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B/R Official Rankings for October: Top 10 Featherweights in MMA

Sean SmithAnalyst IOctober 2, 2012

B/R Official Rankings for October: Top 10 Featherweights in MMA

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    Were it not for a Jose Aldo injury, MMA fans would be preparing themselves for the biggest fight in featherweight history right about now. The 145-pound champion was scheduled to meet former lightweight titleholder Frankie Edgar at UFC 153, but that bout has now been postponed until a date to be determined.

    In the meantime, a number of contenders are beginning to stand out in a division that was recently considered short on them. Chan Sung Jung, Ricardo Lamas, and Cub Swanson are currently looking better than they have their entire careers and could be fighting for the UFC belt before long.

    Let's take a look a just how close those rising contenders are to the top in this month's official Bleacher Report featherweight rankings.

Disclaimer

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    These rankings are the combined efforts of some of Bleacher Report MMA's best writers, as we continue to try to provide you with the best content on the web. For the latest MMA news and freshest MMA opinions, follow them on Twitter:

    Matt Juul

    Sean Smith

    Tim McTiernan

    Vince Carey

    Scott Harris

    Joe Chacon

    Hunter Homistek

    Riley Kontek

    Andrew Saunders

10. Dennis Siver

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    Promotion: UFC 

    Record: 20-8  

    Most Recent Fight: Won against Diego Nunes at UFC on Fuel TV 2

    Next Fight: Eddie Yagin at UFC on Fox 5

    Previous Ranking: 10

     

    Following a big win over Diego Nunes in his featherweight debut, Dennis Siver was set to continue on his path toward becoming one of the top contenders in the 145-pound division at UFC 151. However, the event's cancellation forced Siver's scheduled bout against Eddie Yagin to be postponed until December.

    With an impressive win over Yagin, Siver would be more than deserving of a fight with one of the elite UFC featherweights. Chased from the lightweight division by Donald Cerrone, Siver could be two wins away from a championship bout. 

9. Hatsu Hioki

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    Promotion: UFC 

    Record: 26-5-2

    Most Recent Fight: Lost against Ricardo Lamas at UFC on FX 4

    Next Fight: TBD

    Previous Ranking: 9

     

    When he first joined the UFC's featherweight division, Hatsu Hioki was touted as the next big threat to Jose Aldo's belt. However, after two somewhat lackluster victories, Hioki lost his most recent fight against Ricardo Lamas and has fallen out of the title picture.

    Hioki is clearly still a top-notch featherweight, but he may not have been the serious contender many thought he could be after years of success in the Japanese MMA circuit.

8. Dustin Poirier

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    Promotion: UFC 

    Record: 12-2

    Most Recent Fight: Lost against Chan Sung Jung at UFC on Fuel TV 3

    Next Fight: TBD

    Previous Ranking: 

     

    Undefeated in his first four UFC bouts, Dustin Poirier suffered his first setback in his latest outing against Chan Sung Jung. Despite the loss, the 23-year-old Poirier has outstanding potential and should be a factor near the top of the 145-pound division for years to come.

7. Ricardo Lamas

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    Promotion: UFC 

    Record: 12-2

    Most Recent Fight: Won against Hatsu Hioki at UFC on FX 4

    Next Fight: TBD

    Previous Ranking: 7

     

    After being knocked out by Yuri Alcantara in his final WEC fight, Ricardo Lamas has turned things around nicely in the UFC's featherweight division.

    In his latest appearance, Lamas picked up the biggest win of his career against Hatsu Hioki. With that victory, Lamas has emerged as one of the top contenders at 145 pounds behind Frankie Edgar and likely Chan Sung Jung. 

6. Pat Curran

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    Promotion: Bellator

    Record: 17-4

    Most Recent Fight: Won against Joe Warren at Bellator 60

    Next Fight: TBD

    Previous Ranking: 6

     

    Following a loss to Eddie Alvarez in a lightweight title fight, moving to featherweight has been the best move Pat Curran has made in his career.

    Four fights later, Curran is Bellator's 145-pound champion and is quickly becoming recognized as one of the best featherweights in the world regardless of promotion.

    After knocking out Joe Warren to win the belt, Curran's first title defense of his career will likely come on Spike TV in early 2013. 

5. Erik Koch

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    Promotion: UFC 

    Record: 13-1

    Most Recent Fight: Won against Jonathan Brookins at UFC Fight Night 25

    Next Fight: TBD

    Previous Ranking: 5

     

    An injury spoiled Erik Koch's scheduled title shot against Jose Aldo, but it might have been for the better. Coming off of a narrow win over Jonathan Brookins, Koch probably wasn't ready to step into the cage across from the greatest 145-pound fighter in MMA history.

    With plenty of other contenders now available, Koch can take time to develop his game before jumping into a title fight before he's ready.

4. Chan Sung Jung

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    Promotion: UFC 

    Record: 13-3

    Most Recent Fight: Won against Dustin Poirier at UFC on Fuel TV 3

    Next Fight: TBD

    Previous Ranking: 

     

    There might not be a featherweight contender with more fan support right now than Chan Sung Jung.

    "The Korean Zombie" has become a fan favorite and is now one of the best 145-pound fighters in the world after knocking out Mark Hominick and submitting Dustin Poirier.

    Jung's next opponent remains unknown, but there's a good chance he'll be competing for a title shot the next time he steps into the Octagon.

3. Chad Mendes

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    Promotion: UFC 

    Record: 12-1

    Most Recent Fight: Won against Cody McKenzie at UFC 148

    Next Fight: Hacran Dias at UFC on FX 6

    Previous Ranking: 

     

    After losing to champion Jose Aldo, Chad Mendes got himself back on track with an easy win over Cody McKenzie. Now, the Team Alpha Male fighter will set his sights on earning a rematch with the Brazilian titleholder.

    Mendes will try to slowly climb his way back up the featherweight ranks with a fight against Hacran Dias, who recently picked up an impressive win over Yuri Alcantara in his UFC debut.

2. Frankie Edgar

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    Promotion: UFC 

    Record: 14-3-1

    Most Recent Fight: Lost against Benson Henderson at UFC 150

    Next Fight: Jose Aldo at TBD

    Previous Ranking: 2

     

    After controversially losing the lightweight championship, Frankie Edgar will be given the opportunity to immediately challenge Jose Aldo for the featherweight crown.

    The former 155-pound titleholder was scheduled to meet Aldo at UFC 153, but that fight fell through due to an injury. Nonetheless, the UFC has decided to merely postpone that matchup and book the Aldo-Edgar fight as soon as the champion has healed.

1. Jose Aldo

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    Promotion: UFC 

    Record: 21-1

    Most Recent Fight: Won against Chad Mendes at UFC 142

    Next Fight: Frankie Edgar at TBD

    Previous Ranking: 1

     

    Though several contenders have emerged in the featherweight division recently, few have a realistic chance of dethroning Jose Aldo. With title defenses in five straight fights, Aldo is already the best 145-pound fighter MMA has ever seen and nearly cleared out the entire division for a moment.

    However, Frankie Edgar has now joined the equation, and he may be the toughest challenge Aldo has faced throughout his entire career.

    With Edgar having barely lost the lightweight title to Benson Henderson, this bout between Aldo and Edgar is essentially a superfight, and the winner will instantly become recognized as one of the best fighters of all time.

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