The Rankings: The Lightweights: Oct 8, 2012


The Rankings are just that – The MMA Manifesto's rankings of the best fighters in mixed martial arts today.  Check back every Monday and Friday for our rankings of a different weight class.  Next up: The Lightweights. 

Voting Panel: Jeff Fox – The MMA Manifesto, speeds - Sports Two MMA Forum, Dave Kelsey – 2011 MMA Manifesto Pick 'Em Contest Champion, and MMA journalist (FIGHT!,, Keyboard Kimura) E. Spencer Kyte.



1) (Last rankings: 1) Benson Henderson - UFC Lightweight Champion – 40 points (out of 40)

ben henderson happy ufc 144

    Record: 17-2
    Last Five Fights: 5-0 
    Record vs Top 10: 3-1 (W-Miller, L-Pettis, W-Cerrone, W-Cerrone)
    Next Fight: vs #4 Nate Diaz – UFC on Fox: Henderson vs Diaz – Dec 8th

It probably will be a breath of fresh air for Benson Henderson to look across the cage in his next match and not see Frankie Edgar staring back.

2) (2) Gilbert Melendez - Strikeforce Lightweight Champion – 33 points
           Last Five Fights: 5-0 
           Record vs Top 10: 0-0 
           Next Fight: TBA

The UFC injury bug has spread to Strikeforce and infected Gilbert Melendez, among others.

3) (3) Gray Maynard - UFC – 32 points 
11-1-1 (1 No Contest)
           Last Five Fights: 3-1-1 
           Record vs Top 10: 3-0 (W-Florian, W-Diaz, W-Miller)
           Next Fight: vs Joe Lauzon – UFC 155 – Dec 29th

The Bully is back in the win column after an almost two-year drought.

4) (4) Nate Diaz - UFC - 29 points 
          Last Five Fights: 3-2 
          Record vs Top 10: 2-1 (W-Miller, W-Cerrone, L-Maynard)
          Next Fight: vs #1 Benson Henderson - UFC on Fox: Henderson vs Diaz – Dec 8th

Nate Diaz is finally putting it all together – next stop, a shot at UFC gold.

5) (5) Anthony Pettis - UFC – 24 points


          Record: 15-2
          Last Five Fights: 4-1 
          Record vs Top 10: 1-0 (W-Henderson)   
          Next Fight: vs #7 Donald Cerrone – TBA (rumoured)

Cowboy Cerrone called him out and Anthony Pettis has responded – the two should hook up later this year.

6) (6) Jim Miller - UFC – 18 points 
          Last Five Fights: 3-2
          Record vs Top 10: 0-3 (L-Diaz, L-Henderson, L-Maynard)
          Next Fight: TBA

Jim Miller has now lost two out of his last three fights and is still winless versus our current top 10 lightweights.

7)  (8) Donald Cerrone - UFC – 17 points
            Record: 19-4 (1 No Contest)
            Last Five Fights: 4-1
            Record vs Top 10: 0-3 (L-Diaz, L-Henderson, L-Henderson)
            Next Fight: vs #6 Anthony Pettis – TBA (rumoured)

Cowboy vs Showtime = Fight of the Year?

8)  (9) Michael Chandler - Bellator Lightweight Champion - 14 points
            Record: 10-0
            Last Five Fights: 5-0
            Record vs Top 10: 1-0 (W-Alvarez) 
            Next Fight: vs Rick Hawn – TBA

The former University of Missouri wrestling All-American shockingly stormed his way through Bellator's Lightweight Tournament and didn't stop until he had snatched the belt from heavily favoured Eddie Alvarez.

9) (10) Eddie Alvarez – Bellator – 7 points
              Last Five Fights: 4-1
              Record vs Top 10: 0-1 (L-Chandler)
              Next Fight: vs Patricky Freire – Bellator LXXVI – Oct 12th

October 12th in Windsor could be the last time we'll see Eddie Alvarez in the Bellator cage.  With his contract expiring after the fight, thoughts are he will materialize in the UFC's Octagon next year.


10) (NR) Khabib Nurmagomedov – UFC – 3 points
                Record: 18-0
                Last Five Fights: 5-0
                Record vs Top 10: 0-0 
                Next Fight: TBA

18 wins and nary a loss is good enough to get The Eagle a place in our top 10.

Dropped off: (7) Clay Guida (moved to featherweight)

Bubbling under: Shinya Aoki,  Joe Lauzon


Light Heavyweights

Pound for Pound

Check back on Friday for our Featherweight rankings


About Jeff Fox

Jeff Fox is Mr. Manifesto - the Supreme Leader and evil mind behind The Hoops Manifesto & The MMA Manifesto