Coming into his rematch with Shogun Rua, Machida has a lot to prove to fans who had seriously bought into him after his destruction of Rashad Evans, but now question him after his razor thin victory over Rua. A victory over Rua could possibly cement an "Age of the Dragon" for the UFC LHWs.
2. Mauricio Rua (18-4)
On the other side of the May 8th match up, Rua has won over many UFC fans to his cause after fighting Machida to a virtual draw in their first meeting. That said, he faces a massive task trying to do it again and I think he is actually disadvantaged by an immediate rematch because he showed his hand in the last fight. That said, talent and results have begun aligning for Shogun and he looks to be a Top five LHW for years to come.
3. Quinton Jackson (30-7)
After stepping out of the cage to film a movie, Rampage returns to the cage and attempts to pick up where he left off a year ago with his decision victory over Keith Jardine.
4. Rashad Evans (14-1-1)
Evans had a less than impressive win over Thiago Silva that left fans and pundits alike questioning his striking, chin, cardio and his BJJ black belt. Evans looks to get back on the title track May 29th against rival TUF coach Rampage Jackson.
5. Antonio Rogerio Nogueira (18-3)
For a long time 'Little Nog' was the best 205 lb fighter not in the UFC, and his arrival to the UFC was a memorable one, KOing Luis Arthur Cane. Unlikely to fight teammate Lyoto Machida, Little Nog takes on Forrest Griffin at UFC 114 in a treading water match.
6. Gegard Mousasi (28-2-1)
The rising star of Strikeforce, Mousasi has all the skills to be an elite fighter at whatever weight he fights at. A rumored match with King Mo Lawal is in the works, and in typical Strikeforce fashion we know nothing of a date.
7. Forrest Griffin (17-6)
The former champ got off the mat and turned a Tito Ortiz fight into a heavy bag workout as he dominated the Huntington Beach Bad Boy. Forrest has had a long layoff in part to finish his honeymoon and to retool his game in the wake of a pair of KO losses.
8. Thiago Silva (14-2)
Thiago Silva owns one of the most impressive losses in recent memory, not just holding his own but dominating the third round with Evans with a herniated disk in his back. Fresh off surgery and healthy again, Silva looks for a summer return to action.
9. Luis Arthur Cane (10-2, 1 NC)
The forgotten 205 contender of the UFC, Can looks to rebound from his loss to Little Nog in the LHW showcase that is UFC 114 against UFC new comer Cyrille Diabate.
10. Jon Jones (10-1)
The brightest prospect in MMA, Jon Jones' skills are evolving at an amazing pace and the UFC is in no rush, White has stated he will keep developing Jones for at least another year.
Honorable Mentions: Ryan Bader, Vladimir Matyushenko, Randy Couture
*Note Anderson Silva will not be ranked because until he officially moves up and seeks the LHW Title he is officially a middleweight
by Tom Grant