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411's MMA Rankings 10.23.12: Featherweight Division
Posted by Jonathan Solomon on 10.23.2012






Welcome back to the weekly 411mania.com MMA Rankings as we list the best 15 fighters in the world. You don't even have to worry about us canceling columns because our hands are broken or because someone's feelings were hurt or if this guy or that guy don't want to cooperate. This is like the old Vale Tudo days: anytime, anyplace! Or, something like that.

"Never again."


The quote above is from the mouth of Jose Aldo, the reigning UFC featherweight, in reference to riding motorcycles in his native Brazil stemming from an auto accident earlier this year. The (non-life threatening) injuries he suffered as a result cost him a pay day in October when he was scheduled to defend his crown against 145-pound newcomer and former lightweight champion Frankie Edgar.

That's where we stand in our penultimate featherweight edition of the 411 MMA Rankings for 2012. The champion is injured and a top contender is unranked because he has not fought at the weight. If you want to reach further out into the pits of despair, you don't have to look too far away to realize the top Bellator featherweight, champion Pat Curran is still out thanks to a fractured orbital bone. At this point, fighters may be better off if they're challengers with this kind of luck.

With the targets in the division sitting out until 2013 (most likely), some of the challengers are trying to set themselves up to end the year on a bang. Chad Mendes, looking to clear his path to a second title shot sooner than later, is signed to fight the unknown but dangerous Hacran Dias in December on FX. The man formerly pegged to challenge Aldo, Erik Koch is now scheduled to fight Ricardo Lamas at UFC 155 two weeks later. Others like Dennis Siver (vs. Eddie Yagin at UFC 155) and Dustin Poirier (vs. Jonathan Brookins at on the FX Ultimate Fighter Finale) are also in positions to cap off their 2012's with a positive note.

On the Bellator front, season six tournament champion Daniel Straus is back for his first fight since then this Friday night at Bellator 78 in Ohio. Because of the injury to Curran and the fact his title fight with Pitbull Freire is delayed, Straus is staying busy with a fight against Royce Gracie Brazilian Jiu-Jitsu black belt Alvin Robinson. You can check that fight along with the rest of the card on MTV 2 Friday evening.





Feedback to Last Week's Lightweight Rankings

From wylun:
lol i was about to say~ guida is moving to FW just like Edgar

From Zwarrior2:
Guida is moving down to FW for his next fight. And Maynard could make FW if he cut an arm off.
My mistake for not removing Clay Guida from consideration. The Carpenter snuck under the radar.

A one-armed Gray Maynard would probably still kick a lot of ass in the cage.


From kid:
Matt Wiman????
4-1 over the past two years, jut submitted Paul Sass? Yeah, he deserves some recognition.


Thanks for all the comments and questions, it is all, always welcome and appreciated!






Rankings From One Year Ago
11.22.11


1. Jose Aldo

2. Chad Mendes

3. Hatsu Hioki

4. Mark HominickKenny Florian

5. Pat Curran

6. Dustin Poirier

7. Joe Warren

8. Marlon Sandro

9. Erik Koch

10. Patricio Freire

11. Diego Nunes

12. Tatsuya Kawajiri

13. Takeshi Inoue

14. Bart Palaszewski

15. Michihiro Omigawa







411's MMA Ranking Rules

- Which fighters are eligible for these rankings? They must meet the following qualifications: fight at least once in the past 365 days or if they have not, be officially scheduled for an upcoming fight.

- A fighter serving a disciplinary suspension will not be ranked. They can return when they have served their suspension or in the event it is rescinded. This includes fighters who may disregard their suspension locally to fight overseas.

- If a fighter appears on just one single ballot, and in the top ten, five points will be deducted to balance between other fighters who may be ranked lower, but appear on a greater amount of ballots.

- Want to complain about a fighter's ranking in the comments section? Please include an objective reason why you despise the list, and try your best to bring the rest of us to your way of thinking.



* denotes a statistical tie.







