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411's MMA Rankings 01.07.13: Featherweight Division
Posted by Jonathan Solomon on 01.07.2014






It's probably freezing wherever you are, unless you're in California, Arizona, Florida or wher there's a rain forest. If you fit into either of those categories, may you meet a Jose Aldo leg kick sooner than later.

I jest!

But, it is Tuesday which means you're here to find out who the best fighters in the world are and that's what the 411 MMA zone does each week in this spot. Today in our latest 411 MMA Rankings, we present the featherweight division as the 145-pounders stand today.

Aldo is likely kicking someone today, as he trains for his upcoming title defense against Ricardo Lamas. As you'll find out later, he could very well be rolling with B.J. Penn in Brazil and wouldn't that be a sight to see. I'm not sure I would ever want to see the two square off in an MMA fight at this point, but hell, I'd love to see them in a grappling match. Oh yeah, Lamas. Ricardo actually just earned his BJJ black belt, but if he's to be the first man to wallop Aldo, please knock me on my ass and call me Bartholomew.

After Lamas, there are plenty of worthy contenders chomping at the bit to get them some Aldo, though that may be a weird sentiment when you stop and think. In any event, Chad Mendes wants a second helping after he was knocked out by Jose two years ago. The Alpha Male fighter is fresh off an impressive performance against Nik Lentz, impressive in how he controlled practically every minute of their fight. Aside from him, there's Cub Swanson, the new kid on the block a/k/a old man Tatsuya Kawajiri and the man who knocked out overweight Diego Brandao….Dustin Poirier.

Of course, Bellator's division is just as interesting. Their 10th season is expected to begin next month and the 145-class figures to be one of the most intriguing divisions. Why? Champ Daniel Straus should be meeting either Pitbull Freire or Frodo Khasbulaev and either fight should be a tough match-up for the champion. In particular, you have to love watching Pitbull compete as he is always looking to inflict as much damage as possible and the man is a beast (has never been finished in 23 fights). I know I'm ready to set my DVR!


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Rankings From One Year Ago
2.12.13


1. Jose Aldo

2. Pat Curran

3. Frankie Edgar

4. Ricardo Lamas

5. Chan Sung Jung

6. Daniel Straus

7. Chad Mendes

8. Dustin Poirier

9. Patricio Freire

10. Cub Swanson

11. Erik Koch

12. Clay Guida

13. Tatsuya Kawajiri

14. Hatsu Hioki

15 Dennis Siver






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 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? Chat it up in the comments section below bringing up any and all points you can think of.






411's Official MMA Rankings


Featherweight Division (145 lbs)






1) Jose Aldo (23-1)


Height: 5'7

Birthday: September 9, 1986

Currently Fighting With: UFC

Last 5 fights:

- vs. Chan Sung Jung - Win via TKO (punches) - UFC 163: Aldo vs. Korean Zombie - August 3, 2013

- vs. Frankie Edgar - Win via decision (unanimous) - UFC 156: Aldo vs. Edgar - February 2, 2013

- 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

Next scheduled appearance:

- vs. Ricardo Lamas - UFC 169: Cruz vs. Barao - February 1, 2014

Comment: The plan for the finishing touches on Jose Aldo's ongoing training camp include working with B.J. Penn in addition to his fellow Nova Uniao mates. Penn will (unless he's already down in Brazil) travel to South America to train with Aldo for the first time according to MMAFighting.com and the reigning featherweight champ is excited to work with the Hawaiian.




2) Chad Mendes (16-1)


Height: 5'6

Birthday: May 1, 1985

Currently Fighting With: UFC

Last 5 fights:

- vs. Nik Lentz - Win via decision (unanimous) - UFC on Fox: Johnson vs. Benavidez - December 14, 2013

- vs. Clay Guida - Win via TKO (strikes) - UFC 164: Henderson vs. Pettis 2 - August 31, 2013

- vs. Darren Elkins - Win via TKO (strikes) - UFC on FOX 7: Henderson vs. Melendez - April 20, 2013

- vs. Yaotzin Meza - Win via KO (punches) - UFC on FX 6: Sotiropoulos vs. Pearson - December 14, 2012

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

Next scheduled appearance:

- Unknown

Comment: Mendes earned his fifth consecutive win in dominant fashion, overpowering Nik Lentz through three rounds last month. Despite his inability to finish the bout, Mendes remained danger free throughout the fight. He's not the number one contender because he fought Jose Aldo two years ago and the champion wants fresh challengers, so he will just have to continue knocking guys off if he's to ever earn another title fight opportunity




3) Ricardo Lamas (13-2)


Height: 5'8

Birthday: May 21, 1982

Currently Fighting With: UFC

Last 5 fights:

- vs. Erik Koch - Win via TKO (elbows and punches) - UFC on Fox: Johnson vs. Dodson - January 26, 2013

- 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

Next scheduled appearance:

- vs. Jose Aldo - UFC 169: Cruz vs. Barao - February 1, 2014

Comment: Just shy of a month ago, Lamas was awarded his black belt in Brazilian Jiu Jitsu under Daniel Valverde. The 31-year-old is game planning to beat Jose Aldo when they meet at UFC 169 next month, while everyone under the sun not directly connected to him assumes he will lose.




