In the aftermath of UFC 126, Bleacher Report is compelled to submit the latest analysis of it's champions, who most consider to be the best of the best in the sport.
With the introduction of two new weight classes due to the folding over of the WEC's roster into the biggest promotion in MMA don't be too surprised to see your favorite 145 pound champ ranked pretty high amongst the big boys.
As the current UFC and final WEC bantamweight champion, Dominick Cruz's elusive, hands- down fighting style makes for a very interesting and often frustrating opponent.
While WEC champ, he defended his belt 2 times it remains to be seen what he'll be able to handle now that he's under the brighter lights of the UFC.
In addition, the stars seem to be aligning properly for Cruz to meet up with the only man who's ever handed him a loss, which is the rejuvenated Urijah Faber.
While some MMA fans might rank this Brazilian assassin higher on the list, it should be notes that he needs to be tested more.
Decimating Mike Brown to win the WEC title and chopping the promotion's fan favorite Urijah Faber down to a lower division serve as enough to validating Aldo's status as champion, but the division is still in it's discovery stage when it comes to who would serve as formidable opponents to the champ.
It will be interesting to see what happens when some of the UFC's undersized 155er's move down to 145.
At # 5 we have Mauricio "Shogun" Rua. With a razor thin decision loss to Lyoto Machida at UFC 104 and then an incredibly dominant win over "The Dragon" in their rematch at UFC 113 Rua would otherwise be ranked much higher on this list if he hadn't been sidelined due to a post fight shoulder surgery.
Originally scheduled to face Rashad Evans in his return bout at UFC 128 next month, he will now have less than a month to rework his game plan in order to face a much larger, younger, and hungrier opponent in Jon Jones.
One word that you can use to describe UFC Lightweight Champion Frankie Edgar: Tough.
"The Answer" is the definition an underdog. Last April, he was not supposed to beat division legend BJ Penn let alone defeat him again - soundly - at UFC 118 in August.
On New Year's Day, Edgar went to war in his rematch with Gray Maynard which unfortunately ended in a draw, but helped the New Jersey native gain a new slew of fans' respect.
The Stoned Faced Heavyweight Champion of the UFC followed a simple motto when he faced off against Brock Lesnar last year: Veni, Vidi, Vici
As many MMA fans had estimated, Velasquez utterly man handled the monsterous former WWE Superstar and left a pile of bodies in his wake leading up to his UFC 121 championship bout.
While sidelined for the remainder of 2010 and most of the first half of 2011, due to shoulder injury, expect to see him get back in the cage at some point in the Fall against the winner of the Junior Dos Santos / Brock Lesnar match up.
Ok you GSP fans, settle down. This was a tough decision to place St. Pierre at # #2, but it had to be done. The main reason is that while he's virtually all but cleaned out his division, his most recent bouts have been more just an exhibition in long term domination rather than just finishing opponents.
Matt Serra committed the worst crime to MMA fans in general when he knocked "Rush" silly to take his title back at UFC 69. It made St.Pierre a more cautious and calculated fighter which ultimately results in a bit of a snooze fest.
If he's able to finish Jake Shields in April in definitive fashion, it might help push him closer to the # 1 spot.
Lets face it. When you are able to allegedly have Steven "Lawman" Seagal teach you how to raise your
front kick a few degrees higher, then I'd say that you're a pretty big deal.
In all seriousness though, Anderson Silva is a really bad man if you are a 185 or 205 pounder. His unpredictable striking and fight ending blows firmly cement him as the number one champion in the organization.
Should he be able to defeat 170lb king George St Pierre in a much talked about super fight this year, then you can bet your bottom dollar that you'll see "The Spider" at the # 1 spot for a long time.