411's Official MMA Rankings


Featherweight Division (145 lbs)






1) Jose Aldo (21-1)


Height: 5'7

Birthday: September 9, 1986

Currently Fighting With: UFC

Last 5 fights:

- vs. Chad Mendes - Win via KO (knee) - UFC 142: Aldo vs. Mendes - January 14, 2012

- vs. Kenny Florian - Win via decision (unanimous) - UFC 136: Edgar vs. Maynard 3 - October 8, 2011

- vs. Mark Hominick - Win via decision (unanimous) - UFC 129: St. Pierre vs. Shields - April 30, 2011

- vs. Manny Gamburyan - Win via KO (punches) - WEC 51: Aldo vs. Gamburyan - September 30, 2010

- vs. Urijah Faber - Win via decision (unanimous) - WEC 48: Aldo vs. Faber - April 24, 2010

Next scheduled appearance:

- Injured (motorcycle accident)

Comment: Aldo suffered an injury to his legs towards the end of summer and was forced to withdraw from what would've been his main event at UFC 153 against Frankie Edgar. Instead, Aldo is awaiting word from doctors so he can return to training. He hopes to fight by January where he is expected to defend the UFC gold against Edgar.




2) Pat Curran (17-4)


Height: 5'9

Birthday: August 31, 1987

Currently Fighting With: Bellator Fighting Championships

Last 5 fights:

- vs. Joe Warren - Win via KO (strikes) - Bellator 60 - March 9, 2012

- vs. Marlon Sandro - Win via KO (head kick) - Bellator 48 - August 20, 2011

- vs. Ronnie Mann - Win via decision (unanimous) - Bellator 47 - July 23, 2011

- vs. Luis Palomino - Win via submission (Peruvian necktie) - Bellator 46 - June 25, 2011

- vs. Eddie Alvarez - Loss via decision (unanimous) - Bellator 39 - April 2, 2011

Next scheduled appearance:

- Injured (Broken Orbital Bone)

Comment: Still out of action due to a training camp injury over the summer, it looks like Curran won't be back until early next year where he'll defend the Bellator gold against number one contender Patricio "Pitbull" Freire on Spike TV.




3) "The Korean Zombie" Chan Sung-Jung (16-3)


Height: 5'9

Birthday: March 17, 1987

Currently Fighting With: UFC

Last 5 fights:

- vs. Dustin Poirier - Win via submission (D'arce choke) - UFC on Fuel: Korean Zombie vs. Poirier - May 15, 2012

- vs. Mark Hominick - Win via KO (strikes) - UFC 140: Jones vs. Machida - December 10, 2011

- vs. Leonard Garcia - Win via submission (twister) - UFC Fight Night: Nogueira vs. Davis - March 26, 2011

- vs. George Roop - Loss via KO (head kick) - WEC 51: Aldo vs. Gamburyan - September 30, 2010

- vs. Leonard Garcia- Loss via decision (split) - WEC 48: Aldo vs. Faber - April 24, 2010

Next scheduled appearance:

- Unknown

Comment: It's almost Halloween and the Korean Zombie wants brains. BRAINS!!!




4) Chad Mendes (12-1)


Height: 5'6

Birthday: May 1, 1985

Currently Fighting With: UFC

Last 5 fights:

- vs. Cody McKenzie - Win via KO (body punch) - UFC 148: Silva vs. Sonnen 2 - July 7, 2012

- vs. Jose Aldo - Loss via KO (knee) - UFC 142: Aldo vs. Mendes - January 14, 2012

- vs. Rani Yahya - Win via decision (unanimous) - UFC 133: Evans vs. Ortiz - August 6, 2011

- vs. Michihiro Omigawa - Win via decision (unanimous) - UFC 126: Silva vs. Belfort - February 5, 2011

- vs. Javier Vazquez - Win via decision (unanimous) - WEC 52: Faber vs. Mizugaki - November 22, 2010

Next scheduled appearance:

- vs. Hacran Dias - UFC on FX: Sotiropoulos vs. Pearson - December 15, 2012

Comment: Mendes and many others were hoping he'd get a big fight coming off his dominant win over Cody McKenzie in July. Is Hacran Dias the answer? You be the judge. The Brazilian is 21-1-1 in his career having never been finished and made his UFC debut in June when he beat Yuri Alcantara.




