B/R Official Rankings for March: The Top 10 Bantamweights in MMA

Sal DeRoseCorrespondent IMarch 5, 2012

B/R Official Rankings for March: The Top 10 Bantamweights in MMA

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    As of a few days ago, the bantamweights are no longer the smallest division, as the UFC introduced flyweights to the organization.

    Dominick Cruz and Urijah Faber will now clog up the division until July with their scheduled coaching appearances on The Ultimate Fighter 15 setting back most of the fighters waiting in line for a title shot.

    Faber and Cruz are considered the tops of this division, but there are more than just these two faces.

    Big names have solidified themselves on this list and ranked themselves as a top-10 bantamweight.

     

    These rankings are the combined efforts of some of Bleacher Report MMA's best writers, as we continue to try and provide you with the best content on the web.

10. Bibiano Fernandes

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    Previous Ranking: 10

    Promotion: DREAM

    MMA Record: 11-3

    Most Recent Fight: Defeated Antonio Banuelos at Fight For Japan: Genki Desu Ka Omisoka 2011

    Next Scheduled Fight: TBA


    Bibiano Fernandes is the current DREAM bantamweight champion after defeating Antonio Banuelos in the Bantamweight Grand Prix.

    Fernandes is also a dual-weight-class threat, winning the DREAM Featherweight Grand Prix and defending that belt once against Joachim Hansen.

    Fernandes also holds wins over Joe Warren and Antonio Banuelos. Also in his first three fights, Fernandes faced the likes of former WEC featherweight champion, Urijah Faber, and former top Japanese fighter, Norifumi "Kid" Yamamoto.

9. Eddie Wineland

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    Previous Ranking: 9

    Promotion: UFC

    MMA Record: 18-8-1

    Most Recent Fight: Defeated by Joseph Benavidez at UFC Live 5

    Next Scheduled Fight: TBA

     

    Eddie Wineland hasn't exactly had the best start to his UFC career after the WEC was dissolved into the UFC.

    His first two fights ended up being against current and former No. 1 contenders Urijah Faber and Joseph Benavidez.

    Wineland was then expected to face Demetrious Johnson before Johnson pulled out to take place in the UFC's inaugural flyweight tournament.

    Then Wineland was expected to face Johnny Bedford, but an injury to Wineland forced him to pull out. No word on when we'll see Wineland return.

8. Brad Pickett

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    Previous Ranking: 8

    Promotion: UFC

    MMA Record: 20-6

    Most Recent Fight: Defeated by Renan Barao at UFC 138

    Next Scheduled Fight: Damacio Page at UFC on Fuel TV 2, April 14

     

    Brad Pickett made his UFC debut in front of his home crowd, but he didn't exactly get the homecoming he was looking for.

    Pickett and Barao put on a show for the English crowd, but unfortunately for Pickett, Barao ended up locking in the rear-naked choke with a minute left in the first.

    Pickett is now expected to face Page at UFC on Fuel 2 in Sweden in what could be a nice bounce-back fight for Pickett, who has dropped two of his last three fights.

7. Michael McDonald

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    Previous Ranking: 7

    Promotion: UFC

    MMA Record: 14-1

    Most Recent Fight: Defeated Alex Soto at UFC 139

    Next Scheduled Fight: Miguel Torres at UFC 145, April 21

     

    McDonald has quickly become the wonderboy of the UFC as the youngest fighter on the roster.

    McDonald has shown promise in his first few UFC fights and is now expected to take a jump in competition to face Torres in Atlanta.

    A win over Torres could very well catapult the 21-year-old fighter into the title talk.

6. Miguel Torres

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    Previous Ranking: 6

    Promotion: UFC

    MMA Record: 39-4

    Most Recent Fight: Defeated Nick Pace at UFC 139

    Next Scheduled Fight: Michael McDonald at UFC 145, April 21

     

    Like it was said in the last slide, Torres is expected to face young gun McDonald at UFC 145 in Atlanta.

    Torres found himself in hot water with a poorly executed tweet that saw him face a mini-exodus from the UFC.

    Torres is back, and with a win over McDonald, he could be one step closer to getting back his bantamweight belt.

5. Scott Jorgensen

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    Previous Ranking: 5

    Promotion: UFC

    MMA Record: 13-4

    Most Recent Fight: Defeated by Renan Barao at UFC 143

    Next Scheduled Fight: TBA

     

    Jorgensen was quickly on his way to earning a rematch with Dominick Cruz before he met Barao in Las Vegas.

    Barao outshined Jorgensen and ended up taking the unanimous decision victory.

    Jorgensen is now 2-1 in the UFC and will look to bounce back and regain his momentum for a title shot.

4. Brian Bowles

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    Previous Ranking: 4

    Promotion: UFC

    MMA Record: 10-2

    Most Recent Fight: Defeated by Urijah Faber at UFC 139

    Next Scheduled Fight: TBA

     

    Bowles was one fight away from getting another crack at Dominick Cruz. In that one fight though, he got clipped with an uppercut from Faber and ended up falling victim to yet another Faber guillotine choke victory.

    The former WEC bantamweight champ is now on the sidelines waiting for his next opponent.

3. Renan Barao

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    Previous Ranking: 3

    Promotion: UFC

    MMA Record: 29-1 (1 NC)

    Most Recent Fight: Defeated Scott Jorgensen at UFC 143

    Next Scheduled Fight: TBA

     

    Renan Barao has quickly shot up the UFC bantamweight ladder.

    In that ascension, Barao has beaten two top-10 bantamweights in Brad Pickett and Jorgensen. 

    Barao has only had five fights in the UFC and WEC respectively with his astounding 24 remaining wins coming in promotions throughout his home country of Brazil.

    The Brazilian hasn't been beaten since his MMA debut in April of 2005, giving him an impressive seven-year unbeaten streak.

    After Faber, Barao is seen as the most likely candidate to give Cruz a run for his money, and in some eyes, he is the only man that could be able to beat Cruz.

2. Urijah Faber

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    Previous Ranking: 2

    Promotion: UFC

    MMA Record: 26-5

    Most Recent Fight: Defeated Brian Bowles at UFC 139

    Next Scheduled Fight: Dominick Cruz at UFC 148 (unconfirmed)

     

    Faber comes in at No. 2 on the rankings as the No. 1 contender in the bantamweight division.

    Faber remains the only man to have dealt Cruz a loss and will coach opposite Cruz on The Ultimate Fighter 15 for the first season of TUF on FX and the first season to be live.

    Faber is coming off an impressive win over Bowles in which he nearly dominated him for a majority of the fight.

1. Dominick Cruz

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    Previous Ranking: 1

    Promotion: UFC

    MMA Record: 19-1

    Most Recent Fight: Defeated Demetrious Johnson at UFC Live 6

    Next Scheduled Fight: Urijah Faber at UFC 148 (unconfirmed)

     

    Obviously the top spot on this list belongs to Cruz, who is the UFC bantamweight champion.

    Cruz is 19-1 in his MMA career and hasn't been beaten since his loss to Faber in March of 2007, which makes his run all the more impressive.

    Cruz will coach opposite Faber on The Ultimate Fighter 15 on FX, which starts on March 9th.