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 411mania » MMA » Columns

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411 MMA Rankings 11.20.12: Bantamweight Division
Posted by Jonathan Solomon on 11.20.2012





With five weeks left in the year, business is picking up both in cages and in the 411 MMA Rankings. Days ago, we saw the return of Georges St. Pierre as he retained the welterweight championship and now business picks up at home as he must decide if he wants to fight Anderson Silva in a super fight. Meanwhile, much like GSP experienced a long-term injury, the bantamweight division is in the same boat today with reigning champion Dominick Cruz continuing his rehabilitation from a torn ACL.

Cruz has not fought since last October which means based on the 411 MMA Rankings rules we have used since 2007, you will not see him ranked until he's back in the fold and has a fight officially signed. Assuming he does not experience any setbacks, you may find him preparing for a fight against either Renan Barao or Michael McDonald next summer and either such fight would pose interesting match-up questions for the champion. Also, former WEC champion Brian Bowles has been removed from the rankings because he has not competed since he lost to Urijah Faber 367 days ago at UFC 139. As of yesterday, there has been no news regarding Bowles' health or when we may expect him to return.

It's a bit disconcerting to see the final bantamweight rankings of 2012 come and go without Cruz, but that's how the cards fall. The UFC is hoping to keep the ball rolling by getting inteirm-champion Barao to fight McDonald, so the division is not totally on ice.

Further in the division, Brad Pickett is making a case that he deserves a rematch with Barao (Renan submitted him at UFC 138) with consecutive wins this year. Plus, after he choked out Damacio Page and knocked out Yves Jabouin, he's now scheduled to fight Eddie Wineland at UFC 155.

"The Hulk" Mike Easton will look for his fourth consecutive UFC victory in under three weeks when he fights Bryan Caraway on the Fox undercard in Washington. Perhaps if Easton wins that fight, he'll be booked next against the Pickett/Wineland winner in 2013. It makes sense to me.

Now, we can talk some World Series of Fighting action, too. Their first show on November 3 was an entertaining card of fights, including Miguel Torres decision loss to Marlon Moraes. The promotion's next show is not set in stone yet but whenever it does take place, there will be a big bantamweight fight among the night's action. Moraes will take on Tyson Nam who signed with the WSOF promotion in September after Bellator refused to match the offer. We'll almost certainly never see a rematch between Nam and Bellator's champion, Eduardo Dantas, but you can always watch the footage of Eduardo's knockout loss from this summer in Brazil.

As for Dantas' next fight, it's been delayed because he was not 100% recovered from that knockout. He was originally scheduled to defend his title against Marcos Galvao last month but unless they're able to have the fight within the next three weeks, expect it in early 2013.

For our American readers, have a pleasant and safe Thanksgiving! Everyone else, have a nice Thursday, too!!!




Feedback to last week's welterweight rankings:

From Brian:
I think Kampmann is overrated. I am not a big Fitch fan, but both him and Kos belong higher in the mix in my opinion. As always, really enjoy the rankings guys! So many good matchups at WW!
Once Fitch picks up another win, you'll see him higher. For now, #6 is pretty good for a guy who is 1-1-1 for the last two years. Why do you think Kampmann is overrated. Despite his quick KO loss this weekend, he's usually a durable fighter who takes too much damage but is rarely dominated (the exceptions being his KO losses I suppose).

From Hit:
This is honestly the first time I've ever seen Kampmann get this kind of love. He is my favorite fighter and just hope he fights smarter in his next few fights. He could have outstruck Shields, was a very close one with Diego, and his Alves fight was about 30 seconds from him losing. He doesn't need to take the kind of abuse he does, but it does mean for fights that have you yelling at your TV.
Your hopes fell on deaf ears. As for his past fights, he should have beaten Shields who was gassed beyond consideration for that one. He fought too cautiously and the Sanchez fight could have gone either way. Your description of Kampmann's fights is spot on.

