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411's MMA Rankings 06.17.14: Featherweight Division
Posted by Jonathan Solomon on 06.17.2014






It's always a curious debate to have, in the current MMA landscape, which division is the best, worst, most boring? With the lack of genuine stars in 2014, perhaps it's a tougher discussion to have than in years prior, but the featherweight division is a mix of all. As we update our 145-pound rankings this week, do you see a group of fighters you can't wait to see compete in the cage?

This is the 411 MMA Rankings and Jose Aldo has been THE MAN in this space since he stopped Mike Brown in 2009. The Brazilian is not even 28-years-old yet (September) and this summer, he will be working to earn his 18th consecutive win and 25th overall. While there may always be a possibility that he'll be ill by fight night or have a horrible weight cut, there's no reason to ever pick against Aldo and his upcoming rematch with Chad Mendes is no different.

Perhaps adding some intrigue into this group is the weird upcoming fight between Frankie Edgar and B.J. Penn next month. Apparently, win or lose, Penn does not have his mind set on staying at 145-pounds, so that doesn't reflect well here unless Edgar can beat the legend for a third time in as many fights. Edgar already lost to Aldo and while it was a clear win for the champion, there are not many top contenders who HAVEN'T already lost to him. In fact, among the top ten featherweights below, five have already suffered defeat against him. Four of the others include Aldo himself, and three of Bellator's best competitors. There's no spring cleaning for him, because he's already cleaned out the cupboard here.

Lastly, how about that Conor McGregor. He has not done a whole lot in his UFC career so far, but he appears to be a legitimate star to the European audience. His upcoming main event with Cole Miller next month in Ireland sold out quickly and thanks to his penchant for saying whatever is on his mind, he has plenty of peers in this division who would not mind the chance to shut him up. Among them is World Series of Fighting champion Georgi Karakhanyan and of course, Cole Miller (hence their matchup).

While McGregor only has two UFC wins to his name and gets most of the hype, there goes Dennis Bermudez without much publicity fighting along with his six consecutive wins inside the octagon. At least there are enough potential challengers for Aldo down the road who are making a name for themselves in different ways.

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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 (24-1)


Height: 5'7

Birthday: September 9, 1986

Currently Fighting With: UFC

Last 5 fights:

- vs. Ricardo Lamas - Win via decision (unanimous) - UFC 169: Barao vs. Faber 2 - February 1, 2014

- 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

Next scheduled appearance:

- vs. Chad Mendes - UFC 176: Aldo vs. Mendes 2 - August 2, 2014

Comment: Aldo is set to defend is championship for the ninth consecutive fight in August against Chad Mendes, a man he defeated over two years ago in impressive fashion in Brazil. This time, Mendes will not have to travel out of the country as the bout will headline the UFC's return to Staples Center in Los Angeles.




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:

- vs. Jose Aldo - UFC 176: Aldo vs. Mendes 2 - August 2, 2014

Comment: Will Team Alpha Male's good fortune continue? We have already seen T.J. Dillashaw upset Renan Barao, perhaps Chad Mendes will do the same to Aldo.




3) 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:

- vs. Jeremy Stephens - UFC Fight Night: Swanson vs. Stephens - June 28, 2014

Comment: Swanson is looking for his sixth consecutive win in under two weeks when he sets foot in the octagon to brawl with Jeremy Stephens in San Antonio. Stephens is 3-0 as a featherweight and that includes a 40-second knockout of Rony Jason (via head kick), so if this fight does develop into a brawl, it will be intriguing to see whether Swanson will be setting himself up for an upset.




4) Pat Curran (20-5)


Height: 5'9

Birthday: August 31, 1987

Currently Fighting With: Bellator MMA

Last 5 fights:

- vs. Daniel Straus - Win via submission (rear naked choke) - Bellator 112 - March 14, 2014

- 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

Next scheduled appearance:

- Unknown




5) 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 TUF Finale - July 6, 2014





6) 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 is another possibility as far as who will get the first crack at Bellator featherweight champion Pat Curran in the fall. Freire was the season 9 tournament winner and has a guaranteed title fight coming his way one of these days. The Brazilian has unfinished business with the champion because during Curran's first reign, Pitbull lost a split decision to him in 2013.





7) Ricardo Lamas (13-3)


Height: 5'8

Birthday: May 21, 1982

Currently Fighting With: UFC

Last 5 fights:

- vs. Jose Aldo - Loss via decision (unanimous) - UFC 169: Barao vs. Faber 2 - February 1, 2014

- 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

Next scheduled appearance:

- vs. Hacran Dias - UFC Fight Night: Swanson vs. Stephens - June 28, 2014

Comment: Ricardo is back for his first contest since losing to Jose Aldo, later this month when he fights dangerous Brazilian Hacran Dias. The 30-year-old Dias (21-2-1) is coming off his first loss in four years when he was on the losing side of a unanimous decision to Nik Lentz last spring.




