UFC 128 Results: Ranking the Top 10 Bantamweights in the UFC
After years as the face of the WEC, Urijah Faber made his UFC debut against Eddie Windeland at UFC 128. Although he got off to a slow start, Faber was able to finish the fight strong with ground-and-pound to take the unanimous decision victory.
After defeating former WEC champion Wineland, a grudge match against UFC Bantamweight Champion Dominick Cruz is likely next for Faber. Both Cruz and Faber have spoken openly about their dislike for one another and now will get the chance to settle their differences in the Octagon.
After only two fights at bantamweight, one could argue that Faber isn't deserving of a title shot in the division quite yet. Let's take a look at just how far Faber has climbed the rankings after his 2-0 start at 135 pounds.
10. Demetrious Johnson
After losing to Brad Pickett in his WEC debut, Demetrious Johnson has now won his last three fights under Zuffa promotions. In his last fight, Johnson spoiled the highly anticipated UFC debut of Norifumi Yamamoto.
Almost always at a size disadvantage at bantamweight, Johnson has lobbied for the UFC to adopt a flyweight division. Dana White has since said that the addition of a 125-pound weight class is inevitable. If and when the division is added, Johnson will immediately become one of the best flyweights in the UFC.
Johnson's next fight will be against Renan Barao at UFC 130 in May 2011.
9. Takeya Mizugaki
Takeya Mizugaki has alternated wins and losses for his last seven fights. His losses to Miguel Torres, Scott Jorgensen and Urijah Faber suggest that Mizugaki is going to have a tough time breaking into the top five of the division.
In his last fight, Mizugaki earned a narrow decision victory over Reuben Duran at his UFC debut in March 2011.
8. Eddie Wineland
Prior to his loss against Urijah Faber at UFC 128, Eddie Wineland had won four straight fights. Even in the the fight with Faber, Wineland fought well and hung in there for three rounds.
The loss spoiled Wineland's chances to make a run at reclaiming his spot atop the bantamweight division, but it showed that he can still battle it out with the elite bantamweights in the world.
7. Brad Pickett
The only loss of Brad Pickett's four-fight run in the WEC came against former top contender Scott Jorgensen. Now Pickett is set to make his UFC debut against Miguel Torres at UFC 130 in May 2011.
While with the WEC, Pickett recorded wins over Demetrious Johnson, Ivan Menjivar and Kyle Dietz. If Pickett can pull off a win over Torres, he could find himself in the mix for a title shot in the UFC.
6. Scott Jorgensen
After a five-fight winning streak, which included wins over Brad Pickett, Antonio Banuelos and Takeya Mizugaki, Scott Jorgensen earned a title shot against Dominick Cruz. In a fight for the WEC and UFC Bantamweight Championship, Jorgensen ended up losing to Cruz in a unanimous decision.
Jorgensen will attempt to rebound with a win over Ken Stone in June 2011.
5. Miguel Torres
After losing the WEC Bantamweight Championship and dropping consecutive fights for the first time in his career, Miguel Torres has won two in a row and is looking to climb his way back to the top.
Torres will try to continue that climb at UFC 130 against Brad Pickett.
In the last seven years, Torres' only losses have come against Brian Bowles and Joseph Benavidez.
4. Urijah Faber
With his win over a former WEC Bantamweight Champion in Eddie Wineland, Urijah Faber will now likely fight for the UFC Bantamweight Championship against Dominick Cruz. Cruz and Faber have both publicly announced their rivalry with one another.
After winning his first two fights in the division, Faber is now one fight away from accomplishing what he set out to do when he dropped to 135 pounds.
3. Brian Bowles
After a year-long hiatus, Brian Bowles returned for his first fight since losing the WEC Bantamweight Championship. Bowles was successful in his first fight back, submitting Damacio Page for the second time in his career.
Ironically, Bowles finished Page with a guillotine choke at the exact same time of both fights.
2. Joseph Benavidez
Joseph Benavidez didn't put on his best performance at UFC 128, but he was still able to come away with the unanimous decision victory over Ian Loveland. The fight was Benavidez's first with the UFC after seven fights in the WEC.
In 16 professional fights, Benavidez has only lost twice and both losses came against current UFC Bantamweight Champion Dominick Cruz.
1. Dominick Cruz
UFC Bantamweight Champion Dominick Cruz will most likely make his first title defense in the Octagon against Urijah Faber. In 18 career fights, Cruz's only loss came against Faber back when both were fighting at featherweight.
While rumors began circling about Cruz and Faber coaching The Ultimate Fighter, UFC President Dana White has said that they will not be coaching on the reality show.