It is widely known that a rash of UFC fighters have been busted on drug tests over the last few months. Some of them, like Jon Jones' positive test for cocaine, caused a big stir but ultimately led to little or nothing in terms of punishment. On the other hand, highly-ranked fighters like Anderson Silva and Hector Lombard have been caught for performance enhancing drugs. These scandals are likely going to lead to long-term consequences for the fighters, and have changed the way the UFC is looking at PEDs.
While Silva and Lombard are both first-time steroid offenders, with Silva failing for multiple steroids before and after UFC 183 and Lombard failing after UFC 182, the UFC has chosen to remove Lombard, suspended for a year by the NAC, from the UFC rankings, while Silva, who is under temporary suspension, is still there.
Quietly, the UFC slipped Lombard from the welterweight list during a period where the panel hadn't been asked to submit their most recent rankings yet. He was at number 7, and you can see that he is now gone and everyone has moved up a spot. It also means that Neil Magny is a ranked fighter for the first time.
But there's Anderson Silva, still ranked at number five at middleweight and number 10 on the pound-for-pound list.
The UFC could have other motives for Lombard's removal - after all, they've taken guys out on a whim before. Nate Diaz was plunked from the list pretty quickly after he decided to hold out last year. It's been pretty arbitrary. But the promotion has already stated that the Reebok deal is going to pay fighters based on their rankings starting later this year. So how they decide to manipulate the lists may have a real impact on fighter earnings. And while the UFC has publicly backed Silva, one of their biggest stars, they've said virtually nothing in regards to Lombard.
Meanwhile, flyweight Ali Bagautinov has also been removed from the rankings even though he's been under suspension retroactive to last June, when he tested positive for EPO vs. Demetrious Johnson at UFC 174. He was ranked at 6 but now everyone ranked 7-14 has moved up a spot, while Brad Pickett is back in the rankings at 15.