This week, the SB Nation rankings panel took a look at the lightweight division in the wake of UFC on Fox 5. As usual, the panel is made up of two members from each SBN MMA site - MMA Fighting (Ariel Helwani and Dave Doyle); MMA Mania (Thomas Myers and Brian Hemminger); and Bloody Elbow (Dallas Winston and myself). It's pretty clear that Ben Henderson was going to be ranked as the number one lightweight in the world following his win over Nate Diaz, but things get a little murky after that. Take a look at the chart below to see how everyone was ranked:
Gray Maynard was ranked in the two spot by four out of the six panelists, while the other two had him in third. Gilbert Melendez got two second place votes, one third, two fourth, and one fifth. And as you can see, there was very little consensus on anything below that. Despite coming off a title fight, Nate Diaz ended up in fourth. Anthony Pettis and Donald Cerrone were neck and neck for the five spot, while Jim Miller edged out Bellator champ Michael Chandler for seventh. Overall, everyone in the top nine was chosen by every panelist, with Joe Lauzon being the only non-consensus top 10 guy. Also receiving votes were Strikeforce star Josh Thomson, the surging Rafael dos Anjos, and Japanese vet Shinya Aoki.
A few of these men are going to be in action relatively soon. Joe Lauzon and Jim Miller meet at UFC 155. Anthony Pettis and Donald Cerrone will meet at UFC on Fox 6. Michael Chandler will face Rick Hawn in January. And Shinya Aoki will be competing at the Dream/Glory NYE show.
Okay folks, let us know what you think. What's right? What's wrong? How many evil comments do I get for ranking Aoki?