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UFC Rankings: Power Ranking Every Fighter in Every Division

Sean SmithAnalyst IAugust 15, 2012

UFC Rankings: Power Ranking Every Fighter in Every Division

1 of 9

    Frankie Edgar remains the top lightweight in the world in the minds of some. However, after a split decision in the UFC 150 main event, the 155-pound title belt still hangs around Benson Henderson's waist.

    As a result of his back-to-back losses against Henderson, Edgar may be forced to move to the featherweight division in hopes of regaining a UFC title.

    Currently, Jose Aldo reigns over the featherweight division and is running short on serious threats. Aldo's next opponent, Erik Koch, is coming off of an unimpressive decision victory over Jonathan Brookins.

    Should Aldo dispose of Koch with ease, Edgar could be put on the fast-track toward what would be a blockbuster title fight against the Brazilian champion.

    As the lightweight and featherweight divisions prepare for a potential landscape change, here is a look at how the UFC's eight divisions stand from top to bottom. 

     

    Rankings Guidelines

    The following rankings are computerized based primarily on comparing similar competition among fighters.

    Fighters who have announced their retirement will be ineligible for ranking until they return to the Octagon.

    Suspended fighters and competitors who have been inactive for more than one calender year will be listed as "not ranked."

    Fighters will be ranked in the division in which they last competed unless they are scheduled for a bout in a new division, in which case the fighter will be listed as "not ranked" in their new division until their scheduled bout occurs.

Heavyweight

2 of 9

    The dust is finally beginning to settle in the heavyweight division after the retirement of former champion Brock Lesnar. Junior dos Santos has emerged as the new top dog and recently defended his heavyweight title against Frank Mir.

    After beating UFC newcomer Antonio Silva, former champion Cain Velasquez has quickly returned to the front of the line for a rematch with dos Santos, which was previously believed to be scheduled for UFC 152 in September.

    However, that bout is now set to take place in December.

    In other heavyweight news, Roy Nelson and Shane Carwin will serve as coaches for the next season of The Ultimate Fighter. When Carwin steps into the cage across from Nelson at the end of season, it will mark his first fight since losing to dos Santos in June 2011.

     

    Rankings

    Rank  Fighter
    1 Junior dos Santos
    2 Cain Velasquez
    3 Fabricio Werdum
    4 Frank Mir
    5 Antonio Rodrigo Nogueira
    6 Roy Nelson
    7 Mark Hunt
    8 Ben Rothwell
    9 Antonio Silva
    10 Stipe Miocic
    11 Travis Browne
    12 Cheick Kongo
    13 Stefan Struve
    14 Shane del Rosario
    15 Phil De Fries
    16 Shawn Jordan 
    17 Brendan Schaub
    18 Dave Herman
    19 Mike Russow
    20 Lavar Johnson
    21 Pat Barry
    22 Matt Mitrione
    23 Gabriel Gonzaga 
    24 Rob Broughton
    25 Christian Morecraft
    26 Oli Thompson
    27 Ednaldo Oliveira

     

    Ineligible Heavyweights

    • — Shane Carwin
    • — Geronimo dos Santos
    • — Alistair Overeem

     

    Recent Fights 

    Winner Loser Result
    Cheick Kongo Shawn Jordan Unanimous decision (30-28, 30-27, 30-27)
    Phil DeFries Oli Thompson Submission at 4:16 of Round 2

    After an uneventful win over former Strikeforce heavyweight Shawn Jordan, Cheick Kongo continues his string of underwhelming performances. The Frenchman has fallen out of the heavyweight division's Top 10 and, at 37 years old, we may never see him back at that level for the rest of his career. 

    With eight submission wins in 11 career fights, 26-year-old Phil DeFries appears to have the potential to become one of the top ground specialists in the heavyweight division. If the Alliance MMA product can bring his striking along more quickly, he could be a threat to enter the Top 10 in the coming years.

     

    Upcoming Fights

    None

Light Heavyweight

3 of 9

    It was originally announced by UFC president Dana White that the winner of the UFC on Fox 4 main event fight between Mauricio Rua and Brandon Vera would receive the next light heavyweight title shot against the winner of an upcoming championship bout between Jon Jones and Dan Henderson.

