B/R MMA Official Rankings for December: Top 10 Bantamweights in MMA
There are many reasons for the rapid growth of the Ultimate Fighting Championship over the past several years as they've become one of the world's leading organizations.
A major reason for this success is the excitement and competition the UFC provides to fans and viewers across the globe.
The UFC is broken up into seven different weight divisions. While each weight division is significant in its own, few can match the depth and potential of the bantamweight division.
The 135-pound division is quickly becoming one of the most popular as it is home to some of the world's greatest fighters.
So, the following slides display B/R's top 10 bantamweights for the month of December.
Let's take a look.
These rankings are the combined effort of some of Bleacher Report MMA's best writers, as we continue to try and provide you with the best content on the web.
10. Michael McDonald
MMA Record: 14-1
Most recent fight: Defeated Alex Soto at UFC 139
At just 20 years of age, Michael McDonald has already posted an impressive 14-1 career record with his only defeat coming to Cole Escovedo in 2009.
McDonald has been nearly flawless since joining the UFC as he's defeated the likes of Chris Cariaso and Edwin Figueroa.
McDonald will continue to climb up the bantamweight rankings as he becomes more experienced inside the Octagon.
9. Brad Pickett
MMA Record: 20-6
Most recent fight: Lost to Renan Barao at UFC 138
At one point in his career, Brad Pickett was considered to be one of the most dangerous 135-pound fighters on the planet.
However, Pickett has since lost two of his last three fights, including a submission to defeat to Renan Barao at UFC 138.
Despite his recent drought, Pickett remains a top-10 bantamweight in mixed martial arts today.
8. Miguel Torres
MMA Record: 39-4
Most recent fight: Defeated Nick Pace at UFC 139
After starting off his mixed martial arts career with an electrifying 36-1 record, Miguel Torres has since fallen from his throne.
Fortunately for Torres, it appears his career is once again heading in the right direction after a Unanimous Decision victory over Nick Pace at UFC 139.
Torres is now 2-1 since making the transition to the UFC.
7. Renan Barao
MMA Record: 27-1 (1)
Most recent fight: Defeated Brad Pickett at UFC 138
Renan Barao is rapidly moving up the bantamweight rankings as he has quickly established himself as one of the most pure fighters in the 135-pound division.
Barao lost the first fight of his mixed martial arts career and hasn't lost since posting an eye-opening 28 consecutive fights without a loss.
UFC fans across the globe were made aware of who the 24-year-old bantamweight was after a Rear-Naked Choke victory over Brad Pickett at UFC 138.
6. Demetrious Johnson
MMA Record: 9-2
Most recent fight: Lost to Dominick Cruz at UFC Live: Cruz vs. Johnson
Standing just 5'3'', Demetrious "Mighty Mouse" Johnson is coming off a bantamweight championship defeat to Dominick Cruz at UFC Live on Versus.
However, Johnson remains one of the better 135-pound grapplers and may very well be the quickest of all bantamweights in mixed martial arts today.
Johnson will take on Eddie Wineland in his next bout at UFC on Fox 2.
5. Scott Jorgensen
MMA Record: 13-4
Most recent fight: Defeated Jeff Curran at UFC 137
Following a defeat to Dominick Cruz for the WEC Bantamweight championship, Scott Jorgensen made the transition to the UFC and has posted a perfect 2-0 record since.
Jorgensen is coming off an impressive Unanimous Decision victory over Jeff Curran at UFC 137 and will look to continue his recent success moving forward.
Jorgensen has done enough to crack B/R's top five.
4. Brian Bowles
MMA Record: 10-2
Most recent fight: Lost to Urijah Faber at UFC 139
Prior to UFC 139, many UFC fans considered Brian Bowles to be one of the only men capable of dethroning current champion Dominick Cruz.
However, Urijah Faber proved that statement to be false in a thrilling submission victory over Bowles.
Despite the loss, Bowles remains a legitimate contender in the bantamweight division and is 2-1 since joining the UFC.
3. Joseph Benavidez
MMA Record: 15-2
Most recent fight: Defeated Eddie Wineland at UFC Live: Hardy vs. Lytle
Despite two defeats to the hands of the current champion in Dominick Cruz, Joseph Benavidez has been near perfect inside the Octagon.
Benavidez is currently on a three-fight winning streak and is considered by many to be just one fight away from his much desired bantamweight title shot.
Benavidez is also one of the most well-rounded and conditioned fighters in the entire sport of mixed martial arts.
2. Urijah Faber
MMA Record: 26-5
Most recent fight: Defeated Brian Bowles at UFC 139
Many mixed martial arts fans considered Urijah Faber to be overrated, as he appeared to be losing the edge he once had.
However, Faber proved his critics wrong in a dominating performance over Brian Bowles at UFC 139, where he submitted his opponent just over a minute into Round 2.
The popular Faber will now begin training for his third meeting with Dominick Cruz in hopes of becoming the number one bantamweight in the world.
1. Dominick Cruz
MMA Record: 19-1
Most recent fight: Defeated Demetrious Johnson at UFC Live: Cruz vs. Johnson
Dominick Cruz has stumbled just one time in his mixed martial arts career when he was submitted by Urijah Faber at WEC 26.
But, Cruz has established himself as arguably the greatest bantamweight of all-time through his dominating and grueling performances every time he steps foot inside the Octagon.
Cruz continues to successfully defend his prized UFC championship with wins over Faber, Joseph Benavidez and Demetrious Johnson.
Cruz is certainly the best 135-pound fighter in mixed martial arts today.
View all Bleacher Report MMA Rankings for December 2011