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411 MMA Rankings 02.04.14: Bantamweight Division
Posted by Jonathan Solomon on 02.04.2014





De ja vu you say? I call it just another championship fight involving Urijah Faber.

Welcome to 411 MMA's Tuesday feature, our rankings and specifically, our bantamweight rankings. This edition comes under 72 hours since Renan Barao stopped Faber to defend his undisputed title for the first time. The loss provides "The California Kid" with his sixth consecutive loss in title fights going back to 2008 and has him talking about the possibility of taking fights at featherweight.

In the meantime, Barao is firmly atop this 135-pound weight class and I'm at a loss in trying to come up with a clear cut contender for the spring or summer. Even if you assume former champion Dominick Cruz is prepared and healthy to compete, you have to assume he will not step right back into the title mix. Raphael Assuncao is fighting Francisco Rivera later this month and if the Brazilian can win that match-up, he may be the man by default.

Takeya Mizugaki is on a four-fight win streak and you will never see me be against seeing that man fight. So, why the hell not? UFC, Bellator, WSOF, Asia, there probably is not a man in the division today who can stop Barao, but somebody has to step inside the octagon to try.

As for elsewhere, besides the UFC, both Bellator and the World Series of Fighting are highlighting their own bantamweight divisions next month. On Spike TV, champ Eduardo Dantas will defend his championship against Rafael Dias while in WSOF, they plan to crown their first titleholder when awesome Marlon Moraes will meet Josh Rettinghouse.

We may know, clearly, who the class of the division may be, but that does not mean we cannot be impressed by talent elsewhere in the world. So, go out of your way in March to check out those fights and why not? Both of those shows (Spike and NBC Sports Network are the platforms) will air on cable television, so unless you have cut the cord, you have not excuse.

In the meantime, use the comment section to bemoan how this division has fallen on tough times.




Rankings From One Year Ago
11.20.12


1. Renan Barao

2. Michael McDonald

3. Urijah Faber

4. Bibiano Fernandes

5. Brad Pickett

6. Mike Easton

7. Eddie Wineland

8. Tyson Nam

9. Marcos Galvao

10. Eduardo Dantas

11. Marlon Moraes

12. Raphael Assuncao

13. Zach Makovsky

14. Luis Alberto Nogueira

15. Ian Loveland





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 (32-1, 1 No Contest)


Height: 5'6

Birthday: February 27, 1987

Currently Fighting With: UFC

Last 5 fights:

- vs. Urijah Faber - Win via TKO (strikes) - UFC 169: Barao vs. Faber 2 - February 1, 2014

- vs. Eddie Wineland - Win via TKO (strikes) - UFC 165: Jones vs. Gustafsson - September 21, 2013

- vs. Michael McDonald - Win via submission (arm-triangle choke) - UFC on Fuel: Barao vs. McDonald - February 16, 2013

- 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

Next scheduled appearance:

- Unknown

Comment: Yes, we can focus on the early stoppage from Saturday night, but had Herb Dean allowed the fight to continue, who believes the result would have been any different? Regardless, Renan Barao remains the best bantamweight in the world and one of the best pound-for-pound fighters, too. Good luck to whomever may be his next challenger, and we have no idea who that may be.

For those wondering, at the post-fight press conference, Barao made it clear that he intends to stick at bantamweight for the foreseeable future. Prepare to see his face in this spot for a long time.




2) Urijah Faber (30-7)


Height: 5'6

Birthday: May 14, 1979

Currently Fighting With: UFC

Last 5 fights:

- vs. Renan Barao - Loss via TKO (strikes) - UFC 169: Barao vs. Faber 2 - February 1, 2014

- vs. Michael McDonald - Win via submission (guillotine choke) - UFC on Fox: Johnson vs. Benavidez 2 - December 14, 2013

- vs. Yuri Alcantara - Win via decision (unanimous) - UFC Fight Night: Shogun vs. Sonnen - August 17, 2013

- vs. Scott Jorgensen - Win via submission (rear naked choke) - UFC TUF 17 Finale - April 13, 2013

- vs. Ivan Menjivar - Win via submission (standing rear naked choke) - UFC 157: Rousey vs. Carmouche - February 23, 2013

Next scheduled appearance:

- Unknown

Comment: Extenuating circumstances be damned, Urijah Faber's streak of winning fights with the exception of title bouts remains intact. There's no reason to believe that pattern will end in 2014 so chalk him up for a win in about four months.





