Top 10 Lightweight Rankings

nullThe lightweight division is as impressive a group as any in MMA.

The top 10 list features a number of different styles and contenders, but each fighter could arguably beat everyone else on the list.

Still, here are my updated top 10 lightweight rankings.

1. Frankie Edgar (13-1-1) – Edgar holds on to the top spot as he still is the UFC champion. An injury kept him from facing Gray Maynard in their long-awaited trilogy fight, but those two should collide soon and be able to settle the score as to who deserves to be the champion.

2. Gray Maynard (10-0-1) – Maynard is still unbeaten but missed out on his opportunity to win the championship when he had Edgar beaten at UFC 125. Now, he will have to wait for a third shot at Edgar this fall where he can perhaps prove to the world that he is the top lightweight in the world.

3. Gilbert Melendez (19-2) – Melendez could legitimately compete for the UFC title, but he hasn’t had the opportunity to do so. Now that the UFC is tapping into Strikeforce, perhaps a champion vs. champion bout is in the near future. Until then, Melendez looks as if he will continue to tear up Strikeforce competition.

4. Jim Miller (20-2) – Miller appears to be the No. 1 contender in the UFC due to Clay Guida beating Anthony Pettis this month. Miller has done nothing but win and now he gets a chance to showcase his talents on live TV when he faces Ben Henderson at UFC Live 5 in August. A win for Miller should certainly put him in line for a title shot.

5. Shinya Aoki (28-5, 1 NC) – Aoki is the top submission fighter in the lightweight division and he has won three straight by submission. A lackluster showing against Melendez forced Aoki to mature as a fighter and he is putting himself in line to be a force in the United States if he has the desire to compete in Strikeforce or the UFC.

6. Eddie Alvarez (22-2) – Alvarez, the Bellator champion, is a very polished fighter and the top fighter in all of the organization, in my opinion. There aren’t many challenges left for Alvarez, so hopefully he gets an opportunity soon to compete against the best Zuffa has to offer.

7. Clay Guida (29-11) – Guida had an impressive win over Anthony Pettis this month, as he scored takedowns to neutralize Pettis’ striking. Still one of the best the UFC has, Guida is looking to finally break through and earn a title shot. A few more wins may put him in line for just that.

8. Melvin Guillard (28-8-2) – Guillard appears to have his head on straight and is trying to become a complete fighter. He has won four straight and will face Shane Roller on Saturday, which will be a real test to see if he has learned from his past mistakes against submission specialists. A win for Guillard puts him in line to a get a top-5 contender in his next bout.

9. Dennis Siver (18-7) – Siver is also on a nice roll, winning his last three fights, including a decision over George Sotiropoulos, who was considered one of the top UFC lightweights coming into that contest. The kickboxer has good takedown defense and some powerful strikes. He will face off with Matt Wiman this Saturday.

10. Anthony Pettis (13-2) – Pettis suffered a decision loss to Guida, but even in a loss, he showed a very active guard and nearly found a way to pull out a win. Pettis really has the raw tools to be great, but fighting off his back won’t get him any victories. He is going to need to continue to improve on his grappling and find a way to keep fights standing, where he will have a striking edge on everyone he faces.

  

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