Each month, MMAFighting ranks the best fighters in each weight class. In particular, weight classes which have had significant bouts, such as this past weekend's Nick Diaz vs. BJ Penn fight are emphasized. The numbers in parentheticals represent the ranking of each fighter in the previous month:
1. Georges St. Pierre (1): St. Pierre has really never been threatened since losing to Matt Serra in April of 2007; his current nine-fight winning streak consists of six unanimous decisions, two TKOs and one submission win without ever being in any trouble. I don't think St. Pierre is going to lose to Diaz, but I do think Diaz has the right style, both with his high-volume punching and his ability to submit people off his back, to challenge St. Pierre in a way he hasn't been challenged before.
2. Nick Diaz (4): As Diaz won 10 fights in a row over the last three years, a lot of skeptics raised questions about whether the guys he was beating were really all that good. No one can ask that about his 11th straight win: Penn is universally regarded as a Top 10 welterweight, and Diaz gave him a thorough pounding. Jon Fitch, who's No. 2 in most welterweight rankings, wasn't as successful against Penn as Diaz was. Diaz can compete with the elite, and he's earned his opportunity to fight the best of the best in St. Pierre.
3. Jon Fitch (2): After 11 months off following his draw with Penn, Fitch is slated to return against Johny Hendricks at UFC 141 on December 30. That's a fight that won't do much for Fitch in the welterweight division, but it should be a good opportunity for him to grab another unanimous decision victory.
4. Josh Koscheck (5)
5. Carlos Condit (7)
6. Jake Ellenberger (NR)
7. Rory Macdonald (9)
8. BJ Penn (6)
9. Jake Shields (3)
10. John Hathaway (10)
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