The biggest threats to GSP's title in this order
1. Anderson Silva
2. Demain Maia
3. Johny Hendricks
4. Rory Macdonald
5. Carlos Condit
Jake Ellenberger is like Phil Baroni scary for a round but fades after that.
Mine would be
1. Hendricks - He's got a lot of power, and his flurries are crazy, if he can land a shot on GSPs chin no way he recovers. His wrestling is strong enough to put GSP on his back, though I don't think he will be able to keep him there as he really needs to improve his top control. I think defensively he will be able to stuff GSP, unless over course GSP catches him mid flurry. I think Hendricks could hurt GSP in the clinch, simple fact that Diaz did well in the clinch tonight. GSP is good at working the jab, but I don't think it will keep Hendricks back. I do believe that GSP wins the fight after the 3rd. Hendricks doesn't have the cardio to go 5 rounds, at least he hasn't shown me this.
2. Maia - Maia has shown that he can handle a strong wrestler, and make him work. Though I think that GSP has better TDD than Fitch and hes a much more athletic and explosive guy. If Maia pulled guard I think he could sub GSP off of his back, or sweep him..even though GSP has easily one of the best top control games in MMA. If Maia can't gain the takedown then GSP will jab him to death on the feet. I see it kind of like Shields/GSP except Maia pushing the pace a lot sooner.
3. Ellenberger - He's like Hendricks with less of a gas tank. I see Ellenberger being very dangerous like John said in the first, perhaps catching GSP. And I think he has the TDD to stop GSP from gaining the takedown, but If Jake can't stop GSP by the 3rd he has no hope. Jake has good wrestling, but I don't believe he could do anything if he got a takedown, he needs to work his top game.
4. Rory for obvious reasons hes a dangerous guy everywheres. but they won't fight
5. Stun Gun - Yes, it's a bit bias. But I think he has a little chance of winning because he's such a big, strong grappler. His striking is improving and he could do enough on the feet to beat GSP as the fight goes on. I think he has potential of gaining a takedown, with his Judo, and perhaps maybe controlling GSP but not doing too much damage before GSP gets back up. He has good TDD and wouldn't have to worry too much about Stun Gun subbing him from the bottom.
Maia would have no chance of getting GSP down and would lose on the feet. That's only a good fight if GSP decides to go to the ground. Just my humble opinion.
I'll die laughing if Dana makes Hendricks fight Ellenberger for number one contention.
I agree, it would be hard for Maia to get a takedown. BUT I think it's possible for him to win if he can get GSPs back.
And I wouldn't put it passed Dana lol