    However, a negative response from fans to that decision gave Lyoto Machida and Ryan Bader an equal opportunity to earn a title shot in the co-main event.

    With a second-round knockout of Bader, Machida made the most of the opportunity he was handed and became the next top contender in the light heavyweight division.

    Despite losing decisively against Jones in December, Machida could now find himself in a rematch with the champion by early 2013. 

     

    Rankings

    Rank Fighter
    1 Jon Jones
    2 Dan Henderson 
    3 Mauricio Rua
    4 Lyoto Machida
    5 Rashad Evans
    6 Phil Davis
    7 Ryan Bader
    8 Alexander Gustafsson
    9 Quinton Jackson
    10 Antonio Rogerio Nogueira
    11 Forrest Griffin
    12 Thiago Silva
    13 Brandon Vera
    14 Ryan Jimmo
    15 James Te-Huna
    16 Glover Texeira
    17 Anthony Perosh
    18 Stanislav Nedkov
    19 Cyrille Diabate
    20 Tom DeBlass
    21 Vladimir Matyushenko
    22 Stephan Bonnar
    23 Kyle Kingsbury
    24 Igor Pokrajac
    25 Fabio Maldonado
    26 Joey Beltran
    27 Krzysztof Soszynski
    28 Wagner Prado
    29 Nick Penner 


    Ineligible Light Heavyweights

    • — Chad Griggs
    • — Matt Hammill
    • — Roger Hollett
    • — Jorgen Kruth
    • — Vinny Magalhaes
    • — Jimi Manuwa
    • — Chael Sonnen

     

    Recent Fights

    Winner Loser Result
    Mauricio Rua Brandon Vera Knockout at 4:09 of Round 4
    Lyoto Machida Ryan Bader Knockout at 1:32 of Round 2
    Phil Davis Wagner Prado No contest
    Ryan Jimmo Anthony Perosh Knockout at 0:07 of Round 1

    Although his fourth-round knockout of Vera wasn't enough to earn a title shot, Rua has already been booked for a big fight with Alexander Gustafsson.

    It would appear the winner of the matchup between Rua and Gustafsson would fall next in line behind Machida for a light heavyweight title shot.

    Meanwhile, despite his loss to Rua, Vera vastly improved his standing in the light heavyweight division. Not long ago, Vera was temporarily released from the UFC, but he should now expect another big fight in his next trip to the Octagon.

    A meeting with fellow UFC on Fox 4 loser Ryan Bader could give Vera a chance to prove his showing against "Shogun" was no fluke.

    Tying the record for fastest UFC knockout ever in his debut with the organization, Ryan Jimmo becomes a very intriguing addition to the 205-pound division. The Canadian is undefeated in 17 straight fights and could have a chance to break into the Top 10 in his next outing.

     

    Upcoming Fights

    Rank Fighter   Rank Fighter
    No. 1  Jon Jones  vs. No. 2 Dan Henderson

    While there is only one light heavyweight bout scheduled for the next month, it is an important one. At UFC 151, Jon Jones will attempt to tie Chuck Liddell and Frank Shamrock for the second-most consecutive light heavyweight title defenses in UFC history.

    Looking to cement his place in the history books with his first UFC title, former Pride and Strikeforce champion Dan Henderson should prove a worthy adversary.

    Henderson earned his shot at Jones with a win over Rua in a back-and-forth battle for the ages. 

Middleweight

4 of 9

    In the past month, two MMA stars debuted in the UFC's middleweight division. Former Bellator middleweight champion Hector Lombard came up short in a disappointing performance against the rising Tim Boetsch, while Jake Shields picked up a win over Ed Herman in his return to 185-pound class.

    With new additions entering the middleweight title picture and Anderson Silva apparently set on waiting for the outcome of Georges St-Pierre's upcoming fight with Carlos Condit, the 185-pound division has suddenly become muddled. 

