It can be any organization. Most the top guys are in the UFC, but if anyone wants to put somebody in there from somewhere else, let us know why.
1.Rashad Evans-Obviously, the UFC's LHW division is the most touted, and deepest of any org.'s so, the champ would automatically be number one in my book, for the time being. He just TKO'd Griffin, who had beat Shogun and Rampage in successive bouts. Evans knocked Liddell out before Forrest, along with being unbeaten, this guy is hands down, the top guy.
2.Forrest Griffin- I never was fond of having Griffin in my top ten. Then, the man submitted Rua, and fought, to win the belt from Jackson. So, I have to be honest with myself, and put him there. Only the losses to Jardine and now, Rashad tempt me to take him down, but until his next fight, he will stay in this area.
3.Shogun Rua- This is very tricky, and I may be biased, but I don't think people saw the 'real' Shogun against Forrest, that's just my opinion. Anyways it was his fault. As is, the man has a dominating win. destructive if you will, win over Jackson. Now, the significance of this win, has decreased because of the most recent outcome of the third Silva/Jackson fight, where the same Rampage that got beat down by Chute Boxe's own Wanderlei twice, knocked The Axe Murderer out cold. So, what would happen now, between Shogun and Jackson? If Rashad fights winner of Machida/Silva, then I'd like to see a rematch between Shogun and Rampage. Because Rua will put a whoopin to ol' Coleman in a few. This is another guy who will may move depending on his upcoming performance(s).
4.Rampage Jackson-After Saturday night, no questions, this guy is for real, and he ain't going nowhere. After a long layoff, and a controversial loss to Griffin, this guy came back and avenged his two losses to Silva by KO'ing the man in the first round, brutally. With wins over Liddell, Hendo, and now Silva, he is racking up a nice resume, and if all goes right, another shot at the title for Jackson would be okay in my opinion. If not, Rua, or Cane would be a nice statement fight in my book.
5.Lyoto Machida- I know, I know, this is everyone's dark horse. He is as advertised by his many fans, a supreme talent, and could be the next pound for pound king. But, there is a but...he hasn't fought a true, true, test. I understand he has the names on his record (Franklin being the most impressive-185'r though-?!,Penn-155'r?!, Sokowho?!, Tito-oh my that was a boring matchup), but in todays 205 division, you need top ten wins, with the best finishes to get those title shots. Machida has the best opportunity to do that on Jan. 31 against another top 10 fighter Thiago Silva. This fight will provide a very clean swipe of LHW checkup, for quick results to find out who is in the no.1 contender slot. I picked Machida by late TKO, but who knows...
6.Wanderlei Silva- I have Silva at six, partially due to my admiration for the guy, so alittle bias here, I know, terrible. But hey, he lost to Rampage, who he beat twice already, and Jackson was only the former champ. And Liddell, another former champ, in fact 'the' former champ, for awhile, in a classic war that saw some of the best out of ol' Chucky. I mean, the guy has taken on HW's, and he's a small LHW, and he won. He destroyed Jardine, a top 10 guy, who beat the h@$$ out of Forrest, and beat Chuck. So, in all, it's legit to have Silva in the top 10, but judging by his last 5 fights(4losses,1win-ouch!!!) he could be slipping down, sooner than later...
7.Keith Jardine-Very underrated, yet also, inconsistent. Keith Jardine. Noone knew Griffin would become champ, and esp. after watching these twos' fight, you wouldn't have thought it would've been possible for Forrest to get a shot before Jardine would. Keith beat Griffin down like a ragdoll, and made the man cry. Before Evans, Jardine's teammate, had the pleasure to. With a speedbump in the Alexander fight, The Dean rebounded with a decisive victory over the 'then' former LHW champ. Chuck Liddell. With those two wins, Jardine was on everyone's radar, and was set up with another 'huge' matchup, in fighting Wanderlei Silva, Keith had the opportunity to make notice to everyone in the division, who was in line. After thirty something seconds, The Dean had hit another speedbump. With a boring, and close decision win over Vera, Jardine looks to '09 to produce hopefully, a bright, steady, path towards his goal, and unfortunately so, a fight with a teammate, rematch at that!
8.Chuck Liddell-With a devastating KO loss to the new champ in Sept. behind him, Liddell will look for one more comeback ride in '09. With his three out of four losses in his last four fights, The Iceman is reeling, and looking for something big. Eyeing a Jardine rematch (rumored to not be), supposed fights with Couture and The Spider (shot down by Liddell himself), who really knows who he'll fight. Maybe a wolf, or a nobody to get a win. All I know, is that Chuck has a few years left, but that don't mean he should take them. Always one of my favorites, I hope Liddell gets in a groove.
9. Thiago Silva-Not quite the wins to put you in the top 10, but the man is undefeated, and has 4 fights in the UFC, all have been stopped early. Something that the 'other' unbeaten contender in LHW division can't cop to. Silva is a killer. He fights with the instinct to not, just, hurt, or damage the opponent, he goes out with the intent to finish, and conquer his opponents. I love these kinds of fighters, and with a win over Machida, Silva will get the respect that his record, already, deserves.
