Josh Thomson made a point in a video interview with Fight Magazine that I've heard a number of people in the MMA world make this year: That the best lightweights in MMA are in Strikeforce.
At the very start of 2009 we had WAMMA awarding their lightweight title to Shinya Aoki for beating Eddie Alvarez, and now as we approach the end of 2009 we have a Strikeforce lightweight title bout between Thomson and Gilbert Melendez that they're doing their best to portray as a world championship fight. In between I've heard various suggestions that the lightweights in other promotions are better than the lightweights in the UFC.
But does anyone really believe that? I think everyone who really looks at it objectively -- or everyone except WAMMA -- agrees that UFC champion B.J. Penn is the best lightweight in the world, and even after Penn, I have a hard time seeing the lightweights in Dream or Strikeforce or Bellator beating the second tier of UFC lightweights, like Kenny Florian, Diego Sanchez and Gray Maynard.
Strikeforce has some good lightweight fights, and so do Dream and Bellator. But the best are in the UFC.