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Ian Machado Garry has made a giant leap towards title contention following his win over Geoff Neal at last Saturday’s UFC 298 event in Anaheim, California. 

The Dubliner extended his unbeaten steak in the UFC to seven (and 14-0 overall) with a spilt decision win against Neal in a three round bout in which Machado Garry employed an ‘on your bike’ style to flummox and outpoint his American opponent over 15 minutes of action. Afterwards, Machado Garry reiterated his intention to fight the former multiple time title contender Colby Covington in his next outing as part of a larger plot to secure a world title shot within his next three fights.

And the win over Neal has certainly helped things. The UFC’s official rankings now list Machado Garry as the sixth-ranked fighter at 170-pounds and has him leapfrogging Vicente Luque, Neal, Stephen ‘Wonderboy’ Thompson and Sean Brady to the position.

Directly above of him? A certain Colby Covington — a factor which might make the potential Covington bout a little easier to arrange, particularly as ‘Wonderboy’ Thompson, whom Covington said he is seeking a fight with, has dropped down to eighth position.

Towards the summit of the list of challengers to world champion Leon Edwards are Kamaru Usman and Belal Muhammad occupying the number one and number two positions, followed by Shavkat Rakhmonov and Gilbert Burns with Covington completing the top five.

You can read the newly-revised full divisional rankings at the UFC’s official website.