4) Cub Swanson (20-5)


Height: 5'7

Birthday: November 2, 1983

Currently Fighting With: UFC

Last 5 fights:

- vs. Dennis Siver - Win via TKO (punches) - UFC 162: Silva vs. Weidman - July 6, 2013

- vs. Dustin Poirier - Win via decision (unanimous) - UFC on Fuel: Barao vs. McDonald - February 16, 2013

- 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

Next scheduled appearance:

- Unknown

Comment: Swanson does not have a fight booked and hopefully that will change before too long. Last month, he said he asked UFC officials to book him against Conor McGregor but that was shot down. In the mean time, Dustin Poirier has let it be known that he'd like a rematch with Cub.




5) Daniel Straus (22-4)


Height: 5'8

Birthday: July 27, 1984

Currently Fighting With: Bellator MMA

Last 5 fights:

- vs. Pat Curran - Win via decision (unanimous) - Bellator 106 - November 2, 2013

- vs. Alvin Robinson - Win via submission (rear naked choke) - Bellator 78 - October 26, 2012

- 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

Next scheduled appearance:

- Unknown

Comment: Bellator's 10th season will kick off next month and we're still waiting for further details about what to expect. New featherweight champ Daniel Straus has two challengers eyeing his gold, Frodo Khasbulaev and Patricio Freire. I'm not sure whether Frodo has worked out the visa issues that plagued him last year, but either way, Straus has a pair of tough match-ups staring him in the face.



6) Frankie Edgar (16-4-1)


Height: 5'6

Birthday: October 16, 1981

Currently Fighting With: UFC

Last 6 fights:

- vs. Charles Oliveira - Win via decision (unanimous) - UFC 162: Silva vs. Weidman - July 6, 2013

- vs. Jose Aldo - Loss via decision (unanimous) - UFC 156: Aldo vs. Edgar - February 2, 2013

- vs. Benson Henderson - Loss via decision (split) - UFC 150: Henderson vs. Edgar - August 11, 2012

- vs. Benson Henderson - Loss via decision (unanimous) - UFC 144: Edgar vs. Henderson - February 25, 2012

- vs. Gray Maynard - Win via KO (punches) - UFC 136: Edgar vs. Maynard 3 - October 8, 2011

Next scheduled appearance:

- vs. B.J. Penn - UFC - Spring 2014





7) Pat Curran (19-5)


Height: 5'9

Birthday: August 31, 1987

Currently Fighting With: Bellator MMA

Last 5 fights:

- vs Daniel Straus - Loss via decision (unanimous) - Bellator 106 - November 2, 2013

- vs. Shahbulat Shamhalaev - Win via submission (guillotine choke) - Bellator 95 - April 4, 2013

- vs. Patricio Freire - Win via decision (split) - Bellator 85 - January 17, 2013

- 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

Next scheduled appearance:

- Unknown





8) Patricio "Pitbull" Freire (21-2)


Height: 5'5

Birthday: July 7, 1987

Currently Fighting With: Bellator MMA

Last 5 fights:

- vs. Justin Wilcox - Win via TKO (punches) - Bellator 108 - November 15, 2013

- vs. Fabricio Guerreiro - Win via decision (unanimous) - Bellator 103 - October 11, 2013

- vs. Diego Nunes - WIn via KO (punch) - Bellator 99 - September 13, 2013

- vs. Jared Downing - WIn via TKO (punches) - Bellator 97 - July 31, 2013

- vs. Pat Curran - Loss via decision (split) - Bellator 85 - January 17, 2013

Next scheduled appearance:

- Unknown

Comment: Pitbull secured his second Bellator tournament win in November with a first round TKO win over Justin Wilcox. We don't know when he'll have his second title fight (he lost a five-round split decision to Pat Curran last January), but we DO know he has a win over current champ Daniel Straus. In the season four tourney final, he defeated Straus by unanimous decision in the spring of 2011.





9) Dustin Poirier (15-3)


Height: 5'9

Birthday: January 19, 1989

Currently Fighting With: UFC

Last 5 fights:

- vs. Diego Brandao - Win via KO (punches) - UFC 168: Weidman vs. Silva 2 - December 28, 2013

- vs. Erik Koch - Win via decision (unanimous) - UFC 164: Henderson vs. Pettis 2 - August 31, 2013

- vs. Cub Swanson - Loss via decision (unanimous) - UFC on Fuel: Barao vs. McDonald - February 16, 2013

- vs. Jonathan Brookins - Win via submission (D'arce choke) - UFC TUF 16 Finale - December 15, 2012

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

Next scheduled appearance:

- Unknown

Comment: Poirier kicked off the UFC 168 main card broadcast with a bang as he finished Diego Brandao with six seconds to spare in the first round. His birthday is coming up in 12-days and he's hopeful the UFC will deliver him a match-up with Cub Swanson and an opportunity to avenge his last loss.




