Win 23–3 (1) Thiago Alves Decision (unanimous) UFC 117: Silva vs. Sonnen August 7, 2010 3 5:00 Oakland, California Catchweight (171.5 lb) bout; Thiago Alves did not make weight
Win 22–3 (1) Ben Saunders Decision (unanimous) UFC 111: St-Pierre vs. Hardy March 27, 2010 3 5:00 Newark, New Jersey
Win 21–3 (1) Mike Pierce Decision (unanimous) UFC 107: Penn vs. Sanchez December 12, 2009 3 5:00 Memphis, Tennessee
Win 20–3 (1) Paulo Thiago Decision (unanimous) UFC 100 July 11, 2009 3 5:00 Las Vegas, Nevada
Win 19–3 (1) Akihiro Gono
Gono, Paulo, Mike Pierce, and Ben Saunders are not credible enough wins to get you even close to a 2nd title shot. The Alves win is great (even though Alves was a shell of his normal self), and if he had dominated Penn those two victories would get him close. But the other four wins definitely won't.
Gono has beaten: Mousasi and Lombard, both VERY highly ranked opponents, Sakurai, another highly ranked opponent, Kondo, Very experienced veteran, McRory, one o fthe biggest prospects in the division at the time, and drew with both Chael and Ninja. He's not exactly a can.
Saunders: Late replacement for Alves, you can't count that against Jon for fighting him. If you watched that fight at all you know that Jon was shit wrecking him the entire fight, had his back and almost submitting him the entire second round and doing nothing but raining elbows in the third. A lesser fighter would've been done more than once in that fight. That decision is more a credit to Saunders' toughness than Fitch's inability to finish. Also, coming into that fight, he was 8-1 with a KO against Marcus Davis (the only person to ever do so at the time).
Pierce was ANOTHER late replacement for Alves (who, himself, was a replacement for Almedia) so it's not that much of a shock he gave him a fight, Jon was preparing for 2 COMPLETELY different fighters than Pierce. Also, Pierce is now 4-1 in the UFC, his only loss coming to Jon.
Paulo was coming off of a BRUTAL KO of Josh Koscheck, one of the top WWs in the division. He still hasn't been finished in the UFC even though he's fought mostly good finishing fighters (Swick, Kampmann and Diego) so I think, again, saying "uhhhh decision" is unmerited.
Alves, like you said, wasn't exactly himself, but he still got the ass beating of his career. I think Jon beat him better standing than GSP did.
The BJ fight, IMO, is still up in the air. A lot of places called that fight a win for Jon. BJ called that a win for Jon. The beating that he laid on BJ in that third round ALONE warrants a title shot. How many people have beaten on BJ like that ever? Only one I can think of is GSP. It may have been called a draw but in the eyes of a lot of fans he beat the tar out of BJ and BJ did very little to him except take him down.