Official B/R MMA Rankings May 2011: Top 10 Featherweights in MMA

Sean SmithAnalyst IMay 18, 2011

Official B/R MMA Rankings May 2011: Top 10 Featherweights in MMA

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    Here is the first installment of the Bleacher Report MMA Rankings. Each month on the first and 15th of the month we will publish divisional rankings. On the first of each month, we will post our pound-for-pound rankings. 

    The rankings were voted on by numerous writers on Bleacher Report and do not reflect any of their rankings personally. The rankings are an average of each writer’s vote for each weight class. 

    Special thanks to those who contributed:

    Jason Schielke

    Nick Caron

    Nick Colon

    J.P. Smith

    Dale De Souza

    Blake Dreisbach

    Andrew Mahlmann

    Michael Evans

    Sean Smith

    Sal DeRose

Others Receiving Votes

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    Erik Koch

    Record: 12-1

    Promotion: UFC

    Age: 22 years old

    Patricio Freire

    Record: 16-1

    Promotion: Bellator

    Age: 23 years old

    Bibiano Fernandes


    Record: 8-3

    Promotion: DREAM

    Age: 31 years old

    Kenny Florian

    Record: 14-5

    Promotion: UFC

    Age: 34 years old


10. Dustin Poirier

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    Record: 9-1

    Promotion: UFC

    Age: 22 years old


    Dustin Poirier has compiled an impressive 9-1 record, but it was his one dominant performance over Josh Grispi in his UFC debut that earned him a spot on this list.

    A heavy favorite over Poirier heading into the fight, Grispi had been scheduled to be fighting for the UFC Featherweight Championship before an injury forced Jose Aldo out of that fight.

    Poirier stepped in and took full advantage of the opportunity by winning a lopsided decision and replacing Grispi as one of the brightest up-and-coming featherweights in the sport.

    Poirier's next bout will be against Jason Young at UFC 131 in June.


9. Joe Warren

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    Record: 7-1

    Promotion: Bellator

    Age: 34 years old


    Joe Warren is the current Bellator Featherweight Champion and has defeated some of the best fighters in the division outside of the UFC.

    In only eight professional fights, Warren has defeated the likes of Norifumi Yamamoto, Patricio Freire and Joe Soto.

    Warren's next title defense will come against the winner of the Season 4 Bellator Featherweight Tournament Final between Freire and Daniel Straus.




8. Michihiro Omigawa

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    Record: 12-9-1

    Promotion: UFC

    Age: 35 years old


    Prior to re-joining the UFC, Michihiro Omigawa had won eight of nine fights and was widely considered one of the best featherweights in the world.

    Even after losing in his UFC debut, Omigawa still has to be considered one of the better fighters at 145 pounds with victories over Hatsu Hioki and Marlon Sandro.

    Omigawa's next fight will come against Darren Elkins at UFC 131 in June.


7. Marlon Sandro

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    Record: 17-2

    Promotion: Bellator

    Age: 34 years old


    Marlon Sandro's only losses of his career have come against Hatsu Hioki and Michihiro Omigawa.

    After losing to Hioki in his most recent fight, Sandro has signed with Bellator, where his fights are likely to get more exposure than they had when Sandro fought for Sengoku.


6. Diego Nunes

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    Record: 16-1

    Promotion: UFC

    Age: 28 years old


    Diego Nunes is coming off of an impressive win over former WEC Featherweight Champion Mike Brown and could be fighting for a UFC featherweight title shot in his next appearance.

    Nunes' next appearance will be against Kenny Florian, who will be making his featherweight debut.

    Based on Florian's accomplishments over his entire career and Nunes' recent success, it appears likely that the winner will be named a top contender at 145 pounds.


5. Manny Gamburyan

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    Record: 11-5

    Promotion: UFC

    Age: 30 years old


    After dropping to featherweight, Manny Gamburyan resurrected his career with three consecutive wins, including a knockout of former WEC Featherweight Champion Mike Brown.

    With the win over Brown, Gamburyan earned a title shot, but his run of success came to an end there in a loss to Jose Aldo.

    Still, Gamburyan remains one of the best featherweights out there and will welcome Tyson Griffin to the division in his next fight in June.


4. Mark Hominick

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    Record: 20-9

    Promotion: UFC

    Age: 28 years old


    Despite many questioning whether he even deserved a title shot, Mark Hominick put on an excellent performance even in a losing effort against UFC Featherweight Champion Jose Aldo at UFC 129.

    The toughness and perseverance Hominick showed in his fight with Aldo served as a lesson to everyone who had any doubts remaining about his ability to compete with the best featherweights in the world.

    Prior to his loss to Aldo, Hominick had won five fights in a row. 


3. Hatsu Hioki

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    Record: 24-4-2

    Promotion: Shooto

    Age: 27 years old


    Hatsu Hioki has won nine of his last 10 fights with his only loss during that time coming via a split decision against Michihiro Omigawa. Meanwhile, Hioki defeated fighters such as Masanori Kanehara and Marlon Sandro.

    With his win over Sandro, Hioki is now indisputably the best featherweight outside of the UFC today.




2. Chad Mendes

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    Record: 10-0

    Promotion: UFC

    Age: 26 years old


    With his dominant victory over Michihiro Omigawa at UFC 126 in February, Chad Mendes became one of the top contenders in the UFC's featherweight division. Recently, UFC President Dana White even suggested that Mendes would likely be the next opponent for UFC Featherweight Champion Jose Aldo.

    Having maintained an undefeated record though his first 10 professional fights, Mendes has already defeated excellent featherweight fighters such as Erik Koch, Cub Swanson and Omigawa.


1. Jose Aldo

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    Record: 19-1

    Promotion: UFC

    Age: 24 years old


    UFC Featherweight Champion Jose Aldo's win over Mark Hominick at UFC 129 gave him 12 consecutive victories and his first successful title defense in the UFC.

    Although the win wasn't nearly as spectacular as his previous 11, Aldo remains one of the best pound-for-pound fighters in the sport.

    It seems likely that Aldo's next challenger will be Chad Mendes, but the bout has not been scheduled as of yet.