Lightweight (146lbs. – 155lbs.)
1 Frankie Edgar
Between the incredible upset and the cries that he shouldn’t have been awarded the decision stands the UFC lightweight champion. Can he do it again?
2 BJ Penn
Was he ill when Edgar beat him? Did Edgar even beat him? These questions will be put to rest when he challenges for Edgar’s title at UFC 118 on Aug. 28th.
3 Gilbert Melendez
Having dispatched his top challengers in from both Strikeforce and DREAM, Melendez looks to conquer Bellator and Eddie Alvarez next.
4 Eddie Alvarez
Both he and Bellator CEO Bjorn Rebney want him to fight Melendez, but season 2 tournament winner Pat Curran is due a title shot.
5 Gray Maynard
10-0-0 (1 NC) UFC
Having already beaten the reigning UFC lightweight champion, Maynard will earn a title shot if only he can defeat Florian at UFC 118 on August 28th.
6 Kenny Florian
Next to Edgar, he must have been the happiest man alive following Penn’s title loss. A third title shot seemed miles away, but now it’s just one win away.
7 Shinya Aoki
23-5-0 (1 NC) DREAM
After talking a bunch of junk, he returns to DREAM, tail between his legs, after being beaten by Melendez. He’ll seek reprisal against Kawajiri.
8 Ben Henderson
His ascension into the top 10 not only highlights his great work but also the growing strength of WEC’s lightweight division.
9 Tatsuya Kawajiri
Fun with MMA math: Alvarez knocked him out and then got submitted by Aoki. Obviously Kawajiri has no chance against Aoki. Obviously.
10 Evan Dunham
Came out of nowhere to beat Per Eklund in his UFC debut and hasn’t looked back since. One more win should earn him a title shot.
11 George Sotiropoulos
A match against Dunham to determine the next top contender in the UFC’s lightweight division seems to obvious not to happen.
12 Tyson Griffin
With Stevenson on the mend, Griffin will step in against Takanori Gomi at UFC Live on August 1st.
On the brink: Mizuto Hirota (Sengoku, 12-4-1), Sean Sherk (UFC, 33-4-1), Jim Miller (UFC, 17-2-0)