Alexander Shlemenko didn't look good against Tito Ortiz, but the Russian's recent loss to the former UFC champion doesn't erase all his recent success.
In 21 fights, Shlemenko has only lost to Ortiz and current UFC contender Hector Lombard. He remains the Bellator MMA middleweight champion and should continue to dominate in that division despite his loss to a larger Ortiz at Bellator 120.
Now 30 years old, Shlemenko probably isn't going to get much better than he already is. However, the flashy striker should remain among the best non-UFC fighters in the coming years.
At 26 years old, Marlon Moraes might have the brightest future of all these honorable mentions.
The bantamweight has really hit his stride with World Series of Fighting and could become one of the best fighting outside the Octagon with some bigger matchups. Recently, Moraes' biggest wins have come against Tyson Nam and a fading Miguel Torres.
He'll need one more big win to break into this top-20 list.
The Japanese standout has long been among the best to have never stepped into the Octagon.
However, his level of competition has dropped off significantly over recent years. Aside from Alvarez, who knocked him out in the first round, Aoki has not faced any elite fighters since 2010.
That said, Aoki has been beating everybody he's been expected to win against. However, he'll need to see some elevated opposition in order to reclaim a spot near the top of this list.
Yes, that Tito Ortiz is back on the map.
He had a significant size advantage, but submitting Alexander Shlemenko in less than three minutes is nothing to scoff at. Ortiz is also only a few fights removed from a submission win over Top 10 UFC light heavyweight Ryan Bader.
At 39 years old, Ortiz doesn't have many fights left in him. However, he's a UFC Hall of Famer for a reason and can still compete against some tough opposition.
Winning the Bellator MMA light heavyweight title would go a long way toward proving Ortiz might be the best light heavyweight not included on the UFC roster.
He's probably not the next Fedor Emelianenko, but Russian Vitaly Minakov is developing into a darn good heavyweight.
Minakov is undefeated in 14 MMA appearances. Most recently, the Bellator MMA champion defeated former UFC contender Cheick Kongo.
Bellator MMA will need to beef up its heavyweight roster in order to give him a chance to move up this list, but Minakov is definitely headed in the right direction.