From Ringo:
I honestly feel that your #6, 8, 9, 10 are better than your 3-5......just my opinion.
Johny Hendricks and his hands disagree.

From Really?:
MMA math also dictates that GSP has been undefeated against all those guys that "survived" I've never really understood knucklehead fans and writers who only think a win is a win if there is a stoppage, the guy hasn't looked bad in any fight since serra shocked him and the world, he has easily beaten everyone since that serra fight and he does it with superior skill, watching him fight is like watching picasso paint. It's a shame that the majority of MMA fans and writers don't realize this, but i guarantee you every fighter does...
I'm with you. I don't look at the fact he hasn't finished a fight in years to be too meaningful. Look at it this way, when he was kicked in the head by Fitch, it was the first time GSP has been in trouble since he lost to Matt Serra in 2007. That's impressive.

From midz:
Actully if Jake Shields had any power in his punches he would have been knocked out by him. Go back and watch that fight, Shields was landing some shots and getting the better of some exchanges. And also they knock could the fact that he didn't finsh a guy with one eye for most of a fight, he just kept jabbing him in it. And remember when is compared to other P4P guys they are finishing fights as of late.
Shields was able to have some relative success striking because GSP's vision was impaired early on. Shields still wasn't able to do anything on the ground because of St. Pierre's wrestling. Jon Jones wasn't able to finish Rashad Evans, does that make you think any less of the guy?

From Todd Vote:
Or maybe, the writers are speaking as fans of the sport when they talk of GSP not finishing fights. Nobody is denying his skills as one of the top P4P fighters, only wishing that he would be able to finish more often. You don't have to deny skill, in order to be frustrated with the way it is employed.
At the same time, does the fact he hasn't finished anyone in years really mean anything in the big picture? Everyone prefers finishes and they make for great highlights, but domination is domination.

From Really?:
by that token, you don't have to see finishes to see domination or skill. so why so desperate to see them? and as for midz, i did watch that fight last night on GSP:The Comeback after i posted this yesterday, certainly GSP's worst fight of his carrer with the exception of the Matt Serra KO, even still, the only time Shields showed he could do anything against GSP was in the fifth, he came fired up and seemed be landing some good shots, the sad part of your argument is that GSP couldn't see out of one eye, so yes, shields was at his best against a one eyed GSP in the fifth round....not really much for shields to hang his hat on
I was a bit surprised GSP couldn't finish Shields standing, even with his vision problems because Jake is usually so bad on the feet. What impressed me was his inability to get GSP to the ground at all. It makes you wonder whether Ben Askren could have any success on that front if they were to ever fight.

From MPMoore:
Good rankings. I'm curious to see if ASilva really does take extended time off from fighting and what that means if (and when) GSP wins this weekend. If either Hendricks or Kampmann are impressive in their fight, that could be next title defense in March/April? Both are fresh matchups, but I don't think either has a legit chance of unseating GSP.
Then there's the other side, should GSP lose.
Condit vs Kampmann is a very interesting fight.
You can literally pick anyone in the Top 10 vs anyone else and it would be a good fight.
Great division, just need to get a clean Marquardt back and get Askren over here and shit will be crazy.
Well, Hendricks won in impressive fashion but the big question will be whether GSP even wants to fight Silva. He could always decline it, not wanting to fight a guy who could be upwards of 20-30 pounds bigger than him on fight night.

I'm intrigued by the Hendricks/GSP match-up, so even if the dream fight doesn't happen, I'll be stoked to see the welterweight title fight.


From Erick:
This Devision is stacked 1-15 changed completley in the last 2 years
No question, it's more fun top to bottom now than it's been in a long time.


Thanks for all the comments, questions, support, hate, good, bad, and most definitely ugly. We appreciate it!




Rankings From One Year Ago
12.13.11


1. Dominick Cruz

2. Urijah Faber

3. Brian Bowles

4. Scott Jorgensen

5. Miguel Torres

6. Renan Barao

7. Michael McDonald

8. Zach Makovsky

9. Eduardo Dantas

9. Masakatsu Ueda

11. Bibiano Fernandes

12. Brad Pickett

13. Takeya Mizugaki

14. Alexis Vila

15. Antonio Banuelos





411's MMA Rankings Guidelines

- 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.