5) Patricio "Pitbull" Freire (17-1)


Height: 5'5

Birthday: July 7, 1987

Currently Fighting With: Bellator Fighting Championships

Last 5 fights:

- vs. Daniel Straus - Win via decision (unanimous) - Bellator 45 - May 21, 2011

- vs. Wilson Reis - Win via KO (strikes) - Bellator 41 - April 16, 2011

- vs. Georgi Karakhanyan -Win via TKO (strikes) - Bellator 37 - March 19, 2011

- vs. Joe Warren - Loss via decision (split) - Bellator 23 - June 24, 2010

- vs. Wilson Reis - Win via decision (unanimous) - Bellator 18 - May 13, 2010

Next scheduled appearance:

- Unknown

Comment: Waiting is certainly the hardest part. Thanks to injuries to himself and Pat Curran, Pitbull will go close to two years without fighting.




6) Erik Koch (13-1)


Height: 5'10

Birthday: October 4, 1988

Currently Fighting With: UFC

Last 5 fights:

- vs. Jonathan Brookins - Win via decision (unanimous) - UFC Fight Night: Shields vs. Ellenberger - September 17, 2011

- vs. Raphael Assuncao - Win via KO (punch) - UFC 128: Shogun vs. Jones - March 19, 2011

- vs. Francisco Rivera - Win via TKO (head kick & punches) - WEC 52: Faber vs. Mizugaki - November 11, 2010

- vs. Bendy Casimir - Win via submission (triangle choke) - WEC 49: Varner vs. Shalorus - June 20, 2010

- vs. Chad Mendes - Loss via decision (unanimous) - WEC 47: Bowles vs. Cruz - March 6, 2010

Next scheduled appearance:

- vs. Ricardo Lamas - UFC 155: dos Santos vs. Velasquez - December 29, 2012

Comment: Announced just days ago, Koch finally has a fight scheduled and it's two months away where he'll fight the surging Ricardo Lamas. Koch was expected to fight Jose Aldo earlier in the year, then Frankie Edgar jumped into the picture and Koch was passed over.





7) Ricardo Lamas (12-2)


Height: 5'8

Birthday: May 21, 1982

Currently Fighting With: UFC

Last 5 fights:

- vs. Hatsu Hioki - Win via decision (unanimous) - UFC on FX: Maynard vs. Guida - June 22, 2012

- vs. Cub Swanson - Win via submission (arm-triangle choke) - UFC on Fox: Velasquez vs. dos Santos - November 12, 2011

- vs. Matt Grice - Win via TKO (head kick) - UFC on Versus: Kongo vs. Barry - June 26, 2011

- vs. Yuri Alcantara - Loss via KO (strikes) - WEC 53: Henderson vs. Pettis - December 16, 2010

- vs. Dave Jansen - Win via decision (unanimous) - WEC 50: Cruz vs. Benavidez - August 18, 2010

Next scheduled appearance:

- vs. Erik Koch - UFC 155: dos Santos vs. Velasquez - December 29, 2012

Comment: Lamas is poised to have a hell of a year if he can close it out by beating Erik Koch. Should this happen, he'll have disposed of two of the top challengers in the UFC's featherweight division.




8) Tatsuya Kawajiri (31-7-2)


Height: 5'7

Birthday: May 8, 1978

Currently Fighting With: One Fighting Championship

Last 5 fights:

- vs. Donald Sanchez - Win via submission (triangle choke) - ONE Fighting Championship: War of the Lions - March 21, 2012

- vs. Kazuyuki Miyata - Win via submission (arm triangle choke) - DREAM: Fight For Japan 2011 - December 31, 2011

- vs. Joachim Hansen - Win via submission (arm triangle choke) - DREAM 17 - September 24, 2011

- vs. Drew Fickett - Win via TKO (strikes) - DREAM: Japan GP Final - July 16, 2011

- vs. Gilbert Melendez - Loss via TKO (elbows) - Strikeforce: Diaz vs. Daley - April 9, 2011

Next scheduled appearance:

