1. Merab Dvalishvili
Bantamweight boogeyman, Merab "The Machine" Dvalishvili is one of the most elite MMA fighters to never even get a crack at the UFC title. This is partly by choice, as he rejected potential matchups with then champion, close friend, and Serra-Longo teammate Aljamain "Funkmaster" Sterling.
The Georgian grappler, Dvalishvili, was instrumental in many of Sterling's championship training camps out on Long Island, New York. This led to controversy, as Dvalishvili's refusal to fight his friend created a unique situation in which the two best fighters in the division were okay not competing with one another. Sterling had Dvalishvili's blessing as champion as the latter took on and defeated many of the division's top threats like former champions, Petr "No Mercy" Yan and Jose "Scarface" Aldo.
With a 16-4 record, Dvalishvili's pressure in the cage, cardio, performance history, and overall skillset certainly make him worthy of a UFC title. Unfortunately, his path to the championship seems murkier than ever.
"Suga" Sean O'Malley took the title from Sterling at UFC 292 and it does not seem as if Dvalishvili will have an opportunity any time soon. Championship matchups with Marlon "Chito" Vera and Cory "The Sandman" Sandhagen have been proposed for O'Malley, but the UFC does not seem keen on rewarding Dvalishvili with a title shot just yet.
It can only be speculated whether this is in response to his reluctance to face Sterling, but it leaves Dvalishvili in limbo. He is one of the best active bantamweight fighters in the world but as of yet, the closest he's come to the title is seeing it around the waist of his good friend, Aljamain Sterling.