-pounds heading in 2022. Next he rematches Vicente Luque looking for revenge and the chance to solidify his place as the next welterweight contender.

  • Next fight: vs. Vicente Luque (April 16)

5. Vicente Luque (21-7-1)

Vicente Luque quieted many doubters at UFC 265. Not because he was expected to lose to Michael Chiesa. He was actually the betting favorite going into the fight. It was about how he won. By snatching up Chiesa's neck and making him tap out in the first round of their matchup, the Brazilian showed he truly was much more than just a durable brawler with evolving skills as a striker. He is a well-rounded competitor who can hand out KOs and submissions. In April he will look to solidify a spot as the next title contender in a rematch with fellow rising contender Belal Muhammad.

  • Next fight: vs. Belal Muhammad (April 16)

4. Colby Covington (16-3)

Colby Covington feels like a bizarro version of Usman. He has the same outstanding wrestling, same elite level cardio, and has lost few rounds in his climb to the top of the division. However, where Usman has developed power in his hands, "Chaos" instead is an output machine on the level of the Diaz brothers. Although Covington failed in his second bid to dethrone Usman at UFC 268, he will get a big bounce-back opportunity against frenemy Jorge Masvidal at UFC 272.

  • Next fight: vs. Jorge Masvidal at UFC 272

3. Leon Edwards (19-3)

Although Leon Edwards is not in the top spot on this list, he is our top choice for the most underappreciated fighter in the division. Going unbeaten in his last 10 fights has done little to build momentum from enough fans hoping to see him in a title fight soon. And despite outclassing Diaz for 24 minutes at UFC 263, most fans prefer to remember the final minute when "Rocky" was hurt and on the brink of a terrible loss. The 29-year-old was booked for a career-defining matchup at UFC 269 until opponent Masvidal dropped out of the fight. He is now again stuck in booking limbo.

  • Next fight: Waiting for next booking

2. Gilbert Burns (20-4)

Gilbert Burns' evolution from a solid lightweight talent into one of the top welterweights in the world has been one of the best stories of the last two years. "Durinho's" success has come about because he has evolved from an outstanding Brazilian jiu-jitsu practitioner competing in MMA, to one of the most complete threats in the entire weight class. His activity in being the best welterweight, not named Kamaru Usman over the last two years, is why he gets the second spot over a former interim champion in Covington. Now he'll have a chance to secure a second title fight by stealing the hype off Khamzat Chimaev's run-away train.

  • Next fight: vs. Khamzat Chimaev at UFC 273 (unofficial)

1. Champion: Kamaru Usman (20-1)

Current welterweight king Kamara Usman has not lost a fight in eight years. And he likely has only lost about as many rounds over his last 18 bouts. He proved his worthiness as a pound-for-pound star in his knockout win of Jorge Masvidal in April. The man that was once considered a grinding wrestler with endless cardio has now become a feared striker with three KOs in his last four wins. After beating Colby Covington for a second time at UFC 268, it is getting hard to argue that he's not the UFC 170-pound GOAT.

  • Next fight: Waiting for next booking