411's Official MMA Rankings


Bantamweight Division (135 pounds)






1) Renan Barao (29-1)


Height: 5'6

Birthday: February 27, 1987

Currently Fighting With: UFC

Last 5 fights:

- vs. Urijah Faber - Win via decision (unanimous) - UFC 149: Faber vs. Barao - July 21, 2012

- vs. Scott Jorgensen - Win via decision (unanimous) - UFC 143: Diaz vs. Condit - February 4, 2012

- vs. Brad Pickett - Win via submission (rear naked choke) - UFC 138: Leben vs. Munoz - November 5, 2011

- vs. Cole Escovedo - Win via decision (unanimous) - UFC 130: Rampage vs. Hamill - May 28, 2011

- vs. Chris Cariaso - Win via submission (rear naked choke) - WEC 53: Henderson vs. Pettis - December 16, 2010

Next scheduled appearance:

- Unknown

Comment: After UFC 154, company president Dana White said he'll soon get in touch with Barao's camp to schedule his next fight. The interim-champion was originally hoping to sit out and wait for Dominick Cruz to be healthy but that does appear likely.




2) Michael "Mayday" McDonald (15-1)


Height: 5'8

Birthday: January 15, 1991

Currently Fighting With: UFC

Last 5 fights:

- vs. Miguel Torres - Win via KO (strikes) - UFC 145: Jones vs. Evans - April 21, 2012

- vs. Alex Soto - Win via KO (strikes) - UFC 139: Shogun vs. Henderson - November 19, 2011

- vs. Chris Cariaso - Win via decision (split) - UFC 130: Rampage vs. Hamill - May 28, 2011

- vs. Edwin Figueroa - Win via decision (unanimous) - UFC Fight Night: Nogueira vs. Davis - March 26, 2011

- vs. Clint Godfrey - Win via submission (Armbar) - WEC 52: Faber vs. Mizugaki - November 11, 2010

Next scheduled appearance:

- Unknown

Comment: McDonald appears to be the man who will get the opportunity to fight Renan Barao for the interim-championship. He'll return from his second hand injury, after fracturing a hand in his win against Miguel Torres. Remember, too, he'll be just 22-years-old in less than eight weeks.




3) Urijah Faber (26-6)


Height: 5'6

Birthday: May 14, 1979

Currently Fighting With: UFC

Last 5 fights:

- vs. Renan Barao - Loss via decision (unanimous) - UFC 149: Faber vs. Barao - July 21, 2012

- vs. Brian Bowles - Win via submission (guillotine choke) - UFC 139: Shogun vs. Henderson - November 19, 2011

- vs. Dominick Cruz - Loss via decision (unanimous) - UFC 132: Cruz vs. Faber - July 2, 2011

- vs. Eddie Wineland - Win via decision (unanimous) - UFC 128: Shogun vs. Jones - March 19, 2011

- vs. Takeya Mizugaki - Win via submission (rear naked choke) - WEC 52: Faber vs. Mizugaki - November 11, 2010

Next scheduled appearance:

- Unknown

Comment: Faber says he's planning to return to the octagon at February's UFC 156 in Las Vegas. He also shot down rumors he's contemplating a drop down to flyweight, insisting bantamweight is his permanent home.




