Strikeforce Diaz vs. Daley Results: Ranking the Top 10 Lightweights in MMA
At Strikeforce: Diaz vs. Daley, two of the top lightweights made big statements in dominant first-round victories.
Allowed to use elbows for the first time in Strikeforce, Gilbert Melendez made the most of them by finishing Tatsuya Kawajiri to retain his Strikeforce Lightweight Championship.
Also, Shinya Aoki showed why he presents problems on the ground for any lightweight in the world by quickly submitting Lyle Beerbohm.
After his win, Melendez stated that he felt that he was the best lightweight in the world. Let's find out if he has jumped the UFC's elite lightweights in Bleacher Report's lightweight rankings.
10. Sean Sherk
Sean Sherk returned to the Octagon with a win over Evan Dunham after a long layoff from injuries.
After the win, Sherk has gone right back on the shelf to rehab more injuries that have continued to plague him after 41 professional fights.
Although his career looks to be nearing an end, Sherk has still only lost to current or former UFC champions over the course of his career.
Sherk's four professional losses have come against Frankie Edgar, B.J. Penn, Georges St-Pierre and Matt Hughes.
9. Melvin Guillard
The most recent victory in Melvin Guillard's current four-fight winning streak came in an impressive Knockout of the Night performance against Evan Dunham.
Now, Guillard is scheduled to fight Shane Roller at UFC 132 in July.
Guillard has vastly improved as a fighter since joining Greg Jackson's camp in Albuquerque, N.M.
Guillard has won seven of his last eight fights, with his only loss coming via submission against Nate Diaz.
8. Anthony Pettis
After his promised title shot against the winner of the original title fight between Frankie Edgar and Gray Maynard vanished, Anthony Pettis will now meet Clay Guida in June 2011 in a fight that could determine the next top contender.
On a four-fight winning streak, Pettis is still basking in the glory of his epic kick against Ben Henderson at the final WEC event, which allowed him to become the final WEC Lightweight Champion.
7. Jim Miller
In 22 professional fights, Jim Miller has beaten everyone he has faced that has not been named Frankie Edgar or Gray Maynard.
Many believe that Miller is being overlooked for a title shot, but he will need to pick up a win over a top 10 opponent before he gets that chance.
Miller's most recent win over Kamal Shalorus at UFC 128 in March 2011 extended his win streak to seven. Miller's next opponent has not yet been named.
6. Clay Guida
Since his consecutive losses to Diego Sanchez and Kenny Florian, Clay Guida has won three straight fights and has begun receiving mention in title shot conversations.
Guida's dominant victory in his last fight against Takanori Gomi earned him a fight with another lightweight contender.
Guida will fight Anthony Pettis in June 2011. The winner will most likely be one of the leading candidates to fight the UFC Lightweight Champion who emerges from a rematch between Frankie Edgar and Gray Maynard.
5. Eddie Alvarez
Bellator champ Eddie Alvarez's only losses in 24 professional fights have come against Shinya Aoki and Nick Thompson. Alvarez has also begun training with UFC Lightweight Champion Frankie Edgar.
Alvarez is currently on a seven-fight winning streak, which includes wins over former UFC fighters Roger Huerta and Josh Neer. Alvarez has also defeated Tatsuya Kawajiri during his career.
4. Shinya Aoki
Putting his embarrassing mixed-rules fight against Yuichiro Nagashima behind him, Shinya Aoki defeated Lyle Beerbohm with a neck crank in the first round on Saturday's Strikeforce show.
The win was Aoki's fourth in a row in an MMA fight after losing to Gilbert Melendez in April 2010.
Aoki holds notable wins over Tatsuya Kawajiri, Eddie Alvarez, Caol Uno and George Sotiropoulos. However, his win over Sotiropoulos was due to a disqualification because of a groin strike.
3. Gilbert Melendez
With his win over Tatsuya Kawajiri, Gilbert Melendez is now on a five-fight winning streak. During the streak, Melendez has avenged losses to Josh Thomson and Mitsuhiro Ishida and defeated Shinya Aoki.
Melendez also holds a win over Clay Guida, who he might hope to meet again in the future as he has begun to lead a movement for Strikeforce and the UFC to merge as soon as possible.
2. Gray Maynard
Despite his draw against Frankie Edgar, Gray Maynard still holds the edge in the series between the two fighters.
Maynard nearly beat Edgar for the second time with his first-round beat down, but Edgar was able to recover and turn the fight around.
Maynard will get a second crack at the belt, though, when the two fighters meet for a third time at UFC 130 in May.
1. Frankie Edgar
Frankie Edgar now has one loss and one draw that are keeping his record from perfection. After his first round against Gray Maynard, though, it is incredible that Edgar was able to prevent a second loss.
Now, Edgar will look to even the score with Maynard, as the two will meet for a third time at UFC 130 in May 2011. As champion, Edgar has never been the favorite heading into a title defense.
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