By Josh Reese
1. Jose Aldo (21-1) Is there really a debate about the number 1….. Aldo could be the number 1 at Lightweight too, and that could be around the corner, there is almost no one left at 145.
2. Chad Mendes (12-1) A loss to the champion in January but he is still one of the top guys at 145, and he just beat a bigger Cody McKenzie, a really great wrestler and probably the second best at Team Alpha Male
3. Chan Sung Jung (13-3) A legend in the making, Jung is considered the next in line for the belt, and is so far considered the most exciting fighter in the division. In his 3 fights in the UFC he is over a 100 percent in bonuses, with 4 bonuses in 3 fights
4. Eric Koch (13-1) The current 145 challenger will take on Aldo at UFC 153, riding a 4 fight win streak over legit opponents, but does hold a loss to Chad Mendes. Koch a lifelong fighter is still learning and growing, clearly forth best on this list.
5. Pat Curran (17-4) Belltor is not the UFC and a Belltor champ is not Jose Aldo, but Curran is still legit won the belt away from another top 145’er Joe Warren he was a good 155’er but found his name home here at 145
6. Tatsuya Kawajiri (31-7-2) Like a lot of guys on this list Kawajiri was good Lightweight had fights in Dream and Strikeforce for the 155 belt, and before that won the Shooto belt. At Dream 17 he made the drop to 145 and has 3 straight wins over good guys
7. Dennis Siver (20-8) Siver a former decent Welterweight, then a better Lightweight he just made his debut at featherweight and it seems like a great move. He finally has a height advantage and will be the bigger guy in the cage for the here on out.
8. Ricardo Lamas (12-2) Wins over top contenders Swanson, and the guy that was supposed to face Aldo Hatsu Hioki. A good wrestler with a background in BJJ, is on a 3 fight win streak and could be a fight of two away from the belt
9. Cub Swanson (17-5) Sure he has lost to Mendes and Aldo, Lamas but he is making a comeback as a better fighter, fighting out of Jackson in New Mexico and is a complete fighter
10. Dustin Poirier (12-2) Like most of the guys on this list its filled young guys so in less an injury happens these guys are here to stay. He was considered Aldo’s next test till he meet Jung and after a 4 round war he lost. That doesn’t make him a bum, just human he’ll learn and come back