B/R Official Rankings for May: The Top 10 Flyweights in MMA

Nick CaronAnalyst IMay 7, 2012

B/R Official Rankings for May: The Top 10 Flyweights in MMA

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    If UFC on FOX 3 showed us anything, it's that the newly-created flyweight division might be the home of the most entertaining fighters in the sport today. 

    After Louis Gaudinot and John Lineker got things warmed up early with a back-and-forth slug-fest, John Dodson and Tim Elliott took to the cage and blew the roof off of the IZOD Center in East Rutherford, New Jersey, during in the preliminary bouts on Fuel TV. 

    As great as the UFC flyweights already look, the division as a whole might be the most interesting in the sport for those who watch MMA promotions outside the UFC. 

    Given that the division has only been around for a few months now, the biggest MMA promotion in the world hasn't quite reached the level of top-level talent consolidation in the flyweight division that they have in most of the other divisions. 

    Let's take a look at where each of the top 10 flyweights in MMA currently compete.

10. Louis Gaudinot

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    Promotion: UFC

    Record: 6-2

    Most recent fight: Submitted John Lineker at UFC on FOX 3 

    Next fight: TBA

    Previous ranking: N/R


    May's rankings get started with a newcomer to our top 10 in Louis Gaudinot. 

    Gaudinot made his UFC debut at Saturday night's UFC on FOX 3 event, earning an impressive second-round submission over John Lineker. 

    The bout earned both competitors a "Fight of the Night" bonus check and moved him up the food chain in what could be the most exciting division in 2012.

9. Ulysses Gomez

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    Promotion: Tachi Palace Fights

    Record: 9-2

    Most recent fight: Submission win over Cody Gibson at Tachi Palace Fights 11

    Next fight: TBA

    Previous ranking: No. 9


    One of the most technically skilled fighters/grapplers in the flyweight division, Ulysses Gomez is also one of the few fighters in the sport who can compete at a high level in more than one division.

    The California native is a former TPF flyweight champion and the current TPF bantamweight champion. He has also competed successfully in the Bellator bantamweight tournament, earning a victory in the quarterfinals in 2010 before he was forced out of the tournament with a staph infection. 

8. Mamoru Yamaguchi

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    Promotion: Tachi Palace Fights

    Record: 26-6-3

    Most recent fight: Unanimous decision loss to Jussier da Silva at Tachi Palace Fights 10

    Next fight: N/A

    Previous ranking: No. 6


    Former Shooto 123-pound and 132-pound champion Mamoru Yamaguchi is one of the most experienced lighter-weight fighters in all of MMA. "The illest afro in Asia" made his MMA debut all the way back in 1999 and has been thrilling fans ever since.

    Yamaguchi made his debut in the Tachi Palace Fights in 2011 and helps round out what might be the best flyweight division the sport has to offer outside the UFC.

7. John Dodson

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    Promotion: UFC

    Record: 13-5

    Most recent fight: Unanimous decision win over Tim Elliott at UFC on FOX 3

    Next fight: N/A

    Previous ranking: N/R


    Given the self-imposed rules that we place on our rankings which state that a fighter must have competed recently in the division he is ranked, John Dodson had not yet made the B/R rankings before his most recent victory this past Saturday night.

    "The Magician" is easily one of the most entertaining fighters in the division, perhaps even the entire sport, and brings a unique blend of wrestling skills and innovative striking. 

    His razor-thin victory over a surprisingly impressive Tim Elliott makes Dodson an easy top-10 flyweight. Another victory could put him in the top five and inch him close to a title shot in the UFC once the tournament is over.

6. Darrell Montague

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    Promotion: Tachi Palace Fights / Gladiator Challenge

    Record: 9-2

    Most recent fight: Submission win over Kenny McClairn at Gladiator Challenge - Star Wars

    Next fight: TBA

    Previous ranking: No. 7


    After suffering a submission loss to the UFC's Ian McCall at TFC 10 in August 2011, Darrell Montague got back in the win column with a submission win of his own over Kenny McClairn in late-April. 