10) "The Korean Zombie" Chan Sung Jung (16-4)


Height: 5'9

Birthday: March 17, 1987

Currently Fighting With: UFC

Last 5 fights:

- vs. Jose Aldo - Loss via TKO (punches) - UFC 163: Aldo vs. Korean Zombie - August 3, 2013

- 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

Next scheduled appearance:

- Unknown





11) Darren Elkins (17-3)


Height: 5'10

Birthday: May 16, 1984

Currently Fighting With: UFC

Last 5 fights:

- vs. Hatsu Hioki - Win via decision (unanimous) - UFC Fight Night: Condit vs. Kampmann 2 - August 28, 2013

- vs. Chad Mendes - Loss via TKO (strikes) - UFC on Fox: Henderson vs. Melendez - April 20, 2013

- vs. Antonio Carvalho - Win via TKO (strikes) - UFC 158: GSP vs. Diaz - March 16, 2013

- vs. Steven Siler - Win via decision (unanimous) - UFC 154: GSP vs. Condit - November 17, 2012

- vs. Diego Brandao - Win via decision (unanimous) - UFC 146: JDS vs. Mir - May 26, 2012

Next scheduled appearance:

- Unknown






12) Georgi Karakhanyan (24-3-10


Height: 5'8

Birthday: May 29, 1985

Currently Fighting With: World Series of Fighting

Last 5 fights:

- vs. Lance Palmer - Win via submission (guillotine choke) - WSOF 7: Johnson vs. Kyle - December 7, 2013

- vs. Waylon Lowe - Win via submission (guillotine choke) - WSOF 5 - September 14, 2013

- vs. Din Thomas - WIn via decision (unanimous) - Legacy FC 19 - April 12, 2013

- vs. Hiroyuki Takaya - Win via decision (split) - DREAM 18 - December 31, 2012

- vs. Micah Miller - Win via decision (unanimous) - Tachi Palace Fights 14 - September 7, 2012

Next scheduled appearance:

- Unknown

Comment: Karakhanyan became the WSOF's first featherweight champ with his submission win last month.




13) Tatsuya Kawajiri (33-7-2)


Height: 5'7

Birthday: May 8, 1978

Currently Fighting With: UFC

Last 5 fights:

- vs. Sean Soriano - Win via submission (rear naked choke) - UFC Fight Night: Saffiedine vs. Lim - January 4, 2014

- vs. Michihiro Omigawa - Win via decision (unanimous) - DREAM 18 - December 31, 2012

- 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

Next scheduled appearance:

- Unknown

Comment: Crusher looked great in his UFC debut Saturday, overwhelming prospect Sean Soriano and ultimately choking him unconscious early in the second round. Kawajiri has his eyes set on a title shot and believes three consecutive wins will earn him that fight.





14) Nik "The Carny" Lentz (24-6-2, 1 NC)


Height: 5'8

Birthday: August 13, 1984

Currently Fighting With: UFC

Last 5 fights:

- vs. Chad Mendes - Loss via decision (unanimous) - UFC on Fox: Johnson vs. Benavidez - December 14, 2013

- vs. Hacran Dias - WIn via decision (unanimous) - UFC on FX: Belfort vs. Rockhold - May 18, 2013

- vs. Diego Nunes - Win via decision (unanimous) - UFC on FX: Belfort vs. Bisping - January 19, 2013

- vs. Eiji Mitsuoka - Win via TKO (strikes) - UFC 150: Henderson vs. Edgar 2 - August 11, 2012

- vs. Evan Dunham - Loss via TKO (doctor stoppage) - UFC on FOX: Evans vs. Davis - January 28, 2012

Next scheduled appearance:

- Unknown




15) Magomedrasul "Frodo" Khasbulaev (21-5)


Height: 5'6

Birthday: October 23, 1986

Currently Fighting With: Bellator MMA

Last 5 fights:

- vs. Mike Richman - Win via decision (unanimous) - Bellator 95 - April 4, 2013

- vs. Marlon Sandro - Win via TKO (strikes) - Bellator 92 - March 7, 2013

- vs. Fabricio Guerreiro - Win via submission (arm triangle choke) - Bellator 88 - February 7, 2013

- vs. Josh Pulsifer - Win via submission (rear naked choke) - Bellator 79 - November 2, 2012

- vs. Nayeb Hezam - WIn via KO (punch) - Bellator 76 - October 12, 2012

Next scheduled appearance:

- Unknown

Comment: Frodo is expected to be Straus' first challenger in 2014.





Final Notes: Conor McGregor, Tom Ninnimaki, Dennis Siver, Steven Siler, Dennis Bermudez and Shinya Aoki received additional votes.







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