UFC 141 Results: Ranking the Top 10 Lightweights in the UFC

Tim McTiernanCorrespondent IJanuary 1, 2012

UFC 141 Results: Ranking the Top 10 Lightweights in the UFC

0 of 10

    On Friday night, two of the most fiery lightweights were put in the Octagon with each other, as Nate Diaz faced off against Donald "Cowboy" Cerrone.

    There was trash talking up until the fight, which culminated at a confrontation during the pre-fight press conference, where Nate knocked off the hat of Cerrone and pushed him away.

    However, Nate was the one who backed up his talk on fight night, as he walked away with the unanimous decision victory.

    Let's take a look at the top 10 lightweights in the UFC, with the addition of Nate Diaz.

No. 10: Melvin Guillard

1 of 10

    Melvin Guillard got knocked down in the rankings after his 47-second loss by submission to Joe Lauzon.

    Coming into the fight against Lauzon at UFC 136, Guillard was likely one or two fights away from a title shot, but Lauzon ended the hype in impressive fashion.

    Guillard is still one of the most talented and dangerous fighters in the lightweight division, but he has to start his climb back up.

    Guillard has notable victories over Shane Roller, Evan Dunham, Gleison Tibau and Dennis Siver.

No. 9: Donald Cerrone

2 of 10

    Nate Diaz officially derailed the Donald Cerrone hype train on Friday night.

    For 15 minutes, Diaz beat on Cerrone, en route to a unanimous decision victory. Cerrone went 4-1 on the year, with several impressive victories, but he'll look to work back to the top in 2012.

    He'll come back bigger and badder. We haven't seen the last of him.

No. 8: Joe Lauzon

3 of 10

    Melvin Guillard falls way down, and Joe Lauzon shoots way up.

    Lauzon submitted Guillard in a mere 47 seconds, and in the process got his name in the mix for a lightweight tile shot.

    Lauzon is 5-2 in his past seven matches, but a bit inconsistent, unable to string more than two wins.

    Perhaps his win last night could be the start of a title run, but at 27 years of age, Lauzon still has a lot of time.

    Lauzon has notable victories over Melvin Guillard, Gabe Ruediger, Jeremy Stephens, Brandon Melendez, Jens Pulver and Mike Brown.

No. 7: Nate Diaz

4 of 10

    On Friday night, Nate Diaz proved that he has turned a corner, and he is ready to become one of the best lightweights in the world.

    For 15 minutes, Diaz outclassed Cerrone and laid an absolute smackdown on him.

    Diaz has notable victories over Melvin Guillard, Donald Cerrone, Takanori Gomi and an exhibition win over Gray Maynard.

No. 6: Jim Miller

5 of 10

    Jim Miller, even after his loss to Benson Henderson, is still one of the top lightweights in MMA today.

    Miller is 20-3 in his career, and his only losses have come to Henderson, Frankie Edgar and Gray Maynard.

    It can't be argued that he's not an elite lightweight.

    Miller hasn't fought since his loss to Henderson, will face off against Melvin Guillard in the UFC's debut event on FX.

    Miller has notable victories over Charles Oliveira, Gleison Tibau, Mark Bocek, Duane Ludwig, Mac Danzig and Matt Wiman.

No. 5: Anthony Pettis

6 of 10

    Now that we're seeing more of the WEC guys in action, we can start to figure out where they fit in, and they're some of the top guys in the UFC.

    Pettis has two losses in his career, the most recent of which came to Clay Guida, who is still a top lightweight in the UFC.

    At UFC 136, Pettis wanted to showcase his wrestling, and he did that en route to a unanimous decision victory over the dangerous Jeremy Stephens.

    Pettis has notable victories over Stephens, Ben Henderson and Shane Roller.

No. 4: Clay Guida

7 of 10

    Clay Guida may have lost on Saturday, but the win over Anthony Pettis keeps him in the top of the division.

    Guida is now 4-1 in his last five, and has experienced some major growth as a fighter in that time.

    Now that he has established himself in the upper echelon of the division, he is likely one or two wins away from another top contender fight.

    In the meantime, expect more outstanding fights from Guida.

    Guida has notable wins over Takanori Gomi, Anthony Pettis and Nate Diaz.

No. 3: Gray Maynard

8 of 10

    Yes, Gray Maynard did lose to Frankie Edgar at UFC 136, but he did fight to a draw with him, and still holds a victory over the current champ.

    Maynard is either the No. 2 or No. 3 lightweight in the UFC, but he's not likely to get another shot at the belt as long as Frankie Edgar is holding it.

    Maynard has notable victories over Kenny Florian, Nate Diaz, Roger Huerta, Jim Miller, Frankie Edgar and Dennis Siver.

No. 2: Benson Henderson

9 of 10

    Ben Henderson has now firmly established himself as one of the best lightweights in the world.

    As the former WEC lightweight champion, Henderson has the experience and pressure that comes with being a title holder, and knows what it's like to go five rounds.

    Henderson is on a three-fight winning streak since joining the UFC, and shows no signs of slowing down.

    He's coming for the title.

    Henderson has notable wins over Clay Guida, Jim Miller, Donald Cerrone (twice) and Jamie Varner.

No. 1: Frankie Edgar

10 of 10

    Frankie Edgar is the obvious choice here.

    Edgar avenged the only loss—and draw—of his career at UFC 136, handing Gray Maynard a fourth-round TKO defeat.

    Edgar now has a long line of contenders coming for the belt, but he'll be ready.

    The wrestler out of Clarion University is well on his way to becoming the greatest lightweight in MMA history.

    Tim McTiernan is a Featured Columnist for Bleacher Report. For the latest news on everything MMA, follow me on twitter @TimMcTiernan.