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

Matt JuulContributor IIIJune 24, 2016

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

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    The bantamweight division saw a changing of the guard this past month when the UFC crowned its interim 135 lbs champ at UFC 149.

    Brazilian powerhouse Renan Barao soundly beat down perennial contender Urijah Faber to win the interim title.  Barao will also get the next shot at the current UFC champ Dominick Cruz when he is through rehabbing his torn ACL.

    Outside of the world's largest mixed martial arts promotion, top-ranked 135ers Bibiano Fernandes and Bellator champ Eduardo Dantas both have fights set for the end of the month and can make a splash in the division with impressive victories.

    As things continue to heat up in August, let's take a look at the top 10 bantamweights in MMA today.

    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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    Promotion: ONE FC

    Record: 11-3

    Most Recent Fight: Defeated Antonio Banuelos at Fight for Japan

    Next Fight: Gustavo Falciroli at ONE FC: Pride of a Nation

    Previous Ranking: 10

    Former Dream champ Bibiano Fernandes was rumored to be making his UFC debut at last month's UFC 149 but instead opted to sign with ONE FC.

    Fernandes will now put his three-fight win streak on the line against Gustao Falciroli at ONE FC: Pride of a Nation on August 31.

    While a win may not give him a huge boost in the rankings, it will solidify his status as a top 10 bantamweight.

9. Brad Pickett

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    Promotion: UFC

    Record: 21-6

    Most Recent Fight: Defeated Damacio Page at UFC on Fuel TV 2

    Next Fight: Yves Jabouin at UFC on Fuel TV 5

    Previous Ranking: 8

    Brad Pickett rebounded from his loss to Renan Barao at UFC 138 in a big way when he submitted Damacio Page at UFC on Fuel TV 2.

    The Fight of the Night winning performance improved Pickett's bantamweight record to 4-2—his only losses coming at the hands of Barao and Scott Jorgensen.

    Now set to take on Yves Jabouin at UFC on Fuel TV 5, Pickett can make a nice jump in the rankings with an impressive win.

8. Scott Jorgensen

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    Promotion: UFC

    Record: 13-6

    Most Recent Fight: Lost to Eddie Wineland at UFC on FX 3

    Next Fight: N/A

    Previous Ranking: 7

    The former WEC-title challenger has hit a bit of a rough patch in his career, recently suffering his second-straight loss at the hands of Eddie Wineland.  Scott Jorgensen ended up on the wrong side of their Fight of the Night winning bout, brutally getting knocked out by Wineland in the second.

    Prior to the loss, Jorgensen was out-classed by the now current UFC interim bantamweight champ Renan Barao at UFC 143.

    While Jorgensen remains a force at 135, a third-straight loss might earn the one-time WEC title challenger a pink slip from UFC President Dana White.

7. Eduardo Dantas

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    Promotion: Bellator

    Record: 14-2

    Most Recent Fight: Defeated Zach Makovsky at Bellator 65

    Next Fight: Tyson Nam at Shooto: Brazil 33

    Previous Ranking: 9

    The current Bellator bantamweight champ has blown through the competition thus far and is poised to be one of the division's most promising young stars.

    Eduardo Dantas is currently riding a seven-fight win streak, with his latest victory dethroning the now former champ Zach Makovsky via arm-triangle choke in the second round of their Bellator 65 bout.

    The Nova Uniao product will be returning to his native Brazil later this month to take on Tyson Nam at Shooto: Brazil 33.

6. Eddie Wineland

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    Promotion: UFC

    Record: 19-8

    Most Recent Fight: Defeated Scott Jorgensen at UFC on FX 3

    Next Fight: N/A

    Previous Ranking: 6

    Eddie Wineland bounced back from back-to-back losses to Urijah Faber and Joseph Benavidez when he knocked out Scott Jorgensen last June.

    The much-needed win was his first while fighting the UFC and was also Wineland's 10th career KO.

    The 28-year-old former WEC champ is a heavy-handed striker that has all the tools to make another run at a world title with a few more big finishes.

5. Brian Bowles

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    Promotion: UFC

    Record: 10-2

    Most Recent Fight: Loss to Urijah Faber at UFC 139

    Next Fight: N/A

    Previous Ranking: 5

    Former WEC title holder Brian Bowles lost out on his shot at the UFC crown when Urijah Faber submitted him at their UFC 139 title eliminator bout.

    Despite the loss, Bowles retains his top five status due to his nearly spotless record—his only blemishes coming at the hands of Faber and current champ Dominick Cruz.

    Bowles has yet to fight in 2012, but hopefully he will make his return to the Octagon before the end of the year.

4. Michael McDonald

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    Promotion: UFC

    Record: 15-1

    Most Recent Fight: Defeated Miguel Torres at UFC 145

    Next Fight: N/A

    Previous Ranking: 4

    One of the most promising prospects in the sport today, 21-year-old Michael MacDonald has torn up the competition since coming to the UFC.

    MacDonald recently scored his second-straight knockout win when he defeated former WEC champ Miguel Torres at UFC 145.

    A well-rounded threat that hasn't even hit his prime yet, MacDonald is definitely championship material and is likely just a win away from title contention.

3. Urijah Faber

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    Promotion: UFC

    Record: 26-6

    Most Recent Fight: Loss to Renan Barao at UFC 149

    Next Fight: N/A

    Previous Ranking: 2

    Urijah Faber once again came up short in his quest for a UFC title when he lost to Renan Barao at UFC 149.

    Faber was just out-classed by Barao and came up short, losing a lopsided decision for the interim title.  The former WEC champ is now near the bottom of the bantamweight contenders' ladder.

    "The California Kid" will now need to scratch his way back to the top if he ever wants another shot at his rival Dominick Cruz.

2. Renan Barao

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    Promotion: UFC

    Record: 29-1 (1)

    Most Recent Defeated Urijah Faber at UFC 149

    Next Fight: N/A

    Previous Ranking: 3

    Renan Barao continued his impressive winning streak when he took at Faber last month to win the interim UFC bantamweight title.

    The Brazilian proved that he is a legitimate powerhouse at 135 and will be a huge test for current champ Dominick Cruz when he returns from injury.

    If Barao can defeat Cruz and unify the title, he may become the most dangerous champion in the sport today.

1. Dominick Cruz

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    Promotion: UFC

    Record: 19-1

    Most Recent Fight: Defeated Demetrious Johnson at UFC on Versus 6

    Next Fight: N/A

    Previous Ranking: 1

    Current UFC Bantamweight champion Dominick Cruz has taken out every challenger put in his way thus far but will unfortunately be out of action for the duration of 2012 due to a torn ACL.

    Tentatively scheduled to comeback in the early part of next year, Cruz will have a huge challenge in the form of Renan Barao when the champ makes his return to the Octagon.

    Cruz better make sure he shakes off the ring rust because Barao will be coming for him.

     

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