Rankings compiled by Richard Wade.
#1 B. J. Penn is the one champion who didn't fall injured during Dana White's miserable winter of discontent. He put a righteous beat down on #9 Diego Sanchez at UFC 107. Even better, he'll be back against #6 Frank Edgar at UFC 112.
#3 Kenny Florian will welcome #18 Takanori Gomi to the UFC at UFN 21. For all of Gomi's travails in the last two years, if he can regain his old Fireball Kid form and KO Florian in impressive fashion, he'll instantly be the most intriguing challenger on the UFC roster.
And frankly, that's because so many of the top fighters in the division are outside the UFC's promotional clutches. I personally think Penn is just as far beyond the DREAM and Strikeforce lightweights as he is beyond the UFC's division. Furthermore, I think that the Florian/Maynard/Edgar troika in the UFC could very well beat the best fighters not in the division.
But we'll never know about that it seems.
What we will get to see this year, hopefully, is #2 Shinya Aoki against Strikeforce champ #8 Gilbert Melendez, maybe as soon as April.
#4 Eddie Alvarez is set to defend his Bellator title on their second season.
Based on the premise that all MMA rankings are subjective but that it’s still useful and informative to know who the online MMA community as a whole ranks as the best fighters in MMA, we collect and average the rankings of the top MMA websites to produce our consensus rankings.
We compile the top MMA rankings from each of our sources and award 25 points for a first place ranking, 16 for a 10th place ranking, 1 for a 25th place ranking. A formula is used to "normalize" the data so all fighters are awarded points from those lists that do not include a full 25 fighters. This formula ensures that each ranking site awards the same number of total points regardless of how many fighters they choose to rank. Each fighter’s total is divided by the number of possible points to determine their standing in the Consensus Rankings.