UFC on FOX 6 Results: Top 10 Flyweights in the UFC
Speed and cardiovascular conditioning are two of the most identifiable characteristics of the flyweight division, and they were on full display in Saturday's main event. However, an element not commonly seen at 125 pounds was undeniably present: power.
Between the power punches of Ultimate Fighter winner and the muay thai knees of "Mighty Mouse," critics who were skeptical of the division now have reason to tune in to the smallest fighters in the UFC.
With Johnson victorious, how does this shake up the rankings? How far does Dodson fall? Who is the new top contender?
Here is a power ranking of the world's Top 10 Flyweights currently under UFC contract.
10. Tim Elliott
With only 13 contracted fighters on the UFC roster, the flyweight division is desperately in need of some depth. That can be best illustrated by the inclusion of fighters who do not have a winning UFC record.
Coming in at No. 10 in our countdown is Tim Elliott. The Kansas wrestler earned his first UFC victory in late December by dominating Jared Papazian en route to a unanimous decision.
The Fight of the Night performance helped Elliott rebound from his promotional debut, a decision loss to Saturday's title challenger John Dodson.
Perhaps the biggest win of Elliott's career came in December of 2011 when he knocked out former UFC lightweight champion Jens Pulver on a regional card in Nebraska.
9. Jussier Formiga
Jussier Formiga (formerly known as Jussier da Silva) was once the top ranked flyweights on the planet. The Brazilian held the Shooto flyweight championship through two title defenses before relinquishing the belt to join the UFC.
Currently holding a professional record of 14-2, Formiga's only career losses came against title contenders John Dodson and Ian McCall.
Entering the UFC with a five-fight winning streak on his side, Formiga ran into the wrong end of Dodson's power striking in his promotional debut. There is no word yet on his next fight.
8. John Lineker
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Coming in at No. 8 in the countdown is two-time UFC veteran John Lineker. Although unsuccessful in his promotional debut against Louis Gaudinot, Lineker upset world-ranked Yasuhiro Urushitani in November.
Lineker may not have the best record in MMA, but it's important to note that the Brazilian started his career slowly, winning only six of his first 11 fights. Since that time, Lineker really found his rhythm, winning 14 of his next 15 contests.
The big win put Lineker on the map as someone to look out for in 2013. As of this publication, he does not have another fight on the docket.
7. Louis Gaudinot
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Popular green-haired warrior Louis Gaudinot certainly wasn't cut out for the UFC's bantamweight division. In his promotional debut, the Ultimate Fighter contestant was overpowered and undersized in a matchup with Johnny Bedford.
However, since dropping down to his natural weight of 125 pounds, Gaudinot has made waves. In his first fight in the division, "Goodnight" put John Lineker to sleep with a guillotine choke and picked up a Fight of the Night bonus in the process.
Gaudinot was scheduled to face Darren Uyenoyama in October, but was forced from the contest due to an injury.
6. Darren Uyenoyama
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Speaking of Uyenoyama, the Japanese-American fighter finds himself in the No. 6 spot on our countdown.
Uyenoyama hasn't been particularly active since joining the UFC in 2011, however, "BC" has looked stellar in both of his Octagon appearances.
In his debut, Uyenoyama dominated KID Yamamoto en route to a unanimous decision victory, and he followed it up with a flyweight submission over Phil Harris back in October.
Like 80-percent of this countdown, Uyenoyama does not currently have an upcoming fight scheduled.
5. Ian McCall
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Can you imagine how different the world of Ian McCall could be right now were it not for a commissioner error in his UFC debut?
McCall was robbed of a fourth round against a severely weakened Demetrious Johnson in the opening round of the UFC flyweight tournament. Had that screw up not occurred, McCall likely would have seen himself as a tournament finalist, and his UFC 156 matchup against Joseph Benavidez would be for a championship.
Instead, McCall had to settle for a draw, and eventually lost a rematch to Johnson, who was able to go home and prepare a better game plan for "Uncle Creepy."
Despite being winless inside the Octagon, McCall is one of the top contenders for the UFC flyweight championship. If he is successful on Saturday night, it is conceivable that he will get another crack at Mighty Mouse.
4. John Dodson
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Some claimed that John Dodson wasn't worthy of a UFC title shot, but instead the best available option in a division with no true contenders. If there was any doubt, "The Magician" made this disappear last night when he dropped the champion on three occasions.
Ultimately, Dodson's cardio wasn't able to keep up with the champion's, and the Ultimate Fighter winner faded in the final frames. His unanimous decision loss should be commended, though, as Dodson is now undeniably a deserving member of the flyweight elite.
3. John Moraga
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John Moraga is the highest ranked flyweight who has yet to meet Demetrious Johnson inside the Octagon. He earned this honor by knocking out former dual-division Tachi Palace champion Ulysses Gomez and following it up with a submission victory over Chris Cariaso.
Currently, Moraga is the best available challenger for Demetrious Johnson. Hopefully the two will be scheduled for a matchup this summer, although the UFC might be inclined to pick an opponent with more name value.
2. Joseph Benavidez
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Team Alpha Male's Joseph Benavidez was a heavy favorite to defeat Demetrious Johnson at UFC 152. On that card, Johnson pulled off the upset to crown himself the inaugural UFC flyweight champion.
Benavidez spent most of his career competing as a bantamweight with the WEC and UFC. With stoppage wins over Miguel Torres, Wagnney Fabiano and Yasuhiro Urushitani, there is no question that Joseph can hang with the best fighters on the planet.
On Saturday night, Benavidez gets back on the road towards the title when he meets Ian McCall on the main card of UFC 156. The "Joe Jitsu" practitioner can make a case for a rematch with Johnson if he wins dominantly.
1. Demetrious Johnson
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UFC flyweight champion Demetrious "Mighty Mouse" Johnson has been anything but flawless since dropping down to the flyweight division. However in each fight, he learns from his mistakes, adjusts on the fly and pushes the action until his opponent can no longer keep up.
Johnson is a solid champion who is worthy of the belt that is strapped around his waist. With wins over the top fighters in the (albeit shallow) division, there are no clear cut contenders at the moment.
Perhaps it's time that the UFC look to import some more talent to the division. Darrell Montague and Mamoru Yamaguchi are surprisingly absent from the UFC roster, as are Roy Docyogen and Shinichi Kojima.