     

    Rankings

    Rank Fighter
    1 Anderson Silva
    2 Chris Weidman
    3 Vitor Belfort
    4 Michael Bisping
    5 Tim Boetsch
    6 Hector Lombard
    7 Yushin Okami
    8 Mark Munoz
    9 Brian Stann
    10 Jake Shields
    11 Alan Belcher
    12 Rich Franklin
    13 Wanderlei Silva
    14 Rousimar Palhares
    15 Cung Le 
    16 Ed Herman 
    17 Andrew Craig
    18 Francis Carmont
    19 Rafael Natal
    20 Chris Camozzi
    21 Nick Catone
    22 Costa Philippou
    23 Michael Kuiper
    24 Nick Ring
    25 Court McGee
    26 Riki Fukuda
    27 Jared Hamman
    28 Ronny Markes
    29 CB Dollaway
    30 Tom Lawlor
    31 Brad Tavares
    32 Alessio Sakara
    33 Patrick Cote
    34 Buddy Roberts
    35 Clifford Starks
    36 Jason MacDonald
    37 Cezar Ferreira
    38 Thiago Perpetuo
    39 Francisco Trinaldo
    40 Karlos Vemola 
    41 Magnus Cedenblad
    42 Caio Magalhaes
    43 Sergio Moraes


    Ineligible Middleweights

    • — Luiz Cane
    • — Tim Credeur
    • — Renee Forte
    • — Chris Leben
    • — Daniel Sarafian
    • — Tom Watson

     

    Recent Fights

    Winner Loser Result
    Tim Boetsch Hector Lombard Split decision (29-28, 28-29, 29-28)
    Yushin Okami Buddy Roberts Technical Knockout at 3:05 of Round 2
    Jake Shields Ed Herman Unanimous decision (30-27, 30-27, 30-27)
    Michael Kuiper Jared Hamman Technical Knockout at 2:16 of Round 2
    Nick Ring Court McGee Unanimous decision (29-28, 29-28, 29-28)

    It wasn't pretty, but Boetsch did enough to spoil Lombard's UFC debut and move one step closer to a middleweight title shot. However, a foot injury suffered during the UFC 149 bout could delay Boetsch's return to the Octagon.

    Veterans Shields and Yushin Okami picked up important wins in their respective fights against Herman and Buddy Roberts at UFC 150.

    Now, a bout between the two grapplers could make sense to determine which fighter is ready for a return to title contention.

     

    Upcoming Fights

    None

Welterweight

5 of 9

    While the welterweight division not-so-patiently awaits the return of Georges St-Pierre from his long absence due to knee injury, a number of 170-pound fighters are getting set to return from long absences.

    After battling injuries of his own for two and a half years, Mike Swick returned with a victory over DaMarques Johnson at UFC on Fox 4.

    Meanwhile, a Josh Koscheck injury opened the door for recent Bellator title contender Jay Hieron to return to the Octagon against Jake Ellenberger at UFC 151.

    Most notably, though, Nick Diaz and B.J. Penn announced they will be returning from brief retirements. Penn is already booked for a fight with Rory MacDonald, while Diaz awaits his suspension for a failed drug test to expire.

     

    Rankings

    Rank Fighter
    1 Carlos Condit
    2 Martin Kampmann
    3 Johny Hendricks
    4 Josh Koscheck
    5 Jon Fitch
    6 Mike Pierce
    7 Jake Ellenberger
    8 Thiago Alves
    9 Rory MacDonald
    10 Erick Silva
    11 Siyar Bahadurzada 
    12 Diego Sanchez
    13 Mike Pyle
    14 John Hathaway
    15 James Head 
    16 Brian Ebersole
    17 Claude Patrick
    18 Charlie Brenneman
    19 Rick Story
    20 Paulo Thiago
    21 Matt Hughes
    22 TJ Waldburger
    23 Demian Maia
    24 Dan Hardy
    25 Josh Neer
    26 Dong Hyun Kim
    27 Duane Ludwig
    28 Seth Baczynski
    29 Lance Benoist
    30 Sean Pierson
    31 Che Mills
    32 Matt Brown
    33 Mike Swick
    34 John Maguire
    35 Justin Edwards
    36 Amir Sadollah
    37 Matt Riddle
    38 Rich Attonito
    39 Chris Clements
    40 Keith Wisniewski
    41 DaMarques Johnson
    42 Stephen Thompson
    43 Simeon Thoreson
    44 Yoshihiro Akiyama
    45 Dan Miller
    46 Aaron Simpson
    47 Pascal Krauss
    48 Marcelo Guimaraes
    49 Kenny Robertson
    50 Brock Jardine
    51 David Mitchell
    52 Besam Yousef
    53 Mike Stumpf
    54 Papy Abedi

