1. Jon Jones
3. Rashad Evans
4. Rampage Jackson
5. Lyoto Machida
6. Forrest Griffin
7. Thiago Silva
8. Phil Davis
9. Ryan Bader
10. Matt Hamill
11. Rich Franklin
12. Lil Nog
14. Cyrile Diabate
15. Luis Cane
16. Brandon Vera
17. Tito Ortiz
18. Jason Brilz
Did I forget anybody...haha!
In order of ranking
James Te Huna
1. Jones (W over Evans)
2. Evans (W over Griffin, W over Jackson)
3. Griffin (W over Rua, W over Jackson)
4. Rua (W over Machida, W over Jackson)
5. Jackson (W over Machida)
6. Machida (w over Evans)
(as they've all faced each other these rankings are sort of set in stone, I know people hate to give the caveman credit but he beat Rua and Jackson and I like his odds against Machida.)
7. Phil Davis (W over Gustafsson)
8. Thiago Silva (W over Vera/L over
9. Ryan Bader (W over Nog/L over Jones)
(Davis, Silva, and Bader are well established as top ten fighters but either haven't had the opportunity, or haven't overcome top fivers)
10. Matt Hamill (W over Jones/Tito L over Franklin)
11. Rich Franklin (W over Liddell/Hamill L over Griffin/Machida)
12. Alexander Gustafsson (W over Diabate/Te Huna/L over Davis)
13. Lil Nog (W over Matyushenko, Brilz, Cane L over Bader Rua)
14. Randy Couture (W over Tito/Vera)
15. Stephan Bonnar (W over Soszynski, L over Machida/Jones/Evans/Griffin/Soszynski)
(Now this is where it gets fun. I think Hamill moves beyond Franklin after Franklin's devastating loses and Hamill's winning streak. Gustafsson seems like he's going to be in the top ten sooner rather then later. Nog is in trouble, if he doesn't beat Davis, or even look competitive he's going to drop like a stone. Couture, hasn't lost to anyone above him, a win over Machida and old man Randy might make the top five . Bonnar deserves a bone after going three rounds with Jones and spliting a decision with Evans, I think Bonnar is the perfect opponent for Rua to prove that Ruas still belongs in the top ten...or if he's done.)
after that the next ten are just personal preference.
16. Karlos Vemola
18. Jason Brilz
19. Krzysztof Soszynski
20. Cyrile Diabate
21. James Te Huna
22. Luiz Cane
23. Kyle Kingsbury
24. Tito Ortiz
25. Brendan Vera
- Vemola is the next hot prospect in 205, dropping to 205 this former HW looked scary against Petruzelli.
- Matyushenko has always been a solid fighter, a move out of the UFC and he might make a title run.
- Brilz needs a win badly, a sentimental favorite of many the winner of the next fight will likely get a huge opponent.
- Soszynski you never really know with this guy, I dsicount his lose to Vera due to taking it on 2 weeks notice, a lose to Perosh and he might fall out of the top 25.
- Diabate 11-2 in his last 13, those loses are to Rua and Gustafssn, he should likely be higher but at his age...I don't know.
- James Te Huna looked pretty good in his match with Gustafssn he's got a big submission hole in his game that needs filling but I think he'll be around for a while.
- Luiz Cane after two horrible soul crushing loses Cane took a step in the right direction, he's still one or two loses away from a cut though.
- Kingsbury drew one of the worst short straws in TUF history 3 L's to Bader, Soszynski, and Tom Lawlor. Since then he's been fighting for his career and doing an admirable job at it.
- Tito Ortiz pride has killed Tito's career next time he loses he gets cut.
- Brendan Vera given a 2nd chance Vera should fight in the prelims so we know if he's a mid level fighter...or just done.
And now the Matches I want to see
Griffin/Jackson II - Forest gets no respect, Rampage gets to much give these boys three rounds and a main event slot to determine if Forrest deserves the next title shot at Jones.
Bonnar/Rua - Rua needs to bounce back against a beatable opponent, Bonnar needs a chance for a huge win after coming so close so many times.
Silva/Gusta - Two rabid squirrels fighting in a trash can over a nut, I can't think of a better main event for a Fight Night.
Bader/Evans - After the Jones fight I'd like to see how Rashads wrestling really is at as he takes on fringe HW Bader, a loss could push him to MW where Evans belongs.
Hamill/Diabate - These two were made to fight each other, winner moves into the top ten.
Couture/Franklin - If Randy is going to face only prestige talent I'd like to see this one.
Davis/Machida - provided they win their next fights Davis' only real opponent that makes sense is Machida a win and we could see Davis/Jones which seems to be a popular choice.