MMA Power Rankings -- Lightweight

Updated: September 27, 2011, 11:32 AM ET
By ESPN.com staff | ESPN.com
Wednesday, Aug. 17
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Come Oct. 8 in Houston, the lightweight division could see a major shakeup. That's when the long-awaited title rematch between Gray Maynard and Frankie Edgar goes off at UFC 136, with the winner all but assured to become the best 155-pounder in the world. But it's a tentative, fleeting thing. There are droves of 155ers that have been forever held hostage behind Maynard/Edgar, some of them fighting on the same card. Melvin Guillard -- winner of five straight -- will take on Joe Lauzon in a dangerous "stay busy" fight, and Anthony Pettis will begin climbing the rungs again against Jeremy Stephens.

Meanwhile Shinya Aoki continued his streak of batting back UFC washouts with a victory over Rob McCulloch (via first round neck crank), setting up a potential rematch with Bellator's Eddie Alvarez, once he's back and healthy. Gilbert Melendez returns in December against Jorge Masvidal, and Ben Henderson -- coming off his one-sided route of Jim Miller -- continues to climb north as he takes on Clay Guida on Nov. 12. With the parity going on among the top lightweights, it's easy to imagine any of these guys beating the other on any given night.

In other words, flux is the norm in the lightweight division.