- Unknown





9) Daniel Straus (20-4)


Height: 5'8

Birthday: July 27, 1984

Currently Fighting With: Bellator Fighting Championships

Last 5 fights:

- vs. Marlon Sandro - Win via decision (unanimous) - Bellator 68 - May 11, 2012

- vs. Mike Corey - Win via decision (unanimous) - Bellator 65 - April 13, 2012

- vs. Jeremy Spoon - Win via decision (unanimous) - Bellator 60 - March 9, 2012

- vs. Jason Dent - Win via decision (unanimous) - NAAFS: Caged Fury 15 - October 15, 2011

- vs. Patricio Freire - Loss via decision (unanimous) - Bellator 45 - May 21, 2011

Next scheduled appearance:

- vs. Alvin Robinson - Bellator 78 - October 26, 2012

Comment: With the championship on ice in Bellator as they await the Curran/Pitbull fight next year, the next tournament champion is returning to the cage in a non-tournament bout. Straus will not be able to get his title shot until sometime next year but in the meantime, he'll fight this Friday night against former UFC lightweight Alvin Robinson.




10) Hatsu Hioki (26-5-2)


Height: 5'11

Birthday: July 18, 1983

Currently Fighting With: UFC

Last 5 fights:

- vs. Ricardo Lamas - Loss via decision (unanimous) - UFC on FX: Maynard vs. Guida - June 22, 2012

- vs. Bart Palaszewski - Win via decision (unanimous) - UFC 144: Edgar vs. Henderson - February 26, 2012

- vs. George Roop - Win via decision (split) - UFC 137: Penn vs. Diaz - October 29, 2011

- vs. Donald Sanchez - Win via submission (triangle choke) - Shooto Tradition 2011 - April 29, 2011

- vs. Marlon Sandro - Win via decision (unanimous) - Sengoku: Soul of Fight - December 30, 2010

Next scheduled appearance:

- Unknown





11) Dennis Siver (20-8)


Birthday: January 13, 1979

Currently Fighting With: UFC

Last 5 fights:

- vs. Diego Nunes - Win via decision (unanimous) - UFC on Fuel: Gustafsson vs. Silva - April 14, 2012

- vs. Donald Cerrone - Loss via submission (rear naked choke) - UFC 137: Penn vs. Diaz - October 29, 2011

- vs. Matt Wiman - Win via decision (unanimous) - UFC 132: Cruz vs. Faber - July 2, 2011

- vs. George Sotiropoulos - Win via decision (unanimous) - UFC 127: Fitch vs. Penn - February 27, 2011

- vs. Andre Winner - Win via submission (rear naked choke) - UFC 122: Marquardt vs. Okami - November 13, 2010

Next scheduled appearance:

- vs. Eddie Yagin - UFC on Fox: Henderson vs. Diaz - December 8, 2012

Comment: Siver and Yagin were scheduled to fight on September 1 at UFC 151 but when that show was canceled by the UFC, they had to put a stop to their training camps. Instead, they will finally square off on the undercard of the next Fox show in December. Both men looked great in their last fights as Siver bested Diego Nunes while Eddie Yagin knocked out Mark Hominick.




12) Cub Swanson (18-5)


Height: 5'7

Birthday: November 2, 1983

Currently Fighting With: UFC

Last 5 fights:

- vs. Charles Oliveira - Win via KO (punch) - UFC 152: Jones vs. Belfort - September 22, 2012

- vs. Ross Pearson - Win via TKO (strikes) - UFC on FX: Maynard vs. Guida - June 22, 2012

- vs. George Roop - Win via TKO (strikes) - UFC on Fox: Evans vs. Davis - January 28, 2012

- vs. Ricardo Lamas - Loss via submission (arm triangle choke) - UFC on Fox: Velasquez vs. dos Santos - November 12, 2011

- vs. Mackens Semerzier - Win via decision (split) - WEC 52: Faber vs. Mizugaki - November 11, 2010

Next scheduled appearance:

- Unknown

Comment: Swanson continues to be a one man wrecking crew with his third consecutive UFC win by knockout happening last month against Charles Oliveira. He wants to continue his ascent in the UFC and recently let it be known he'd like to fight the Korean Zombie.




