After a stunning performance against Jim Miller at this weekend's UFC on FOX 3, Nate Diaz will be next in line for a UFC title shot as he awaits the conclusion of the lightweight division's latest saga between champion Benson Henderson and former champ Frankie Edgar.
The win, Diaz's biggest to date, is a testament to the sheer depth in the 155 lb. division, which continues to be the most stacked in all of MMA. Add in recent wins by some of Bellator's biggest stars and the lightweight rosters have never looked better.
With some important fights coming up in both the UFC's and Strikeforce's lightweight divisions, don't expect the 155ers to slow their pace down anytime soon.
These rankings are the combined efforts of some of Bleacher Report MMA's best writers, as we continue to try and provide you with the best content on the web.
Most Recent Fight: Defeated Shinya Aoki at Bellator 66
Next Fight: TBA
Previous Ranking: Unranked
After losing the Bellator lightweight title to Michael Chandler last November, Eddie Alvarez came back with a vengeance in his rematch against Japanese submission ace Shinya Aoki at Bellator 66.
Proving that he deserves his place among the elite in the division, Alvarez decimated Aoki with a barrage of punches to finish the Dream Lightweight champion in the first round.
With his Bellator contract nearing its end, this latest victory may aid Alvarez in following fellow former champ Hector Lombard to the UFC's famed Octagon.
Most Recent Fight: Defeated Akihiro Gono at Bellator 67
Next Fight: TBA
Previous Ranking: 9
Newly crowned Bellator champion Michael Chandler followed up his title winning performance with another big victory over veteran Akihiro Gono at Bellator 67.
Sending the longtime Japanese star into retirement with a 56-second first round TKO, Chandler keeps his undefeated record intact as he awaits the conclusion of season 6's lightweight tournament.
A powerful puncher in addition to having NCAA Division I caliber wrestling, Chandler is a rising star and a force to be reckoned with at 155.
Most Recent Fight: Loss to Nate Diaz at UFC on FOX 3
Next Fight: TBA
Previous Ranking: 5
Perennial contender Jim Miller took a big drop in the rankings this month following a second round submission loss to Nate Diaz at UFC on FOX 3.
Unable to deal with Diaz's superior boxing and ground skills, Miller was finished for the first time in his career and finds himself at the bottom of the title shot ladder.
Just 1-2 in his last three fights, Miller will need an impressive victory before he can break back into the upper echelon of the division.
Most Recent Fight: Defeated Joe Lauzon at UFC 144
Next Fight: TBA
Previous Ranking: 8
As the rest of the 155ers battle for position in the rankings, former WEC champ Anthony Pettis gets a nice little bump this month thanks to the ever-changing landscape of the lightweight division.
Electing to undergo surgery after not receiving an immediate title shot following his Knockout of the Night win over Joe Lauzon at UFC 144, Pettis is still recovering and expects to make his return to the Octagon in late summer or early fall.
Most Recent Fight: Loss to Benson Henderson at UFC on FOX 1
Next Fight: Gray Maynard at UFC on FX 4
Previous Ranking: 7
Having not fought since his UFC on FOX 1 loss to Benson Henderson last November, former Strikeforce champ Clay Guida has a tough challenge up ahead as he faces former top contender Gray Maynard in June.
A five time Fight of the Night winner, Guida's upcoming bout is poised to be another barn burner as both Maynard and Guida possess solid wrestling and heavy hands.
Guida can also put his name back into the title mix with a victory.
Most Recent Fight: Defeated Jim Miller at UFC on FOX 3
Next Fight: TBA
Previous Ranking: 6
Nate Diaz breaks into the top five this month fresh off his submission win over Jim Miller at last Saturday's UFC on FOX 3.
Living up to his main event billing, Diaz showcased great boxing and clinch skills before tapping Miller out with a power guillotine choke int he second round. The win earned Diaz Submission of the Night as he became the first person to ever finish Miller.
Diaz will now wait for a shot at the title following the winner of the rematch between Benson Henderson and Frankie Edgar.
Record: 10-1-1 [1 NC]
Most Recent Fight: Loss to Frankie Edgar at UFC 136
Next Fight: Clay Guida at UFC on FX 4
Previous Ranking: 4
After taking a significant amount of time off following his second failed shot at the UFC lightweight title, a focused and energized Gray Maynard will return to action this June at UFC on FX 4.
Having changed his training camp to the San Jose based American Kickboxing Academy, Maynard has also been spending time with the famed team Nova Uniao in preparation for this bout with Guida.
Expect a revitalized and reinvented Maynard as he looks to grind his way back to top contendership.
Most Recent Fight: Defeated Jorge Masvidal at Strikeforce: Melendez vs. Masvidal
Next Fight: Josh Thomson at Strikeforce: Barnett vs. Cormier
Previous Ranking: 3
After dominating once again in his last title fight against Jorge Masvidal, Strikeforce champion Gilbert Melendez thought he was on the road to the Octagon.
But with the UFC's lightweight division clogged with contenders, Melendez will have to wait a little longer as he sets to take on the last man to beat him, former champ Josh Thomson.
While it's not the fight he may have wanted, expect Melendez to turn in another gem of a performance as he awaits the call to the big show.
Most Recent Fight: Loss to Benson Henderson at UFC 144
Next Fight: Benson Henderson at TBA
Previous Ranking: 2
Opting to rematch Benson Henderson instead of dropping down to featherweight, former UFC champ Frankie Edgar will look to get his lightweight belt back as the two square off later this summer.
Out-gunned and out-muscled in his first go-around with the current champion, Edgar's heart and determination will once again play major roles heading into this bout.
If "the Answer" fails in his second go-around with Henderson, expect Edgar to make the move to 145.
Most Recent Fight: Defeated Frankie Edgar at UFC 144
Next Fight: Frankie Edgar at TBA
Previous Ranking: 1
Having dominated the competition since making the move to the UFC, current champ Benson Henderson captured the title in stunning fashion from Frankie Edgar last February at UFC 144.
Set to take on "the Answer" later this summer, Henderson's power and explosiveness will be his keys to victory.
A win for "Smooth" will not only keep him on top of the lightweight rankings, but it will also prove that Henderson is a top tier, pound-for-pound threat.