However, Makhachev has now been matched up with Thiago Moises, a previously unranked lightweight prospect who has been bumped up to the 15th spot in the rankings. This came as a shock to many since Makhachev defeated the now-14th-ranked Drew Dober in his last outing.
Gregor Gillespie talks about Makhachev and the UFC rankings
Gregor Gillespie was recently asked his thoughts on matching up with Makhachev. He stated that the Dagestani wrestler's skills to be considerably greater than what the UFC are giving him credit for in their rankings.
"Yeah, who knows. He just took a fight against someone else. So obviously that's not gonna be next on the horizon. But that's a guy that's probably ranked lower than he's capable of - you know, competing at. I can see maybe down the line, if it lines up and we end up fighting each other for the belt. I don't know. Who knows?" said Gregor Gillespie.
Gillespie also discussed how likely a matchup between him and Makhachev truly is.
"I know a lot of people call for that. But it's gotta make sense. So I'm gonna take the one that makes the most sense that is offered to me, that pushes me in the right direction. So, hopefully, it's someone ranked ahead of me," said Gregor Gillespie.
Islam Makhachev and Gregor Gillespie's positions in the lightweight division
Islam Makhachev is currently ranked at No. 10 in the 155-lbs division. He is riding a six-fight win streak that includes victories over high-level competition such as Arman Tsarukyan, Drew Dober and Davi Ramos.
The Dagestani is also known to have been one of Khabib Nurmagomedov's main training partners during The Eagle's rise to the top of the lightweight division. With Nurmagomedov now retired, his primary focus is training the new generation of Dagestani talent, which Makhachev is at the forefront of.
Alternatively, Gillespie sits in the 11th position in the rankings and is coming off an impressive comeback win over 13th-ranked Carlos Diego Ferreira. Gillespie had looked to be on a crash course for the top of the lightweight division. However, a brutal head-kick KO loss to Kevin Lee disrupted his momentum for a period of time.