8) "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





9) Daniel Straus (22-5)


Height: 5'8

Birthday: July 27, 1984

Currently Fighting With: Bellator MMA

Last 5 fights:

- vs. Pat Curran - Loss via submission (rear naked choke) - Bellator 112 - March 14, 2014

- 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

Next scheduled appearance:

- Unknown

Comment: Bellator has yet to make any announcements for their 11th season (Fall 2014) but you would not be wrong to believe we may see another rematch in the Curran/Straus saga. Pat won their latest bout in March with a fifth-round submission and Bellator founder Bjorn Rebney has said that former tournament winners will not be required to enter new tournaments to earn title fights in specific situations.



10) Dustin Poirier (16-3)


Height: 5'9

Birthday: January 19, 1989

Currently Fighting With: UFC

Last 5 fights:

- vs. Akira Corassani - Win via TKO (strikes) - TUF Nations Finale - April 16, 2014

- 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

Next scheduled appearance:

- Unknown

Comment: Dustin overwhelmed Akira Corassani in Quebec in April and earned his third straight win, good for his longest win streak in two years. Up next for Poirier is a potential fight with Conor McGregor if the controversial featherweight is successful against Cole Miller next month.




11) Clay Guida (31-14)


Height: 5'7

Birthday: December 8, 1981

Currently Fighting With: UFC

Last 5 fights:

- vs. Tatsuya Kawajiri - Win via decision (unanimous) - UFC Fight Night: Nogueira vs. Nelson - April 11, 2014

- vs. Chad Mendes - Loss via TKO (strikes) - UFC 164 - August 31, 2013

- vs. Hatsu Hioki - Win via decision (split) - UFC on Fox: Johnson vs. Dodson - January 26, 2013

- vs. Gray Maynard - Loss via decision (split) - UFC on FX: Maynard vs. Guida - June 22, 2012

- vs. Ben Henderson - Loss via decision (unanimous) - UFC on Fox: Velasquez vs. dos Santos - November 12, 2011

Next scheduled appearance:

- vs. Dennis Bermudez - UFC on Fox - July 26, 2014

Comment: It was a 'Fight of the Night' performance between Guida and Kawajiri two months ago and "The Carpenter" came out on top. He is now 2-1 as a featherweight and will meet surging contender Dennis Bermudez next month on the next Fox card.




12) Dennis "The Menace" Bermudez (13-3)


Height: 5'6

Birthday: December 13, 1986

Currently Fighting With: UFC

Last 5 fights:

- vs. Jimy Hettes - Win via TKO (strikes) - UFC 171: Hendricks vs. Lawler - March 15, 2014

- vs. Steven Siler - Win via decision (unanimous) - UFC Fight for the Troops 3 - November 6, 2013

- vs. Max Holloway - Win via decision (split) - UFC 160 - May 25, 2013

- vs. Matt Grice - Win via decision (split) - UFC 157 - February 23, 2013

- vs. Tommy Hayden - Win via submission (guillotine choke) - UFC 150 - August 11, 2012

Next scheduled appearance:

- vs. Clay Guida - UFC on Fox - July 26, 2014

Comment: The New York native is on a six-fight win streak and has quickly become one of the more entertaining fighters in the entire division over that span. Building on his TKO win over Jimy Hettes earlier in the year, he's scheduled to meet Clay Guida next month. It's a good test for Bermudez against a tough-as-nails competitor like Guida who is famous for grinding out fights and being difficult to finish.




13) Tatsuya Kawajiri (33-8-2)


Height: 5'7

Birthday: May 8, 1978

Currently Fighting With: UFC

Last 5 fights:

- vs. Clay Guida - Loss via decision (unanimous) - UFC Fight Night: Nogueira vs. Nelson - April 11, 2014

- 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


Next scheduled appearance:

- Unknown




14) "Notorious" Conor McGregor (14-2)


Height: 5'8

Birthday: July 14, 1988

Currently Fighting With: UFC

Last 5 fights:

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

- vs. Marcus Brimage - Win via TKO (strikes) - UFC on Fuel: Mousasi vs. Latifi - April 6, 2013

- vs. Ivan Buchinger - Win via KO (punch) - Cage Warriors Fighting Championship 51 - December 31, 2012

- vs. Dave Hill - Win via submission (rear naked choke) - CWFC 47 - June 2, 2012

- vs. Steve O'Keefe - Win via TKO (elbows) - CWFC 45 - February 18, 2012

Next scheduled appearance:

- vs. Cole Miller - UFC Fight Night - July 19, 2014





15) 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:

- vs. Rick Glenn - WSOF 10: Branch vs. Taylor - June 21, 2014

Comment: The WSOF champion is set to defend his crown for the first time against Rick Glenn, a 25-year-old Roufusport fighter. Glenn is 11-0-1 in his last 12 fights and won both of his WSOF fights last year to earn this opportunity. Karakhanyan is a Brazilian Jiu-Jitsu black belt and choked out both of his opponents in 2013 to become featherweight champion.






Final Notes: Shinya Aoki received additional votes.





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