     

    Ineligible Welterweights

    • — Nick Diaz
    • — Jay Hieron
    • — Kyle Noke
    • — B.J. Penn
    • — Mark Scanlon
    • — Matt Serra
    • — Georges St Pierre

     

    Recent Fights

    Winner Loser Result
    James Head Brian Ebersole Split decision (29-28, 28-29, 29-28)
    Mike Swick DaMarques Johnson Knockout at 1:20 of Round 2
    Matt Riddle Chris Clements Submission at 1:25 of Round 3

    A two and a half year absence did not hinder Mike Swick in his Octagon return against DaMarques Johnson, who had a strong first round before suffering a knockout loss to Swick in the second round of their UFC on Fox 4 bout.

    The 33-year-old Swick can now only hope to remain healthy as he attempts to return to relevancy in the 170-pound division.

    While Swick's return to the welterweight picture, Brian Ebersole appears to be on his way out after a loss to James Head.

    Despite winning his first four UFC fights, Ebersole was contemplating a move to lightweight prior to his meeting with Head, so his recent loss should solidify his decision to drop to 155 pounds. 

     

    Upcoming Fights

    Rank Fighter   Rank Fighter
    No. 7  Jake Ellenberger vs. N/A  Jay Hieron
    No. 18  Charlie Brenneman vs. N/A Kyle Noke

    Following a loss to Martin Kampmann, Ellenberger will attempt to return to the win column against Hieron, who has won 11 of his past 12 fights and nearly dethroned Bellator champion Ben Askren in October.

    Hieron took the fight with Ellenberger as a late replacement for the injured Koscheck, and will be stepping into the Octagon for the first time since October 2005.

    Back to back losses have chased Kyle Noke from the middleweight division. The Australian will be welcomed to the 170-pound division by Charlie Brenneman, who has also hit a rough patch as a loser of two out of his past three bouts. 

Lightweight

6 of 9

    With two straight wins over Frankie Edgar, narrow as both victories were, lightweight champion Benson Henderson may have eliminated the former titleholder as a threat to his belt.

    As a result, Henderson's goal of becoming one of the most dominant champions in UFC history is now much more realistic.

    In his next title defense, Henderson will be forced to face off against Nate Diaz, who earned his spot in a championship fight with a three-fight winning streak since his return to the lightweight division.

    Behind Diaz is a long list of deserving challengers, but few of them pose the same threats to Henderson's crown that Edgar did.

     

    Rankings

    Rank Fighter
    1 Benson Henderson
    2 Frankie Edgar 
    3 Gray Maynard
    4 Nate Diaz
    5 Clay Guida
    6 Donald Cerrone
    7 Anthony Pettis
    8 Jim Miller
    9 Jeremy Stephens 
    10 Mark Bocek
    11 Khabib Nurmagomedov
    12 Gleison Tibau
    13 Rafael dos Anjos 
    14 Joe Lauzon 
    15 Paul Sass
    16 Jamie Varner
    17 Melvin Guillard
    18 TJ Grant
    19 Michael Johnson
    20 Jacob Volkmann
    21 Takanori Gomi
    22 Evan Dunham
    23 Edson Barboza
    24 Fabricio Camoes
    25 Tony Ferguson
    26 Shane Roller
    27 Thiago Tavares
    28 Sam Stout
    29 Spencer Fisher
    30 Matt Wiman
    31 Dennis Hallman
    32 Danny Castillo
    33 Anthony Njokuani
    34 Yves Edwards
    35 Tim Means
    36 Terry Etim
    37 Mac Danzig
    38 John Cholish
    39 John Makdessi 
    40 Ramsey Nijem
    41 Aaron Riley 
    42 Reza Madadi 
    43 Rafaello Oliveira
    44 Justin Salas
    45 Mike Chiesa
    46 Al Iaquinta
    47 Myles Jury 
    48 Joe Proctor
    49 Daron Cruickshank
    50 Henry Martinez
    51 Anton Kuivanen
    52 Mitch Clarke
    53 Carlo Prater
    54 John Cofer
    55 Cristiano Marcello
    56 CJ Keith
    57 Marcus LeVesseur
    58 Jeremy Larsen

