1. Demetrious Johnson (16-2-1)
Johnson’s potential was finally realized Sept. 22, when he used superior speed and footwork to outpoint Joseph Benavidez and become the first UFC flyweight champion. “Mighty Mouse” won’t get to relax for long, though, as No. 1 contender John Dodson is already waiting in the wings for a crack at the gold.
2. Ian McCall (11-3-1)
To say “Uncle Creepy” has made headlines in his few short months in the UFC would be an understatement. After his contentious two-fight series with Demetrious Johnson, McCall’s slated bout with John Moraga fell apart due to injury. Instead, McCall’s recent action has come against the law, as he was arrested on Aug. 14 for driving with a suspended license in Irvine, Calif.
3. John Dodson (14-5)
Dodson’s hot streak continued Oct. 5, as the Jackson’s MMA product punched out former flyweight No. 1 Jussier da Silva for his third UFC win inside 10 months. The victory also secured Dodson’s place in the front of the line for a shot at brand new UFC 125-pound champion Demetrious Johnson.
4. Jussier da Silva (14-2)
Though “Formiga” entered the Octagon looking significantly larger than his last outing, it didn’t help him against John Dodson. The onetime ruler of these rankings caught his second loss at the worst possible time, dropping his UFC debut -- and a chance at the company’s newly forged flyweight title -- in a second-round TKO to the “TUF 14” winner on Oct. 5.
5. Joseph Benavidez (16-3)
Many thought the Team Alpha Male product a shoo-in for the UFC’s inaugural flyweight title, but things did not work out that way. Benavidez couldn’t match Demetrious Johnson’s speed and consequently dropped a five-round split decision, snapping a four-fight win streak.
6. Yasuhiro Urushitani (19-5-6)
The former Shooto world champion was knocked out in his March UFC debut, and then was among one of the fighters who had the rug pulled out from under them with the cancelation of UFC 151. Urushitani will look to steady the course Nov. 10 in Macau, where he’ll square off against the man he would have met in September, Brazilian prospect John Lineker.
7. Darrell Montague (11-2)
The Californian “Mongoose” has been dormant since picking up a pair of wins in a 12-day span this spring. Montague will get right back in the thick of things when he faces tough Japanese veteran Mamoru Yamaguchi on Christmas Eve in Tokyo.
8. Chris Cariaso (14-3)
Against Josh Ferguson in July, Cariaso showed exactly why he was pegged for flyweight success as soon as he dropped weight. Cariaso put on a workmanlike striking performance to earn a unanimous decision and announce himself as a factor in the newly minted UFC weight class.
9. Louis Gaudinot (6-2)
Gaudinot used his grappling to thrill in his May comeback win against Brazilian thumper John Lineker. The green-haired New Yorker was set to return against Darren Uyenoyama on Oct. 5 before an unspecified injury knocked Gaudinot from the bout.
10. John Moraga (11-1)
Since his December 2010 loss to John Dodson, Arizona’s John Moraga has rolled through all five foes he’s faced. That figure includes his UFC debut, when he came in three weeks notice originally to face Ian McCall, but wound up facing Ulysses Gomez, who fell prey to Moraga’s fists and elbows in the first round.