    Montague owns a victory over fellow top-10 flyweight Ulysses Gomez and could find himself getting an offer from the UFC sometime soon if he continues to impress.  

5. Yasuhiro Urushitani

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    Promotion: UFC

    Record: 19-5-6

    Most recent fight: TKO loss to Joseph Benavidez at UFC on FX 2

    Next fight: TBA

    Previous ranking: No. 5


    The rankings were kind to Yasuhiro Urushitani this month, as he did not fall despite other fighters below him getting some impressive wins. 

    Urushitani's most recent fight took place at UFC on FX 2 when he was completely torn apart by the current favorite to win the UFC flyweight tournament, Joseph Benavidez. 

    Perhaps he was just the victim of a tough fight against one of the best in the world and will likely fare better in his next fight. After all, he hadn't tasted defeat since 2008 before his loss to Benavidez in March. 

4. Jussier Da Silva

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    Promotion: Tachi Palace Fights, Shooto

    Record: 12-1

    Most recent fight: Submission victory over Martin Cora at Coliseu Extreme Fight

    Next fight: N/A

    Previous ranking: No. 4


    The top-ranked non-UFC fighter on this list is the TPF's Jussier da Silva, whose 13-1 record is stacked with big victories all over the world. 

    Perhaps his most impressive win came over No. 8-ranked flyweight Mamoru Yamaguchi back in August 2011, when he defeated the Japanese fighter by unanimous decision at TPF 10. He has since won three fights, all by submission, and should be on the UFC's radar in 2012. 

3. Demetrious Johnson

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    Promotion: UFC

    Record: 10-2-1

    Most recent fight: Majority draw against Ian McCall at UFC on FX 2

    Next fight: Ian McCall at UFC on FX 3

    Previous ranking: No. 3


    Former bantamweight No. 1 contender Demetrious Johnson has finally found a home in the UFC's flyweight division, as the 5'3" fighter was simply too small to compete against the lengthy Dominick Cruz at 135.

    He thought he had earned a victory over the then-top-ranked flyweight in the world, Ian McCall, at UFC on FX 2, but later found out that the decision was botched in the ring and that the bout was actually scored a majority draw by the judges.  

    The two 125-pounders will look to settle their unfinished business at UFC on FX 3 in June, when they will be the first flyweights to ever main-event a UFC fight card. 

2. Ian McCall

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    Promotion: UFC

    Record: 11-2-1

    Most recent fight: Majority draw against Demetrious Johnson at UFC on FX 2

    Next fight: Demetrious Johnson at UFC on FX 3

    Previous ranking: No. 2 


    After having his heart broken by the judges in the cage when they read off that he had lost to Demetrious Johnson in his UFC debut, McCall had to be jumping for joy when he later learned that they had made a mistake and that the fight was actually ruled a draw.

    The Internet MMA community has rallied behind "Uncle Creepy," who will now get a chance to prove why he deserved the decision in the first place when he rematches Johnson in June at UFC on FX 3.

    The winner of the bout will move on to fight Joseph Benavidez for the vacant UFC flyweight championship.

1. Joseph Benavidez

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    Promotion: UFC

    Record: 16-2

    Most recent fight: TKO victory over Yasuhiro Urushitani at UFC on FX 2

    Next fight: Winner of Ian McCall vs. Demetrious Johnson II at TBA

    Previous ranking: No. 1


    After easily disposing of fellow top five-ranked flyweight Yasuhiro Urushitani in his debut in the division, Joseph Benavidez leapfrogged the competition, jumping into the No. 1 ranked spot in the world at 125.

    Benavidez brings an absolutely punishing set of skills to the division, as the former WEC bantamweight No. 1 contender nearly defeated a much larger Dominick Cruz back at WEC 50. Now we have seen what he can do against smaller competition, and he has become the odds-on favorite to become the very first UFC flyweight champion.

    Benavidez now sits quietly waiting for the winner of Demetrious Johnson and Ian McCall's rematch, praying that no injuries push back what will be a highly anticipated title bout to crown the king of the 125-pound division.

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