     

    Ineligible Lightweights

    • — T.J. O'Brien
    • — Ross Pearson
    • — Sean Sherk
    • — George Sotiropoulos
    • — Paul Taylor
    • — Abel Trujillo
    • — James Vick 

     

    Recent Fights

    Winner Loser Result
    Benson Henderson Frankie Edgar Split decision (46-49, 48-47, 48-47)
    Donald Cerrone Melvin Guillard Knockout at 1:16 of Round 1
    Joe Lauzon Jamie Varner Submission at 2:42 of Round 3
    Anton Kuivanen Mitch Clarke Split decision (29-28, 28-29, 29-28)

    Following his second straight loss to Henderson, former 155-pound champion Frankie Edgar may decide to make a move to the featherweight division in hopes of a faster path to another title shot.

    However, the drop in weight may cost Edgar the advantage in quickness that led him to great heights in the lightweight division.

    Donald Cerrone and Joe Lauzon aren't going anywhere after picking up come-from-behind wins in their most recent appearances. The lightweight contenders have hit some speed bumps recently, but they continue to creep closer to a lightweight title shot.

    In fact, UFC president Dana White announced that Cerrone would meet Anthony Pettis in a title shot eliminator later this year.  

     

    Upcoming Fights

    Rank Fighter   Rank Fighter
    No. 19 Michael Johnson vs. No. 32 Danny Castillo
    No. 20 Jacob Volkmann vs. No. 26 Shane Roller
    No. 27 Thiago Tavares vs. No. 31 Dennis Hallman
    No. 35 Tim Means vs. N/A Abel Trujillo
    No. 49 Daron Cruickshank
    vs. No. 50 Henry Martinez

    After a series of huge lightweight bouts, the division will remain busy despite there being only one UFC event in the next month. None of the lightweight matchups at UFC 151 feature big names, but they could produce a number of future contenders.

    Jacob Volkmann recently had a five-fight winning streak ended by Paul Sass, but he will have a good opportunity to bounce back against fellow wrestler Shane Roller.

    Michael Johnson, who just so happened to start his current win streak with a win over Roller after being submitted by Sass, will also be looking to take a small step toward the Top 10 in a fight against the underrated Danny Castillo.

Featherweight

7 of 9

    A move to the featherweight division has turned Dennis Siver into a serious contender, as he picked up a win over Diego Nunes in his first fight at 145 pounds.

    At UFC 151, Siver will attempt to take another step closer to a title shot against Eddie Yagin, who picked up a stunning upset win against Mark Hominick in his most recent fight.

    If Siver can become a title threat at featherweight, then Frankie Edgar could most certainly benefit from a move to the 145-pound division. Edgar remains one of the best lightweights in the world, with many believing he deserves to be champion right now, but his quickest chance at earning another UFC title could come at featherweight.

     

    Rankings

    Rank Fighter
    1 Jose Aldo
    2 Chad Mendes
    3 Chan Sung Jung
    4 Ricardo Lamas
    5 Hatsu Hioki
    6 Bart Palaszewski
    7 Dennis Siver
    8 Charles Oliveira
    9 Erik Koch
    10 Hacran Dias
    11 Diego Nunes
    12 Rani Yahya
    13 Jonathan Brookins
    14 Yuri Alcantara
    15 Manny Gamburyan
    16 Darren Elkins
    17 Michihiro Omigawa
    18 Diego Brandao
    19 Tiequan Zhang
    20 Dustin Poirier
    21 Felipe Arantes
    22 Milton Vieira
    23 Antonio Carvalho
    24 Mike Brown
    25 Jimy Hettes
    26 Steven Siler
    27 Cub Swanson
    28 Jason Young
    29 Matt Grice
    30 Nam Phan
    31 Cole Miller
    32 Daniel Pineda
    33 Eddie Yagin
    34 Mark Hominick
    35 Leonard Garcia
    36 George Roop
    37 Dennis Bermudez
    38 Josh Grispi
    39 Pablo Garza
    40 Nik Lentz 
    41 Max Holloway
    42 Robert Peralta
    43 Rony Jason
    44 Marcus Brimage
    45 Maximo Blanco
    46 Rodrigo Damm
    47 Marcos Vinicius
    48 Cody McKenzie
    49 Justin Lawrence
    50 Josh Clopton
    51 Stephan Bass
    52 Godofredo Pepey
    53 Dustin Neace
    54 Eiji Mitsuoka
    55 Joey Gambino
    56 Tommy Hayden