4) Bibiano Fernandes (12-3)


Height: 5'7

Birthday: March 30, 1980

Currently Fighting With: ONE Fighting Championship

Last 5 fights:

- vs. Gustavo Falciroli - Win via decision (unanimous) - ONE FC: Pride of a Nation - August 31, 2012

- vs. Antonio Banuelos - Win via TKO (strikes) - Fight for Japan: Genki Desu Ka Omisoka 2011 - December 31, 2011

- vs. Rodolfo Marques - Win via decision (unanimous) - Fight for Japan: Genki Desu Ka Omisoka 2011 - December 31, 2011

- vs. Takafumi Otsuka - Win via submission (rear naked choke) - Dream 17 - September 24, 2011

- vs. Hiroyuki Takaya - Loss via decision (unanimous) - Dynamite!! 2010 - December 31, 2010

Next scheduled appearance:

- Unknown

Comment: Look for Bibiano to fight at ONE FC 7 in February in the Philippines as the promotion's bantamweight grand prix continues. In addition to Fernandes, Jens Pulver, Masakatsu Ueda and Kevin Belingon advanced to the semifinals.




5) Brad Pickett (22-6)


Height: 5'6

Birthday: September 24, 1978

Currently Fighting With: UFC

Last 5 fights:

- vs. Yves Jabouin - Win via KO (punch) - UFC on Fuel 5: Struve vs. Miocic - September 29, 2012

- vs. Damacio Page - Win via submission (rear naked choke) - UFC on Fuel: Gustafsson vs. Silva - April 14, 2012

- vs. Renan Barao - Loss via submission (rear naked choke) - UFC 138: Munoz vs. Leben - November 5, 2011

- vs. Ivan Menjivar - Win via decision (unanimous) - WEC 53: Henderson vs. Pettis - December 16, 2010

- vs. Scott Jorgensen - Loss via decision (unanimous) - WEC 50: Cruz vs. Benavidez - August 18, 2010

Next scheduled appearance:

- vs. Eddie Wineland - UFC 155: dos Santos vs. Velasquez - December 29, 2012





6) Mike Easton (13-1)


Height: 5'5

Birthday: January 25, 1984

Currently Fighting With: UFC

Last 5 fights:

- vs. Ivan Menjivar - Win via decision (unanimous) - UFC 148: Silva vs. Sonnen 2 - July 7, 2012

- vs. Jared Papazian - Win via decision (unanimous) - UFC on FX: Guillard vs. Miller - January 20, 2012

- vs. Bryan Bloodworth - Win via TKO (strikes) - UFC on Versus: Cruz vs. Johnson - October 1, 2011

- vs. Chase Beebe - Win via decision (split) - UWC 7: Redemption - October 3, 2009

- vs. Josh Ferguson - Win via submission (guillotine choke) - UWC 6: Capital Punishment - April 25, 2009

Next scheduled appearance:

- vs. Bryan Caraway - UFC on Fox 5: Henderson vs. Diaz - December 8, 2012





7) Eddie Wineland (19-8-1)


Height: 5'7

Birthday: June 26, 1984

Currently Fighting With: UFC

Last 5 fights:

- vs. Scott Jorgensen - Win via KO (punches) - UFC on FX: Johnson vs. McCall 2 - June 8, 2012

- vs. Joseph Benavidez - Loss via decision (unanimous) - UFC on Versus: Hardy vs. Lytle - August 14, 2011

- vs. Urijah Faber - Loss via decision (unanimous) - UFC 128: Shogun vs. Jones - March 19, 2011

- vs. Ken Stone - Win via KO (slam) - WEC 53: Henderson vs. Pettis - December 16, 2010

- vs. Will Campuzano - Win via TKO (body punch) - WEC 49: Varner vs. Shalorus - June 20, 2010

Next scheduled appearance:

- vs. Brad Pickett - UFC 155: dos Santos vs. Velasquez - December 29, 2012





8) Tyson Nam (12-4)


Height: 5'7

Birthday: October 6, 1983

Currently Fighting With: World Series of Fighting

Last 5 fights:

- vs. Eduardo Dantas - Win via KO (punch) - Shooto Brazil 33 - August 25, 2012

- vs. Chanti Johnson - Win via decision (unanimous) - CageSport 16 - October 1, 2011

- vs. Chuck Jordan - Win via TKO (strikes) - Sportfight: Brawl at the Barn - September 9, 2011

- vs. Chanti Johnson - Win via TKO (strikes) - Square Ring Promotions - July 29, 2011

