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Kawajiri celebrates his first UFC win.
With a win over Sean Soriano in his UFC debut, Tatsuya Kawajiri is already a contender in the UFC featherweight division.
Previously fighting for smaller Asian promotions, he slid into the No. 14 position following his first appearance inside the Octagon. Jeremy Stephens was bounced from the Top 15 due to Kawajiri's inclusion.
In another small change to the rankings, Darren Elkins took Erik Koch's spot in the Top 10.
At UFC Fight Night 35, Cole Miller and Sam Sicilia will appear in the lone featherweight matchup. No matter the result, neither is likely to jump into the Top 15 right away.
Official UFC Featherweight Rankings
Champion: Jose Aldo
- Chad Mendes
- Ricardo Lamas
- Frankie Edgar
- Cub Swanson
- Chan Sung Jung
- Dustin Poirier
- Dennis Siver
- Nik Lentz
- Clay Guida
- Darren Elkins (+1)
- Erik Koch (-1)
- Conor McGregor
- Dennis Bermudez
- Tatsuya Kawajiri (NR)
- Diego Brandao (-1)
Since joining the UFC featherweight division, Elkins has only lost to Chad Mendes while beating No. 14 Diego Brandao and Hatsu Hioki. Meanwhile, Koch has lost two in a row and owns zero wins over current UFC featherweights.
Elkins deserves the Top 10 position over Koch right now.
Kawajiri may not have much UFC experience, but he's far more proven than Conor McGregor. The Irishman is only two fights into his UFC career, while Kawajiri has been fighting the best available outside the UFC for years.
Although McGregor has a higher ceiling, Kawajiri should have a spot above the 25-year-old.
Results and Upcoming Fights
UFC Fight Night 34 Featherweight Fights
- No. 14 Tatsuya Kawajiri defeated Sean Soriano by submission in the second round.
- Max Holloway defeated Will Chope by (T)KO in the second round.
UFC Fight Night 35 Featherweight Fights
- Cole Miller vs. Sam Sicilia