Please note the rankings are voted on by a panel of MMA Freak writers and the previous rankings (9/25/14) are listed in parenthesis:

1) Jon Jones (1)

Jon Jones will headline the annual UFC New Years Eve show at UFC 182 on January 3rd in Las Vegas, Nevada against Daniel Cormier. It will be interesting to see how Jones can handle a fighter who has controlled much larger opponents so soundly.

2) Daniel Cormier (2)

After a few delays, Daniel Cormier will be getting his shot at Jon Jones on January 3, 2015 at UFC 182 at the MGM Grand Garden Arena. While Cormier is certainly the underdog, he’s faced men almost sixty pounds heavier and controlled them in a way that can’t be ignored.

3) Rashad Evans (3)

Rashad Evans is rumored to be returning against Alexander Gustafsson on January 24th but will become ineligible for the rankings.

4) Alexander Gustafsson (4)

As stated above, there are rumors that Alexander Gustafsson maybe facing a returning Rashad Evans at an UFC event on January 24th.

5) Anthony Johnson (6)

Anthony Johnson was on suspension while an investigation was conducted into possible domestic violence. He is now cleared to fight.

6) Phil Davis (8)

In need of a rebound win, Phil Davis got exactly that against Glover Teixeira at UFC 179. The win keeps him in title talks for the present and shows that he can certainly learn from his losses and continue to improve. Give him time and he’ll probably be fighting Jon Jones.

7) Glover Teixeira (5)

Glover Teixeira is now on the first loosing streak in his career, having dropped his last two to Jon Jones and recently to Phil Davis. Both men are not small fries but Teixeira is now in a must win situation in his next fight or else he could find himself looking for a new job.

8) Dan Henderson (7)

Supposedly Dan Henderson is considering a drop back down to middleweight, but there is nothing official announced at the current time.

9) Ryan Bader (10)

Ryan Bader hasn’t fought since August but his three fight winning streak should put him in a position to face a contender in the division.

10) Emanuel Newton (9)

Itching for a quick turnaround, Emanuel Newton defended his title for the second time in a little over a month against Linton Vassell. With the big names recently joining the promotion, a marquee match up for the title could be on the horizon in the new year.

Contenders

The following fighter received votes for the light heavyweight division and is now considered a contender in the weight class: Mauricio Rua