3) Michael "Mayday" McDonald (16-3)


Height: 5'8

Birthday: January 15, 1991

Currently Fighting With: UFC

Last 5 fights:

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

- vs. Brad Pickett - Win via submission (triangle choke) - UFC Fight Night: Shogun vs. Sonnen - August 17, 2013

- vs. Renan Barao - Loss via submission (arm-triangle choke) - UFC on Fuel: Barao vs. McDonald - February 16, 2013

- 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

Next scheduled appearance:

- Unknown





4) Raphael Assuncao (21-4)


Height: 5'4

Birthday: July 19, 1982

Currently Fighting With: UFC

Last 5 fights:

- vs. T.J. Dillashaw - Win via decision (split) - UFC Fight Night: Maia vs. Shields - October 9, 2013

- vs. Vaughan Lee - Win via submission (armbar) - UFC on Fuel: Nogueira vs. Werdum - June 8, 2013

- vs. Mike Easton - Win via decision (unanimous) - UFC on Fox: Henderson vs. Diaz - December 8, 2012

- 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

Next scheduled appearance:

- vs. TBA - UFC 170: Rousey vs. McMann - February 22, 2014

Comment: As you'll read below, Assuncao is looking for a new opponent on less than three weeks notice due to an injury sustained by Francisco Rivera.




5) Eddie Wineland (21-9-1)


Height: 5'7

Birthday: June 26, 1984

Currently Fighting With: UFC

Last 5 fights:

- vs. Yves Jabouin - Win via TKO (strikes) - UFC on Fox: Henderson vs. Thomson - January 25, 2014

- vs. Renan Barao - Loss via TKO (strikes) - UFC 165: Jones vs. Gustafsson - September 21, 2013

- vs. Brad Pickett - Win via decision (split) - UFC 155: dos Santos vs. Velasquez - December 29, 2012

- 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

Next scheduled appearance:

- Unknown




6) Takeya Mizugaki (19-7-2)


Height: 5'7

Birthday: December 16, 1983

Currently Fighting With: UFC

Last 5 fights:

- vs. Nam Phan - Win via decision (unanimous) - UFC Fight Nght: Hunt vs. Bigfoot - December 7, 2013

- vs. Erik Perez - Win via decision (split) - UFC Fight Night: Condit vs. Kampmann 2 - August 28, 2013

- vs. Bryan Caraway - Win via decision (split) - UFC on Fuel: Silva vs. Stann - March 3, 2013

- vs. Jeff Hougland - Win via decision (unanimous) - UFC on Fuel: Franklin vs. Le - November 10, 2012

- vs. Chris Cariaso - Loss via decision (unanimous) - UFC 144: Edgar vs. Henderson - February 26, 2012

Next scheduled appearance:

- Unknown





7) Bibiano Fernandes (15-3)


Height: 5'7

Birthday: March 30, 1980

Currently Fighting With: One Fighting Championship

Last 5 fights:

- vs. Soo Chul Kim - Win via decision (unanimous) - One FC: Total Domination - October 18, 2013

- vs. Koetsu Okazaki - Win via decision (unanimous) - One FC: Rise to Power - May 31, 2013

- vs. Yoshiro Maeda - Win via technical submission (triangle choke) - DREAM 18 - December 31, 2012

- 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

Next scheduled appearance:

- Unknown





8) Marlon Moraes (12-4-1)


Height: 5'6

Birthday: April 26, 1988

Currently Fighting With: World Series of Fighting

Last 5 fights:

- vs. Carson Beebe - Win via KO (strikes) - WSOF 6: Burkman vs. Carl - October 26, 2013

- vs. Brandon Hempleman - Win via decision (unanimous) - WSOF 4: Spong vs. Deanda - August 10, 2013

- vs. Tyson Nam - Win via KO (head kick & punches) - WSOF 2: Arlovski vs. Johnson - March 23, 2013

- 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

Next scheduled appearance:

- vs. Josh Rettinghouse - WSOF 9: Carl vs. Palhares - March 29, 2014

Comment: Set for next month is the inaugural WSOF bantamweight title fight with Moraes taking on Josh Rettinghouse. The 23-year-old underdog is celebrating his birthday at the end of this month but he's coming off a win over Alexis Vila in the fall. Moraes will try to stop that momentum and earn his fifth consecutive win in the WSOF cage.




9) T.J. Dillashaw (9-2)


Height: 5'6

Birthday: February 7, 1986

Currently Fighting With: UFC

Last 5 fights:

- vs. Mike Easton - Win via decision (unanimous) - UFC Fight Night: Rockhold vs. Philippou - January 15, 2014

- vs. Raphael Assuncao - Loss via decision (spit) - UFC Fight Night: Maia vs. Shields - October 9, 2013

- vs. Hugo Viana - Win via TKO (strikes) - UFC on Fox: Henderson vs. Melendez - April 20, 2013

- vs. Issei Tamura - Win via KO (knee) - UFC 158: St. Pierre vs. Diaz - March 16, 2013

- vs. Vaughan Lee - Win via submission (neck crank) - UFC on Fuel: Munoz vs. Weidman - July 11, 2012

Next scheduled appearance:

- Unknown





10) Eduardo Dantas (15-3)


Height: 5'10

Birthday: February 3, 1989

Currently Fighting With: Bellator FMMA

Last 5 fights:

- vs. Marcos Galvao - Win via KO (punches) - Bellator 89 - February 14, 2013

- 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

Next scheduled appearance:

- vs. Rafael Silva - Bellator 111 - March 7, 2014

Comment: Dantas will defend the Bellator championship in a month as he meets tournament winner Rafael Silva and the winner will meet Joe Warren later in the year.






