Johny Hendricks. Pic by SHERDOG.COM -click for source- Credit: Dave Mandel

Please note that the rankings are determined by a panel of MMA Freak writers. Also note the previous rankings (2/27/14) are in parenthesis:

~ 1 (1)~

Johny Hendricks

Supposedly Johny Hendricks fought Robbie Lawler with a torn bicep which he recently underwent surgery for. Taking that into consideration that was a pretty good performance that earned the Fight of the Night honors. Because of the injury Hendricks will be out until at least May.

~ 2 (tied) (3) ~

Robbie Lawler

Robbie Lawler certainly came back in the third and fourth rounds but wasn’t able to close it in the fifth. He did get Fight of the Night honors and was definitely a classy fighter in defeat. There is the possibility that a rematch with a returning Nick Diaz could have title implications.

~ 2 (tied) (4) ~

Rory MacDonald

During his fight with Demian Maia, Rory MacDonald sustained an ankle injury and is going to be out until later in the year sometime.

~ 4 (N/A) ~

Tyron Woodley

Even though he won his fight against Carlos Condit by an unfortunate injury, Tyron Woodley was dominating and has earned his title shot. Woodley is a physical specimen and his striking is only improving with every succeeding fight along with his already strong wrestling.

~ 5 (2) ~

Carlos Condit

With a torn ACL and meniscus, Carlos Condit will have to undergo surgery and will probably be out for most of the year if not the rest of it.

~ 6 (7) ~

Demian Maia

Despite his Fight of the Night performance with Rory MacDonald at UFC 170, Demian Maia needs to get a win in his next outing badly.

~ 7 (N/A) ~

Hector Lombard

Hector Lombard used his judo and striking to control Jake Shields in a way that no one has been able to do at all in the past eight years. He certainly propelled himself into the title picture and it is looking like a welterweight Lombard is the most dangerous version we have seen.

~ 8 (5) ~

Jake Ellenberger

Coming off of a long layoff plagued by injuries, Jake Ellenberger will return to action at UFC 172 against dangerous striker Tares Saffiedine.

~ 9 (8) ~

Tarec Saffiedine

Tarec Saffiedine will face his largest challenge at UFC 172 when he faces Jake Ellenberger after their fight was postponed.

~ 10 (N/A) ~

Matt Brown

“The Immortal” Matt Brown is on a six fight winning streak and is now expected to face Erick Silva at UFC Fight Night 40 on May 10th.

~ Contenders ~

The following received votes and are listed as contenders in ranking order: 11) Ben Askren (9), 12) Jake Shields (6), Dong Hyun Kim.