Please note the rankings are voted on by a panel of MMA Freak writers. Also note the previous rankings (10/24/14) are in parenthesis:

1) Robbie Lawler (2)

Robbie Lawler finally earned something that he’s been seeking for a longtime in the UFC Welterweight Championship. However, his victory didn’t come without some controversy as many believed that former champion Johny Hendricks won their rematch.

2) Johny Hendricks (1)

It’s probably frustrating for Johny Hendricks to be on the wrong end of a close decision again but this is just another reinforcement of the statement made time and time again in the UFC and in MMA in general which is to never leave it in the hands of the judges.

3) Rory MacDonald (3)

Rory MacDonald has supposedly earned an UFC title shot with his win against Tarec Saffiedine, which means a rematch with Lawler. This is a match that MacDonald was avoiding while his teammate Georges St.-Pierre was the reigning champion but now isn’t an issue.

4) Tyron Woodley (4)

Supposedly Tyron Woodley will be facing up and coming contender Kelvin Gastelum at UFC 183 on this coming January 31st.

5) Hector Lombard (6)

Hector Lombard will be facing returning UFC veteran Josh Burkman tomorrow at UFC 182 to kick off the new year in Las Vegas. With his breakout in 2014, expect him to come out and try to make a statement against the former TUF contestant with a bang.

6) Carlos Condit (5)

There still is not word on when Carlos Condit will be returning to action since he has supposedly been recovering from his knee surgery.

7) Ben Askren (7)

Ben Askren hasn’t fought since August 29th but expect him to defend his One Fighting Championship Welterweight Championship soon. He will be trying to make a statement as to his belonging in the UFC which may or may not happen this year depending on circumstances.

8) Matt Brown (8)

Initially for his rebound match, Matt Brown was going to face Tarec Saffiedine but an injury to Saffiedine sidelined that potential match.

9) Jake Shields (9)

Jake Shields will supposedly be facing World Series of Fighting Welterweight Champion Rousimar Palhares in the spring sometime. There are also rumors that he’ll be fighting a contender if nothing else to solidify his place as a contender.

10) Kelvin Gastelum (N/A)

With his win over Jake Ellenberger, Kelvin Gastelum will now be facing Tyron Woodley on January 31st at UFC 183.

Contenders

The following are contenders: Demian Maia, Tarec Saffiedine, Rousimar Palhares, Jake Ellenberger, and Dong Hyun Kim.