Later this week, a light heavyweight showdown pitting former champion Lyoto Machida against current UFC titleholder Jon Jones will take place in Toronto, Canada.
However, as far as the spectrum of contender's are concerned, there lies a bevy of fighters who are itching for their spot in the 205-pound class.
Here are the sport's 10 best in arguably the UFC's most stacked division.
Note: These rankings are the combined effort 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 Jason Brilz, Knockout Rd. 1 at UFC 139
The Season 8 winner of The Ultimate Fighter initially rose up the ranks when the heavy hitter kept his undefeated record intact, eventually besting former Pride star Antonio Rogerio Nogueira by decision before taking on Jon Jones for a top spot in the division.
In battles with Jones and Tito Ortiz, Bader succumbed to submission defeats before bouncing back with an emphatic first round knockout over Jason Brilz, finishing the wily wrestler in just 77 seconds.
Bader now meets former champion Quinton "Rampage" Jackson come next February at UFC 144.
Most Recent Fight: Defeated Matt Hamill, TKO Rd. 2 at UFC 133
The fast rising contender in Gustafsson is exceeding all expectations.
A talented striker, the Swede is continuing to round out his mixed martial arts game whilst training with the Alliance MMA crew, which features top contenders Phil Davis, Travis Browne and champion Dominick Cruz.
After having been submitted by the aforementioned Davis some fights ago, Gustafsson has now rattled off a three fight win streak which includes back-to-back submission victories over Pride vet Cyrille Diabate and James Te-Huna.
In his last outing, Gustafsson retired former top contender Matt Hamill when he finished off the collegiate wrestling stud with second round strikes, asserting his claim as one of the best in the division.
Most Recent Fight: Loss to Mauricio Rua, Knockout Rd. 1 at UFC 134
The former world champion in Griffin once again finds himself on the losing end.
After suffering back-to-back knockout losses at the hands of Rashad Evans and Anderson Silva, Griffin stormed back with impressive victories over former champions Tito Ortiz and Rich Franklin.
In his last outing, Griffin was pitted against Mauricio "Shogun" Rua in their highly anticipated rematch which took place in Rua's native Brazil this August.
Shogun wasted little time in clinching the first round knockout over Griffin who is now left re-evaluating his career and working his way back up the ladder. Griffin is now 2-3 in his last five outings.
Most Recent Fight: Defeated Antonio Rogerio Nogueira by Decision at UFC Fight Night 24
A former Penn State Division I All-American wrestler and NCAA champion, Phil Davis has parlayed his skills on the mat to the cage almost seamlessly.
Still undefeated, Davis has anchored his career on the strength of impressive victories over the likes of the aforementioned Gustafsson, former WEC champ Brian Stann and Pride vet Antonio Rogerio Nogueira.
Now, Davis will continue to move up the ranks as he takes on Rashad Evans on January 28 when the duo meet at UFC on FOX 2.
Most Recent Fight: Loss to Jon Jones, Submission Rd. 4 at UFC 135
The former UFC champion has now found some motivation, despite reeling from defeat.
After a contentious victory over Lyoto Machida, Jackson picked up a decisive decision victory over Matt Hamill which earned him a shot at the title against Jon Jones this September, however the Greg Jackson star submitted the heavy hitter with a fourth round rear-naked choke.
Now, Jackson is reinvigorated as he will next face off against Ryan Bader in Japan—where "Rampage" built his career while he was with the Pride promotion—come next February
Most Recent Fight: Defeated Randy Couture, Knockout Rd. 2 at UFC 129
Machida is back.
The Karate specialist turned mixed martial artist recently was suffering from a two fight skid when he was bested by Pride vets Mauricio "Shogun" Rua and Quinton "Rampage" Jackson in succession.
Since the back-to-back defeats, Machida has now re-entered the win column when he defeated former five-time world champion Randy Couture, finishing off the Olympic wrestler with an emphatic KO win which earned him "Knockout of the Night" for his jumping-front-kick-knockout.
The victory earned Machida a shot at Jones, where the two will now clash come this Saturday at the Air Canada Centre in Toronto.
Most Recent Fight: Loss to Dan Henderson by Decision at UFC 139
Despite succumbing to a defeat in his last outing, Mauricio Rua remains one of the best in the division.
After losing his title to current champion Jon Jones earlier this year, Rua returned to the win column in dramatic fashion when he finished off former titleholder Forrest Griffin this August, knocking out the wily fighter in his native Brazil.
Next, "Shogun" was matched up against fellow Pride vet Dan Henderson just a couple of weeks ago where the two engaged in a rollicking, back-and-forth, toe-to-toe battle that has already been called the greatest fight in mixed martial arts history.
In the end, Rua dropped a very close decision to Henderson who some felt should have went in favor of the Brazilian, who dominated the American in the latter stages of the fight.
Most Recent Fight: Defeated Mauricio Rua by Decision at UFC 139
After exiting Strikeforce with the promotion's light heavyweight title and a knockout victory over Fedor Emelianenko, Henderson entered the UFC in hopes to eventually challenge for the belt.
In his first outing back with the UFC, Henderson took on fellow Pride vet Mauricio "Shogun" Rua in a back-and-forth tussle that garnered both men "Fight of the Night" honors for their five round battle.
In the end, Henderson won by decision, likely thanks to the early damage he inflicted on the Brazilian early courtesy of his dangerous right hand.
Now, "Hendo" has emerged as top contender and has the option to vie for either the middleweight or light heavyweight titles. Basically, it's at his own discretion.
Most Recent Fight: Defeated Tito Ortiz, TKO Rd. 2 at UFC 133
The once beaten light heavyweight stud is knocking on the door to a shot at the title, but he will have one more test before he'll have his chance.
A former world champion, Evans is currently riding a three fight win streak in the promotion after dropping his title to the aforementioned Lyoto Machida. Successive victories over Quinton Jackson, Thiago Silva and Tito Ortiz anchor his list of recent accomplishments and now Evans will face yet another stud in the division.
Phil Davis waits on the wings for Evans, who has remained undefeated in his MMA career. The duo meet on January 28 at the UFC on FOX 2 show, which also features a battle of middleweights pitting Chael Sonnen against Mark Munoz.
Most Recent Fight: Defeated Quinton Jackson, Submission Rd. 4 at UFC 135
The kingpin of the light heavyweight division has looked virtually unstoppable and for good reason.
His length and athletic prowess as a fighter have garnered him praise as one of the best pound-for-pound fighters in the world while also cinching a world title in the process.
Jones first earned infamy when he bested then champion Mauricio "Shogun" Rua by third round TKO, later defending his title this September against Quinton "Rampage" Jackson.
The former champion was outgunned and outclassed by Jones, who eventually earned a fourth-round submission victory over Jackson in a "Fight of the Night" worthy performance.
Now the 24-yea-old faces off against Lyoto Machida this Saturday at the Air Canada Centre in Toronto where Jones will have the opportunity to further solidify his standings as the best in his class.
View all Bleacher Report MMA Rankings for December 2011