The UFC Light Weight Champ, Benson Henderson. Photo courtesy of Sherdog.com

Benson Henderson – The champ always receives the top spot. In my opinion he didn’t lose the WEC title fight against Anthony “Showtime” Pettis at WEC 53 two years ago. Pettis only won because of his highlight real kick that didn’t even finish the fight in the last round. It was as if a basketball player made a spectacular slam dunk in the final minutes of the game and even though his team was losing, they were awarded the win. Then again the loss might have been exactly what he needed at the time to get him to where he is today. In the end these things are always difficult to analyze.
2 Frankie Edgar – The next fight for Edgar won’t really change his place in the light weight division, regardless of the outcome. Simply put, too many lightweight title fights are rematches these days. No fighter on a two fight losing streak should ideally be at the top of the charts in anyone’s ranking list. Edgar has fought as the underdog his whole career and for a while I thought he was unbeatable. He has received a lot of criticism in the past (mainly by Dana White) for fighting in a weight class higher than necessary. Let’s see if he can prove the critics wrong and regain the title and the top spot in the division when he faces off with the man who took it from him in their last bought.
Gray Maynard –This weekend Gray will fight Clay Guida to determine who will move up in the rankings and who will fall further down the charts. Both fighters lost their last bought and both need a win to remain relevant in the light weight division in the near future.
Clay Guida – This guy is a true fighter. He shows up ready to brawl and yet he is not void of a game plan. His recent loss is to the current champ. If he beats Maynard, a decision loss to the champ would put him within a fight or two of the top contender spot. In my opinion I don’t see him beating Maynard.
Gilbert Melendez –The situation with Strikeforce and other fight leagues in MMA has created controversy over how legitimate fighters in other organizations really are, regardless of how helpless their situation is. No one knows for sure where Melendez would stack up against the UFC elite, but no one argues his place as one of the best in the world.
Nate Diaz – Waiting for his title shot, Diaz will hopefully stay active and give the next champ a run for his money. I would love to see a Diaz brother as a champ in the UFC and it may actually happen. His most recent win is against Jim Miller where he became the first man to stop him in his 25 fight career. The only reason he is ranked further down the list is due in part to all the recent rematches at the top.
Anthony Pettis –After winning the WEC belt, I was relieved to see Pettis was not going to get a title shot at the end of the day. There is no way he would’ve competed well with Edgar if he couldn’t stop Guida from dominating him on the ground. Pettis was a game opponent though and learned from his mistakes. After a brilliant KO of Joe Lauzon, he’s ready for a true top ten competitor. I want to see him fight at least one more guy with a solid wrestling pedigree before granting him a title shot.
8 Donald Cerrone – the Cowboy has won an impressive 7 of 8 of his last fights. His only loss in this stretch was his second to last bout he dropped against Nate Diaz. A fight where it seemed that he hadn’t planned past one strategy. Unfortunately that strategy was to brawl with his opponent, a mistake proven to be costly against the Diaz brothers in the past.
Jim Miller – Put Miller in a fight with anyone and he has the potential to win. Unfortunately he hasn’t fared well against opponents ranked higher on this list. Therefore until he can put a win streak together and snag a couple of the top names, he might miss his chance at fighting for the belt in the future.
10 Jamie Varner – I don’t care what anyone says, after Varner’s decisive knock out of Edson Barboza at UFC 146, I’m putting him on this list because I don’t think he has much to fear from fighters in the division other than the ones listed above. Hopefully he will not prove me wrong when he enters the Octogon for the second time in his unprecedented comeback run.