Rankings: Benson Henderson's convincing win over Nate Diaz has little impact on standing (Yahoo! Sports)


There are so many legitimate contenders for the Yahoo! Sports MMA Top 10 poll that some of the world's best fighters are getting little attention from the pollsters.

Benson Henderson is Exhibit A in this month's story of how closely matched the world's best fighters are now. Henderson, the UFC's classy lightweight champion, put on arguably the performance of his lifetime on Dec. 8 when he throttled Nate Diaz.

There were some who believed that Henderson might defeat Diaz, but few thought he would hand Diaz such a devastating and decisive beating. Despite that, all Henderson managed to do was to retain his spot in the rankings. He narrowed the gap a bit on fifth-place Junior dos Santos, but he remained in sixth.

Two fighters who are ineligible at this point, light heavyweight Dan Henderson and welterweight Nick Diaz, will return in the early part of 2013, making it even tighter. Henderson is ineligible because he's been inactive more than 12 months. Nick Diaz is inactive because he's been suspended in Nevada for failing a drug test.

With that, here are the results of the December Yahoo! Sports MMA poll:

 1. Anderson Silva

  Points: 218 (20 of 22 first-place votes)
  Affiliation: UFC (middleweight champion)
  Weight class: Middleweight
  Record: 31-4
  Last outing: TKO1 Stephan Bonnar, Oct. 13
  Previous ranking: 1
  Up next: Nothing scheduled

 2. Jon Jones

  Points: 195 (2 of 22 first-place votes)
  Affiliation: UFC (light heavyweight champion)
  Weight class: Light heavyweight
  Record: 17-1
  Last outing: SUB4 Vitor Belfort, Sept. 22
  Previous ranking: 2
  Next: Title fight vs. Chael Sonnen, April 27

 3. Georges St-Pierre

  Points: 178
  Affiliation: UFC (welterweight champion)
  Weight class: Welterweight
  Record: 23-2
  Last outing: W5 Carlos Condit on Nov. 17
  Previous ranking: 3
  Next:Title fight vs. Nick Diaz, March 16

 4. Jose Aldo

  Points: 152
  Affiliation: UFC (featherweight champion)
  Weight class: Featherweight
  Record: 21-1
  Last outing: TKO1 Chad Mendes, Jan. 14
  Previous ranking: 4
  Next: Title fight vs. Frankie Edgar, Feb. 2

 5. Junior dos Santos

  Points: 119
  Affiliation: UFC (heavyweight champion)
  Weight class: Heavyweight
  Record: 15-1
  Last outing: TKO2 Frank Mir, May 26
  Previous ranking: 5
  Next: Title fight vs. Cain Velasquez, Dec. 29

 6. Benson Henderson

  Points: 118
  Affiliation: UFC (lightweight champion)
  Weight class: Lightweight
  Record: 17-2
  Last outing: W5 Nate Diaz, Dec. 8
  Previous ranking: 6
  Next: Nothing scheduled

 7. Frankie Edgar

  Points: 60
  Affiliation: UFC
  Weight class: Featherweight
  Record: 14-4-1
  Last outing: L5 Benson Henderson, Aug. 11
  Previous ranking: 7
  Next: Title fight vs. Jose Aldo, Feb. 2

 8. Gilbert Melendez

  Points: 56
  Affiliation: Strikeforce (lightweight champion)
  Weight class: Lightweight
  Record: 21-2
  Last outing: W5 Josh Thomson, May 19
  Previous ranking: 8
  Next:Nothing scheduled

 9. Demetrious Johnson

  Points: 42
  Affiliation: UFC (flyweight champion)
  Weight class: Flyweight
  Record: 16-2-1
  Last outing: W5 Joseph Benavidez, Sept. 22
  Previous ranking: 9
  Next: Title fight vs. John Dodson, Jan. 26

 10. Renan Barao

  Points: 18
  Affiliation: UFC (interim bantamweight champion)
  Weight class: Bantamweight
  Record: 29-1
  Last outing: W5 Urijah Faber, July 21
  Previous ranking: 10
  Up next: Nothing scheduled
Others receiving votes: Cain Velasquez, 15; Carlos Condit, 13; Ronda Rousey, 9; Johny Hendricks, 6; Rashad Evans, 5; Gray Maynard, 4; Daniel Cormier, 2. Ineligible: Nick Diaz (serving marijuana suspension); Alistair Overeem (serving PED suspension); Dominick Cruz (inactive more than 12 months) Dan Henderson (inactive more than 12 months).

Voting panel:Denny Burkholder, CBSSports.com; Mike Chiappetta, MMA Fighting and Fight! Magazine; Steve Cofield, ESPN Radio 1100, Las Vegas; Neil Davidson, The Canadian Press; Dave Deibert, Post Media; Dave Doyle, MMA Fighting/SI.com; Matt Erickson, MMA Junkie/USA Today; Ariel Helwani, MMA Fighting; Rafael Hernandez Brito, Univision; Adam Hill, Las Vegas Review-Journal; Kevin Iole, Yahoo! Sports; Case Keefer, Las Vegas Sun; Damon Martin, MMA Weekly; Todd Martin, freelance; Dave Meltzer, The Wrestling Observer/MMA Fighting; John Morgan, MMA Junkie/USA Today; Brett Okamoto, ESPN.com; Ken Pishna, MMA Weekly; Greg Savage, Sherdog; Mike Straka, Spike TV and Sirius/XM; Dann Stupp, MMA Junkie/USA Today; Jeff Wagenheim, SI.com.

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