11) Alex Cacares (10-5, 1 NC)


Height: 5'9

Birthday: June 20, 1988

Currently Fighting With: UFC

Last 5 fights:

- vs. Sergio Pettis - Win via submission (rear naked choke) - UFC on Fox: Henderson vs. Thomson - January 25, 2014

- vs. Roland Delorme - Win via decision (split) - UFC 165 - September 21, 2013

- vs. Kyung Ho Kang - No Contest (decision win overturned due to positive drug test) - UFC on Fuel: Silva vs. Stann - March 3, 2013

- vs. Motonobu Tezuka - Win via decision (split) - UFC on Fuel: Franklin vs. Le - November 10, 2012

- vs. Damacio Page - Win via submission (triangle choke) - UFC on Fuel: Munoz vs. Weidman - July 11, 2012

Next scheduled appearance:

- Unknown

Comment: In the middle of the best run of his career, "Bruce Leeroy" is fresh off the biggest win, too. He choked out young prospect Sergio Pettis in the waning moments of their fight last week, earning bonuses for both the fight of the night and submission of the night.





12) Bryan Caraway


Height: 5'8

Birthday: August 4, 1984

Currently Fighting With: UFC

Last 5 fights:

- vs. Johnny Bedford - Win via submission (guillotine choke) - UFC 159: Jones vs. Sonnen - April 27, 2013

- vs. Takeya Mizugaki - Loss via decision (split) - UFC on Fuel: Silva vs. Stann - March 3, 2013

- vs. Mitch Gagnon - Win via submission (rear naked choke) - UFC 149: Faber vs. Barao - July 21, 2012

- vs. Dustin Neace - Win via submission (rear naked choke) - TUF 14 Finale - December 3, 2011

- vs. Marlin Weikel - Win via submission (rear naked choke) - CageSport 13 - February 19, 2011

Next scheduled appearance:

- Unknown





13) Francisco "Cisco" Rivera (10-2, 1 NC)


Height: 5'9

Birthday: October 8, 1981

Currently Fighting With: UFC

Last 5 fights:

- vs. George Roop - Win via TKO (strikes) - UFC Fight for the Troops 3 - November 6, 2013

- vs. Edwin Figueroa - Win via TKO (strikes) - UFC 156 - February 2, 2013

- vs. Roland Delorme - No Contest (KO win overturned due to positive drug test) - UFC 149 - July 21, 2012

- vs. Alex Soto - Win via decision (unanimous) - UFC on Fuel: Korean Zombie vs. Poirier - May 15, 2012

- vs. Antonio Duarte - Win via KO (strikes) - TPF 12: Second Coming - March 9, 2012

Next scheduled appearance:

- Injured (broke hand)

Comment: As of late Monday afternoon, the latest we knew was through Raphael Assuncao via Twitter. Apparently, Rivera has a broken hand and will not be able to compete at UFC 170 later this month. It's a rough turn of events for the veteran who was set to fight a bonafide top-five challenger in the division.



14) Marcos Galvao (15-6-1)


Height: 5'3

Birthday: June 23, 1982

Currently Fighting With: Bellator MMA

Last 5 fights:

- vs. Tim McKenna - Win via TKO (strikes) - Bellator 108 - November 15, 2013

- vs. Shely Santana - Win via TKO (strikes) - Shooto: Brazil 40 - June 24, 2013

- vs. Eduardo Dantas - Loss via KO (punches) - Bellator 89 - February 14, 2013

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

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

Next scheduled appearance:

- Unknown





15) Iuri Alcantara (28-5, 1 NC)


Height: 5'6

Birthday: August 4, 1980

Currently Fighting With: UFC

Last 5 fights:

- vs. Urijah Faber - Loss via decision (unanimous) - UFC Fight Night: Shogun vs. Sonnen - August 17, 2013

- vs. Iliarde Santos - Win via TKO (strikes) - UFC on FX: Belfort vs. Rockhold - May 18, 2013

- vs. Pedro Nobre - No contest (illegal strikes) - UFC on FX: Belfort vs. Bisping - January 19, 2013

- vs. Hacran Dias - Loss via decision (unanimous) - UFC 147: Silva vs. Franklin 2 - June 23, 2012

- vs. Michihiro Omigawa - Win via decision (unanimous) - UFC 142: Aldo vs. Mendes - January 14, 2012

Next scheduled appearance:

- vs. Wilson Reis - UFC Fight Night: Machida vs. Mousasi - February 15, 2014







Closing Comments: Erik Perez, Jimmie Rivera, Pedro Munhoz, Rafael Silva, Wilson Reis, Joe Warren and Mike Easton received additional votes.

Dominick Cruz was removed from our rankings this month due to his latest injury. As per our guidelines, he has not competed in well over a year and is not signed for an upcoming fight.





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