10. Rogerio Nogueira "Lil Nog"- The only guy, not in the UFC, Lil Nog has fought in Pride, now, Affliction. Has fought all the top guys outside of the UFC. Will fight on the upcoming Affliction card. Has the potential to avenge his KO loss to Sokodjou with his recent signing with the clothing/promoting brand. Deserving of a top 10 slot, is Rogerio. A win Jan.24 solidifies his place.
1- Lyoto Machida : I tend to go by ability, competition, and dominance. I think Lyoto is just so far in terms of ability ahead of the LHW division. He hasn't fought the level of competition as some others, but has absolutely dominated all comers. That's why I have him rate #1, but just barely. If Machida were to lose though, he would plummet in my rankings as my guage on his ability will have been proven wrong.
2- Rashad Evans : He's beaten two top guys back to back convincingly, leving no room for error in who won those fights. He's also the UFC champ so I have him rated #2. I don'thave him rated #1 as I think Machida has more ability and I think he would trounce Evans.
3-Quinton Jackson : He's beaten some of the best n Chuck, Hendo, and now Wanderlei. While he lost to Forrest, it was a controversial decision and hardly a convincing loss in which he was dominated. I give him the #3 spot.
4- Forrest Griffin :Forrest has beaten two top guys, and was beating Rashad in the first two rounds before getting caught. I think the ceiling for his ability is somewhat lower than other top LHW's but he's proven he's one of the tops at LHW. I would have him at three if he had beaten a more in shape Shogun, and had defeated Jackson convincingly.
5- Mauricio Rua - Terrible outing against Forrest but his level of dominance at LHW before that bout doesn't allow me to drop him much further than 5. Unfortunately regardless of how he beats Coleman he will probably stay at #5.
6- Thiago Silva - Hasn't faced the best competition but he's undefeated and has finished 12 out of 13 opponents, and few would be considered "cans".
7- Keith Jardine - Wins over Chuck, Forrest, and Vera make for one hell of a resume. If he didn't battle with inconsistency he could be ranked much higher.
8- Rich Franklin - Before Anderson Silva Rich was unbeatable at MW and aside from the Spider he still is. Now e's back to LHW where his career began and I expect big things from him. Unfortunately he needs a win over an opponent that is higher up the rankings than Mark Hammil, so we'll see how he does against Hendo (who will also move back in the LHW rankings if he chooses to stay at LHW instead of MW).
9- Wanderlei Silva - He's really close to falling out of the rankings altogether. Four guys are really close to these last two spots...that being Luiz Cane, Chuck Lidell, Wanderlei Silva, and Lil Nog. I'll give it Wanderlei because of his vicious KO to top LW contender Keith Jardine.
10- Luiz Cane - Aside from his DQ loss to James Irvin he has been on a tear, and his win over Soku was an eye-opener.
Lyoto- he's probably the heir apparent.
Rashad- judging from his last fight he's definantly close to second
Rampage- KO over Wandy.
Hendo- if he decides to fight at LHW this would be appropriate
Thiago- performance wise this makes sense
Forrest dropped in rank a lot after getting pounded out like that- really shows what I thought all along of him about his ground level.
Shogun- barely in the top 10, I don't ever see him being a top 5 threat because of cage/ knee.
I never thought much of Wandy in a cage- always a ring fighter,- he's pretty much done as a top 5er. His body is probably wrecked at this point in his career. #10 for me.
Rashad can beat Rampage, but I think Machida would embarress both.
#1 Rashad "Sugar" Evans
#2 Quinton "Rampage" Jackson
#3 Lyoto "The Dragon" Machida
#4 Forrest Griffin
#5 Chuck "The Iceman" Liddell
#6 Wanderlei "The Axe Murderer" Silva
#7 Keith "The Dean of Mean" Jardine
#8 Rich "Ace" Franklin
#9 Thiago Silva
#10 Luis Arthur "Banha" Cane
Rank totals updated as of UFC 92: The Ultimate 2008
#1 Fedor Emelianenko
#2 Frank Mir
#3 Andrei "Pitbull" Arlovski
#4 Josh "The Babyface Assassin" Barnett
#5 Antonio Rodrigo "Minotauro" Nogueira
#6 Brock Lesnar
#7 Randy "The Natural " Couture
#8 Fabricio Werdum
#9 Gabriel "Napao" Gonzaga
#10 Tim "The Maine-iac" Sylvia
#1 Fedor Emelianenko
#2 Anderson "Spider" Silva
#3 Georges "Rush " St. Pierre
#4 BJ "The Prodigy" Penn
#5 Rashad "Sugar" Evans
#6 Miguel Torres
#7 Mike Brown
#8 Quinton "Rampage" Jackson
#9 Thiago "Pitbull" Alves
#10 Frank Mir
Rank totals updated as of UFC 92: The Ultimate 2008