- vs. Jesse Brock - Loss via decision (unanimous) - Sportfight: All In - January 28, 2011

Next scheduled appearance:

- vs. Marlon Moraes - WSOF 2 - TBA

Comment: Nam was able to settle his contractual dispute with Bellator and signed with the World Series of Fighting start-up. Prior to their premiere on November 3, he was set to fight the winner between Miguel Torres and Marlon Moraes. Now knowing he'll be fighting Moraes at WSOF 2 (expected to take place early in 2013), Nam will have to live up to the hype that he's attracted since knocking out Bellator champion Eduardo Dantas down in Brazil over the summer.




9) Marcos Galvao (13-5-1)


Height: 5'3

Birthday: June 23, 1982

Currently Fighting With: Bellator

Last 5 fights:

- vs. Luis Nogueira - Win via TKO (elbows) - Bellator 73 - August 24, 2012

- vs. Travis Marx - Win via decision (unanimous) - Bellator 68 - May 11, 2012

- vs. Ed West - Win via decision (unanimous) - Bellator 65 - April 13, 2012

- vs. Alexis Vila - Loss via decision (split) - Bellator 55 - October 22, 2011

- vs. Chase Beebe - Win via decision (split) - Bellator 51 - September 24, 2011

Next scheduled appearance:

- vs. Eduardo Dantas - Bellator - TBA





10) Eduardo Dantas (14-3)


Height: 5'10

Birthday: February 3, 1989

Currently Fighting With: Bellator

Last 5 fights:

- vs. Tyson Nam - Loss via KO (punch) - Shooto Brazil 33 - August 25, 2012

- vs. Zach Makovksy - Win via submission (arm triangle choke) - Bellator 65 - April 13, 2012

- vs. Alexis Vila - Win via decision (unanimous) - Bellator 59 - November 26, 2011

- vs. Ed West - Win via decision (split) - Bellator 55 - October 22, 2011

- vs. Wilson Reis - Win via KO (flying knee) - Bellator 51 - September 24, 2011

Next scheduled appearance:

- vs. Marcos Galvao - Bellator - TBA

Comment: Dantas was not recovered from his August knockout loss in time to fight last month so his title defense against Galvao has been delayed until further notice.




11) Marlon Moraes (9-4-1)


Height: 5'6

Birthday: April 26, 1988

Currently Fighting With: World Series of Fighting

Last 5 fights:

- vs. Miguel Torres - Win via decision (split) - WSOF 1: Arlovski vs. Cole - November 3, 2012

- vs. Jarrod Card - Win via KO (punch) - XFC 17: Apocalypse - April 13, 2012

- vs. Chris Manuel - Win via decision (unanimous) - XFC 15: Tribute - December 2, 2011

- vs. Deividas Taurosevicius - Loss via submission (Arm-Triangle choke) - Ring of Combat 38 - November 18, 2011

- vs. Ralph Acosta - Loss via submission (rear naked choke) - World Extreme Fighting 46 - April 22, 2011

Next scheduled appearance:

- vs. Tyson Nam - WSOF 2 - TBA

Comment: Brazil's Moraes, now based out of Florida, took full advantage of the biggest fight in his career earlier this month. On the World Series of Fighting's debut show on NBC Sports, he got the best of former top ranked fighter Miguel Torres. Although it was a split decision, the humble opinion of this writer is the fight wasn't as close as that may suggest. Up next for him will be a fight with Tyson Nam, the most talked about fighter who has never competed in the UFC or Bellator.