     

    Ineligible Featherweights

    • — Akira Corassani
    • — Andy Ogle
    • — Sam Sicilia
    • — Javier Vazquez

     

    Recent Fights

    Winner Loser Result
    Rani Yahya Josh Grispi Submission at 3:15 of Round 1
    Manvel Gamburyan Michihiro Omigawa Unanimous decision (29-28, 29-28, 30-27)
    Nik Lentz Eiji Mitsuoka Technical knockout at 3:45 of Round 1
    Nam Phan Cole Miller Split decision (29-28, 28-29, 29-28)
    Dennis Bermudez Tommy Hayden Submission at 4:43 of Round 1
    Antonio Carvalho Daniel Pineda Knockout at 1:11 of Round 1
    Max Holloway Justin Lawrence Technical knockout at 4:49 of Round 2

    Once considered a future title contender, Josh Grispi recently continued his collapse, suffering a third straight loss due to a Rani Yahya north-south choke. While the 23-year-old still has plenty of time to improve and return to contending for a title, there's a good chance he will be released from the UFC shortly.

    Previously a middle-of-the-pack lightweight, Nik Lentz became an intriguing entrant to the featherweight division with a first-round knockout of Eiji Mitsuoka. Lentz has a long way to climb before he becomes a serious title threat, but he has the tools to make waves at 145 pounds.

    In a stand-up battle between two of the most promising young fighters in the featherweight division, Max Holloway dropped Justin Lawrence with a body shot before finishing the former TUF participant in the second round.

    Holloway still has to erase a lopsided showing against Dustin Poirier from people's minds before he can become an elite featherweight, but the 20-year-old appears to be a future star.

     

    Upcoming Fights

    Rank Fighter   Rank Fighter
    No. 7 Dennis Siver vs. No. 33 Eddie Yagin

    A win over Diego Nunes has already turned former lightweight Dennis Siver into a contender in the 145-pound division. Nonetheless, the German kickboxer has seemingly received a step back in competition against Eddie Yagin.

    Yagin is coming off of a surprising upset over Mark Hominick. However, most saw that fight as a signal of Hominick's drop-off rather than a showing of massive improvement from Yagin.

    At UFC 151, Yagin will have a chance to shock the world a second time against Siver.

Bantamweight

8 of 9

    Renan Barao earned the UFC's interim bantamweight title with his recent victory over Urijah Faber, but there's a chance he's already surpassed Dominick Cruz as the best 135-pound fighter in the world.

    Cruz, who is currently recovering from a knee injury, also defeated Faber in a recent appearance, but it could be argued his performance wasn't nearly as convincing as Barao's.

    It has not been determined whether or not Barao will defend his interim belt or wait for a title merger with Cruz, but it seems inevitable that the two will meet eventually to determine the top bantamweight fighter in the world.

