Please note the rankings are voted on by a panel of MMA Freak writers. Also note that the previous rankings (10/17/14) are in parenthesis:

1) Anthony Pettis (N/A)

Anthony Pettis had a triumphant return and showed that a champion finds ways to win in spite of any kind of adversity that maybe posed. At present a possibly challenger has been mentioned in Rafael dos Anjos who Pettis has never faced compared to Donald Cerrone.

2) Gilbert Melendez (1)

While Gilbert Melendez certainly had a game plan that may have worked over the distance, he dropped his guard after getting hit.

3) Khabib Nurmagomedov (2)

Khabib Nurmagomedov is undefeated and still has nothing scheduled which may mean he’s still recovering from his knee injury. One of two more wins for him  could possibly earn him a title shot against the UFC Lightweight Champion in Anthony “Showtime” Pettis.

4) Donald Cerrone (4)

To kick off the new year, Donald Cerrone will be facing Myles Jury at UFC 182 tomorrow in the co-main event of the first 2015 fight card.

5) Benson Henderson (3)

Benson Henderson will be facing Eddie Alvarez at UFC Fight Night: McGregor vs. Siver which will take place in Boston, Massachusetts. The former champion had a little bit of a hiccup when he was knocked out by Rafael dos Anjos, but a rebound can set him back on track.

6) Josh Thomson (5)

Currently on a two fight loosing streak, Josh Thomson needs a rebound win if he wants to stay in the UFC, let alone think of a title shot.

7) Rafael dos Anjos (7)

Rafael dos Anjos maybe next in line for a title shot against Anthony Pettis after three wins in a row including wins over the likes of former UFC Lightweight Champion Benson Henderson, Nate Diaz, and Jason High.

8) Eddie Alvarez (8)

While his UFC debut wasn’t exactly spectacular, Eddie Alvarez will be facing former UFC Lightweight Champion Benson Henderson.

9) Will Brooks (tied 10)

Will Brooks left no doubt in anyone’s mind when he came from behind to finish Michael Chandler for the Bellator Championship. There is currently no word on whom he will face next but expect a new contender to rise soon under the new Bellator system.

10) Myles Jury (tied 10)

Tomorrow Myles Jury will get the greatest challenge of his career in Donald Cerrone at UFC 182 to kick off the new year in Las Vegas.

Contenders

The following fighters are considered contenders: 11) Bobby Green, Jim Miller, Edson Barboza, Rustam Khabilov, and Nate Diaz