13) Dustin Poirier (12-2)


Height: 5'9

Birthday: January 19, 1989

Currently Fighting With: UFC

Last 5 fights:

- vs. Chan Sung Jung - Loss via submission (D'arce choke) - UFC on Fuel: Korean Zombie vs. Poirier - May 15, 2012

- vs. Max Holloway - Win via submission (mounted triangle armbar) - UFC 143: Diaz vs. Condit - February 4, 2012

- vs. Pablo Garza - Win via submission (D'Arce choke) - UFC on Fox: Velasquez vs. dos Santos - November 12, 2011

- vs. Jason Young - Win via decision (unanimous) - UFC 131: dos Santos vs. Carwin - June 11, 2011

- vs. Josh Grispi - Win via decision (unanimous) - UFC 125: Resolution - January 1, 2011

Next scheduled appearance:

- vs. Jonathan Brookins - TUF 16 Finale - December 15, 2012

Comment: Poirier is at risk of suffering the first losing streak of his career, unless he can hand TUF season 12 champion Jonathan Brookins his third loss in his last four fights. Poirier was well on his way as one of the big prospects in the UFC until he was choked out by the Korean Zombie in May. Let's see how he bounces back from his first UFC loss.




14) Marlon Sandro (22-4)


Height: 5'8

Birthday: March 8, 1977

Currently Fighting With: Bellator Fighting Championships

Last 5 fights:

- vs. Daniel Straus - Loss via decision (unanimous) - Bellator 68 - May 11, 2012

- vs. Alexandre Popo Bezerra - Win via decision (split) - Bellator 64 - April 6, 2012

- vs. Roberto Vargas - Win via submission (rear naked choke) - Bellator 60 - March 9 ,2012

- vs. Rafael Dias - Win via submission (arm triangle choke) - Bellator 58 - November 19, 2011

- vs. Pat Curran - Loss via KO (head kick) - Bellator 48 - August 20, 2011

Next scheduled appearance:

- Unknown





15*) Mike Brown (26-8)


Height: 5'6

Birthday: September 8, 1975

Currently Fighting With: UFC

Last 5 fights:

- vs. Daniel Pineda - Win via decision (unanimous) - UFC 146: dos Santos vs. Mir - May 26, 2012

- vs. Nam Phan - Win via decision (unanimous) - UFC 133: Evans vs. Oritz - August 6, 2011

- vs. Rani Yahya - Loss via decision (unanimous) - UFC Fight for the Troops 2 - January 22, 2011

- vs. Diego Nunes - Loss via decision (split) - UFC 125: Edgar vs. Maynard - January 1, 2011

- vs. Cole Province - Win via TKO (strikes) - WEC 51: Aldo vs. Gamburyan - September 30, 2010

Next scheduled appearance:

- Unknown





15*) Robert Peralta (16-3)


Height: 5'7

Birthday: 1985

Currently Fighting With: UFC

Last 5 fights:

- vs. Jason Young - Win via KO (punch) - UFC on Fuel: Struve vs. Miocic

- vs. Mackens Semerzier - DRAW (accidental headbutt) - UFC on Fox: Velasquez vs. dos Santos - November 12, 2011

- vs. Mike Lullo - Win via decision (unanimous) - UFC Fight Night: Shields vs. Ellenberger - September 17, 2011

- vs. Hiroyuki Takaya - Win via decision (split) - Strikeforce: Diaz vs. Daley - April 9, 2011

- vs. Chris Kirtley - Win via submission (triangle choke) - Gladiator Challenge: Legends Collide 2 - February 20, 2011

Next scheduled appearance:

- Unknown

Comment: Peralta finally returned to the octagon for the first time this year last month and knocked out Jason Young in England. It was his first win by knockout since 2010 and he continues to impress ever since he scored an upset win in Strikeforce over then-Dream champion Hiroyuki Takaya.





Final Notes: Diego Nunes and Eddie Yagin received additional votes.

Once again, Frankie Edgar was not ranked because he has yet to fight at 145.







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