It’s impossible to rank the top five lightweights in the world. There’s not really a single number one, per se. Instead, there’s about five guys who are collectively tied for the number one spot. The only way we can discern who is number one is with some remarkable co-promotional 155lb lightweight grand prix — or a bit of the old MMA math. Eddie Alvarez defeated Kawajiri in Dream 5, who was defeated by Shinya Aoki at Dream 15. Gilbert Melendez defeated Shinya Aoki in Strikeforce last year, but Gil was defeated by Josh Thomson who loss to Kawajiri this past New Year’s Eve. Now, Edde Alvarez defeated Kawajiri in Dream 5, who was defeated by Shinya Aoki at Dream 15. Gilbert Melendez defeated Shinya Aoki in Strikeforce last year, but Gil was defeated by Josh Thomson who loss to Kawajiri this past New Year’s Eve. However, Eddie Alvarez defeated Kawajiri — damn, I’m another victim of this inescapable and forever repeating lightweight ranking vortex.
What matters most is that Eddie Alvarez so obviously spliced Anderson Silva’s DNA into his genetic code tonight in his first Bellator title defense against Pat Curran. The body punches from Alvarez were flowing like orange kool-aid at a local church event. Yes folks, the body punches were that plentiful. With Eddie Alvarez’s ever-evolving movement, atomically precise jabs and unpredictable angles, it’s understandable if you think Eddie has an unfair advantage. Don’t blame Bellator, blame God for giving him this ability. Eddie Alvarez represents one of those incredibly rare human beings that had a head start on the rest of humanity, and we just have to live with it.
We’ve been calling for Eddie Alvarez vs. Gilbert Melendez for over a year now. In fact, we’re taking credit for creating the Alvarez vs. Melendez hype train that launched in 2010. Too bad it didn’t reach its final destination. Until Alvarez, Melendez and Edgar can fight against each other (preferably in a ring), it’s silly to slap a ranking on any of these guys. They’re just the best — and that should be enough. Never marginalize greatness.