It's really simple to choose a dominant fighter such as BJ Penn, or Roger Huerta for this subject heading. However, going off the board isn't such a bad thing.
Tyson Griffin has compiled a great year, coming off wins against Marcus Aurelio and Gleison Tibau. Nothing but greatness awaits this 24-year-old out of Team Xtreme Couture.
Don't look too far into the future for his success though, as he's already put together a resume that would make an experienced veteran look twice.
With wins over some of the world's best fighters such as Clay "The Carpenter" Guida, and the world's best 145-pound fighter Urijah Faber, there's nothing that is stopping Griffin from earning a title shot within the next year.
As many MMA fans may already know, Faber is looking to one day avenge his loss to the vigorous Griffin, however, with a title defense coming up in the next few months, Faber may have to put that fight on hold.
Add to the equation the fact that Griffin may be well on his way into UFC Lightweight title contention by then, and you have yourself one heck of a UFC Lightweight division that is already stacked.
Griffin is no stranger to tough fights, and may look to avenge his only loss to
the hands of Frankie Edgar. However, a fight with a decent contender seems evident. With a matchup with Joe Stevenson or the loser of the Florian/Huerta fight, Griffin could be in for a big 2009 year with a few well strung together wins.
As far as 2008 goes, many fighters other than Griffin are worthy of this nomination. Frankie Edgar himself may be a nice consideration at this spot. However, Griffin is no slouch himself, and seems to be on the fast track to a title shot by the end of 2009.