     

    Rankings

    Rank Fighter
    1 Dominick Cruz
    2 Renan Barao
    3 Urijah Faber
    4 Eddie Wineland
    5 Brian Bowles
    6 Michael McDonald
    7 Scott Jorgensen
    8 Brad Pickett
    9 Miguel Torres
    10 T.J. Dillashaw
    11 Edwin Figueroa
    12 Alex Caceres
    13 Vaughan Lee
    14 Takeya Mizugaki
    15 Mike Easton
    16 Ivan Menjivar
    17 Erik Perez
    18 Norifumi Yamamoto
    19 John Albert
    20 Chico Camus
    21 Ken Stone
    22 Dustin Pague
    23 Francisco Rivera
    24 Jared Papazian
    25 Roland Delorme
    26 Yves Jabouin
    27 Raphael Assuncao
    28 Walel Watson
    29 Nick Denis
    30 Jeff Hougland
    31 Johnny Eduardo
    32 Johnny Bedford
    33 Bryan Caraway
    34 Issei Tamura
    35 Byron Bloodworth
    36 Mitch Gagnon

     

    Ineligible Bantamweights

    • — Rueben Duran
    • — Azamat Gashimov
    • — Hugo Viana

     

    Recent Fights

    Winner Loser Result
    Renan Barao Urijah Faber Unanimous decision (49-46, 50-45, 49-46)
    Francisco Rivera Roland Delorme Knockout at 4:19 of Round 1
    Erik Perez Ken Stone Technical knockout at 0:17 of Round 1
    Chico Camus Dustin Pague Unanimous decision (29-28, 30-27, 29-28)
    Bryan Caraway Mitch Gagnon Submission at 1:39 of Round 3

    It may be safe to assume from the UFC's silence on the subject that interim bantamweight champion Renan Barao will wait for fellow titleholder Dominick Cruz to return from injury.

    If that is the case, the next few months will provide a great chance for rising 135-pound fighters to make a quick move to the front of the line for a title shot against the winner of a Cruz-Barao blockbuster fight.

    With two first-round stoppages already recorded during his short UFC career, Erik Perez may be the bantamweight who is making the biggest move at the moment. The Jackson's MMA product can expect a big step up in competition for his next fight, meaning he could throw his name into the hat with Michael McDonald, Mike Easton and others who appear to be leading the charge for a chance to claim UFC gold.

     

    Upcoming Fights

    Rank Fighter   Rank Fighter
    No. 14 Takeya Mizugaki vs. No. 30 Jeff Hougland

    A controversial loss to Chris Cariaso has led to a step back in competition for Takeya Mizugaki, who will take on Jeff Hougland at UFC 151.  

    Hougland recently saw a nine-fight winning streak come to an end when he received his first significant UFC test against Yves Jabouin.

Flyweights

9 of 9

    At UFC on Fox 4, highly-ranked flyweight Ulysses Gomez made his UFC debut against John Moraga. Many expected Gomez to make a strong statement in his first Octagon appearance, but it was Moraga who took advantage of his first fight on MMA's biggest stage.

    Moraga stopped Gomez in the first round, separating himself as one of the leading candidates to meet the winner of the UFC's inaugural flyweight title fight between Joseph Benavidez and Demetrious Johnson.

     

    Rankings

    Rank Fighter
    1 Joseph Benavidez
    2 Demetrious Johnson
    3 Ian McCall
    4 Yasuhiro Urushitani
    5 John Dodson
    6 John Moraga
    7 Louis Gaudinot
    8 Chris Cariaso
    9 Tim Elliott
    10 Josh Ferguson
    11 John Lineker
    12 Ulysses Gomez 

     

    Ineligible Flyweights

    • — Jussier da Silva
    • — Darren Uyenoyama

     

    Recent Fights

    Winner Loser Result
    John Moraga Ulysses Gomez Knockout at 3:46 of Round 1

    Though Ulysses Gomez was the more highly-touted fighter coming into the fight between two UFC debutantes, John Moraga was the one who took advantage of a chance to compete in front of the biggest audience of his career.  

    Moraga took less than four minutes to put Gomez away, which already places him inside the Top 10 of the UFC's rapidly developing flyweight division. 

     

    Upcoming Fights

    Rank Fighter   Rank Fighter
    No. 4 Yasuhiro Urushitani vs. No. 11 John Lineker

    Despite his knockout loss against Joseph Benavidez, Yasuhiro Urushitani remains one of the UFC's best flyweights and he will attempt to prove that against John Lineker at UFC 151.

    Lineker also came up short in his UFC debut, as he was submitted by Louis Gaudinot in the second round of a back-and-forth contest.

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