12) Raphael Assuncao (17-4)


Height: 5'4

Birthday: July 19, 1982

Currently Fighting With: UFC

Last 5 fights:

- vs. Issei Tamura - Win via TKO (strikes) - UFC on Fuel: Munoz vs. Weidman - July 11, 2012

- vs. Johnny Eduardo - Win via decision (unanimous) - UFC 134: Silva vs. Okami - August 27, 2011

- vs. Erik Koch - Loss via KO (punch) - UFC 128: Shogun vs. Jones - March 19, 2011

- vs. LC Davis - Win via decision (unanimous) - WEC 52: Faber vs. Mizugaki - November 11, 2010

- vs. Diego Nunes - Loss via decision (split) - WEC 49: Varner vs. Shalorus - June 20, 2010

Next scheduled appearance:

- Unknown





13) Zach Makovsky (14-3)


Height: 5'8

Birthday: May 1, 1983

Currently Fighting With: Bellator

Last 5 fights:

- vs. Eduardo Dantas - Loss via submission (arm triangle choke) - Bellator 65 - April 13, 2012

- vs. Ryan Roberts - Win via submission (North/South choke) - Bellator 54 - October 15, 2011

- vs. Chad Robichaux - Win via TKO (punches) - Bellator 41 - April 16, 2011

- vs. Ed West - Win via decision (unanimous) - Bellator 32 - October 14, 2010

- vs. Bryan Goldsby - Win via decision (unanimous) - Bellator 30 - September 23, 2010

Next scheduled appearance:

- vs. Anthony Leone - Bellator 83 - December 7, 2012

Comment: The former Bellator champion returns following his first loss in the promotion in less than three weeks. He'll fight New York native Anthony Leone (1-2 BFC) who is coming off a split decision win against Claudio Ledesma on the Bellator 68 prelims in May.




14) Luis Alberto Nogueira (14-3)


Height: 5'6

Birthday: April 10, 1985

Currently Fighting With: Bellator

Last 5 fights:

- vs. Marcos Galvao - Loss via TKO (elbows) - Bellator 73 - August 24, 2012

- vs. Hiroshi Nakamura - Win via KO (strikes) - Bellator 70 - May 25, 2012

- vs. Alexis Villa - Win via decision (unanimous) - Bellator 65 - April 13, 2012

- vs. Zak Laird - Win via submission (guillotine choke) - Bellator 53 - October 8, 2011

- vs. Ed West - Loss via decision (unanimous) - Bellator 51 - September 24, 2011

Next scheduled appearance:

- Unknown





15) Ian Loveland (16-9)


Height: 5'8

Birthday: September 7, 1983

Currently Fighting With: Tachi Palace Fights

Last 5 fights:

- vs. Casey Olson - Win via KO (head kick and punches) - TPF 14: Validation - September 7, 2012

- vs. Alexander Crispim - Win via KO (knee) - TPF 13: Unfinished Business - May 10, 2012

- vs. Yves Jabouin - Loss via decision (split) - UFC 134: Silva vs. Okami - August 27, 2011

- vs. Joseph Benavidez - Loss via decision (unanimous) - UFC 128: Shogun vs. Jones - March 19, 2011

- vs. Tyler Toner - Win via decision (unanimous) - The Ultimate Fighter 12 Finale - December 4, 2010

Next scheduled appearance:

- vs. Kyoji Horiguchi - Vale Tudo Japan 2012 - December 24, 2012

Comment: Reigning Tachi Palace Fights champion Ian Loveland is 2-2 since dropping to bantamweight, but is on an impressive streak thanks to a pair of knockouts. He is now preparing for a fight in Japan next month where he'll take on 22-year-old Kyoji Horiguchi. The Japanese bantamweight and training partner to Kid Yamamoto is 7-1 having lost a decision to Masakatsu Ueda earlier this year. While Loveland hopes to return to the UFC in the near future, he has to continue to win the fights he's expected to.






Closing Comments: Here is a reminder for those who missed it at the top of the article.

Formerly ranked #1, Dominick Cruz was removed from the 411 MMA Rankings in both the bantamweight and pound-for-pound editions because his last fight took place on October 1, 2011. He is out thanks to an ACL injury and not expected back until well into next year. He'll be back when he officially signs to fight an opponent.

The same goes for Brian Bowles who was ranked #6 in our last bantamweight rankings. He has not fought since November 19, 2011 and is not signed to fight as of this week.





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