With 2009 coming in less than 24 hours and the first UFC fight of the year in merely weeks, I thought it’d be appropriate to showcase the UFC featured story giving 2008’s top newcomers so you’ll know who to look out for next year.

Recently Thomas Gerbasi, an MMA writer featured on the official UFC website, released his unofficial “Best Newcomers of 2008” list and here they are. When choosing, he says he followed two simple guidelines: 1) the highlighted fighter must have had their UFC debut within the 2008 year and 2) they had to have had at least two fights during the year. He did not follow this second guideline when choosing fighters for honorable mention and he made an exception for the number five ranked newcomer on the top 10 list.

The list is given with ranking first, then name followed by their 2008 UFC record.

10) CB Dollaway 2-2

9) Kevin Burns 2-1

8) Tim Boetsch 2-1

7) The Miller Brothers, Jim 2-0 and Dan 2-0

6) Efrain Escudero 2-0

5) Junior Dos Santos 1-0

4) Shane Carwin 2-0

3) Amir Sadollah 2-0

2) Cain Velasquez 2-0

1) Brock Lesnar 2-1

Gerbasi gave honorable mention to Mike Massenzio, Brad Blackburn, Ryan Bader, Paul Kelly, Chris Wilson, Yoshiyuki Yoshida, Dong Hyun Kim, Rousimar Palhares, Tim Credeur, Matt Brown, Goran Reljic, Rory Markham, Jon Jones, Dan Hardy, Steve Cantwell, Phillipe Nover, Junie Browning, Matt Riddle and Patrick Barry.