The Rankings: The Bantamweights: April 2, 2012


The Rankings are just that – The MMA Manifesto’s rankings of the best fighters in mixed martial arts today.  Check back every Monday and Friday for our rankings of a different weight class.  Next up: The Bantamweights. 

Voting Panel: Jeff Fox – The MMA Manifesto and FIGHT! magazine, speeds – Sports Two MMA Forum, Dave Hunter – 2010 MMA Manifesto Pick ‘Em Contest Champion, Dave Kelsey – 2011 MMA Manifesto Pick ‘Em Contest Champion, and MMA journalist (FIGHT!,, Keyboard Kimura) E. Spencer Kyte.

1) (Last ranking: 1) Dominick Cruz – UFC Bantamweight Champion – 50 points (out of 50)

dominick cruz
    Last Five Fights: 5-0 
    Record vs Top 10: 3-1 (W-Faber, W-Jorgensen, W-Bowles, L-Faber)
    Next Fight: vs #2 Urijah Faber – UFC 148 – July 7th

One of the most unique fighters in the sport, champ Dominick Cruz gets to take his star turn now as a coach on The Ultimate Fighter.

2) (2) Urijah Faber – UFC  – 44 points
          Last Five Fights: 3-2
          Record vs Top 10: 3-1 (W-Bowles, L-Cruz, W-Cruz, W-Fernandes)
          Next Fight: vs #1 Dominick Cruz – UFC 148 – July 7th
Will MMA legend Urijah Faber ever be a UFC champion?  You’d have to think his next fight will probably be his last shot at the belt.

3) (3) Renan Barao – UFC – 41 points
28-1 (1 No Contest) 
          Last Five Fights: 5-0 
          Record vs Top 10: 1-0 (W-Jorgensen)
          Next Fight: vs Ivan Menjivar – UFC 148 – July 7th

BJJ master Renan Barao lost his first ever pro MMA fight.  He’s gone undefeated in 29-straight fights since then.  If he wins his next fight, versus Ivan Menjivar, he’ll be the #1 contender in the weight class.

4) (4) Brian Bowles – UFC – 31 points
          Last Five Fights:
          Record vs Top 10: 1-2 (L-Faber, L-Cruz, W-Torres)
          Next Fight: TBA

Brian Bowles wants to get his bantamweight title back (although this time it is the UFC one instead of the WEC one he previously held) but he blew his chance by losing the #1 contender match versus Urijah Faber.

5) (5) Michael McDonald – UFC – 26 points
          Last Five Fights: 5-0
          Record vs Top 10:
Next Fight:
 vs #8 Miguel Torres – UFC 145 – April 21st 

One of a slew of up-and-coming fighters in the division, Michael McDonald will get to prove he is for real in his next fight versus former bantamweight god Miguel Torres.

6) (6) Scott Jorgensen – UFC – 22 points 
          Last Five Fights: 3-2 
          Record vs Top 10: 0-2 (L-Barao, L-Cruz)
          Next Fight: vs Eddie Wineland – UFC on FX 3 – June 8th

Despite a long and successful career, Scott Jorgensen has only had one shot at a championship belt.  Losing his last fight versus Renan Barao won’t get him any closer to another elusive shot at the belt. 

7) (tied) (7) Bibiano Fernandes – DREAM Bantamweight Champion – 20 points

cord: 11-3
                   Last Five Fights: 4-1 
                   Record vs Top 10: 0-1 (L-Faber)    
                   Next Fight: TBA

One of the best fighters left competing in Japan, we may not really know how good Bibiano Fernandes is until he is lured stateside.

7) (tied) (8) Miguel Torres – UFC – 20 points 
                   Record: 39-4
                   Last Five Fights: 3-2 
                   Record vs Top 10: 0-1 (L-Bowles)
                   Next Fight: vs #5 Michael McDonald – UFC 145 – April 21st

You can’t deny Miguel Torres’s place among the greatest lighter weight fighters in MMA history.  But does he still have what it takes to compete with the best?  His next fight will go a long way to answer that question.   

9) (9) Masakatsu Ueda – Bellator – 8 points 
          Record: 15-1-2
          Last Five Fights: 5-0
          Record vs Top 10: 1-0 (W-Dantas)
          Next Fight: vs Travis Marx – Bellator LXIV – April 6th

After a long and almost unblemished career in Japan, Masakatsu Ueda will be able to showcase his skills to the North American fans now that he is part of Bellator.  And we’ll get our first glimpse of him this Friday as part of the Bellator’s Bantamweight Tournament. 

10) (9) Eduardo Dantas – Bellator – 6 points
            Record: 13-2 
            Last Five Fights: 5-0
            Record vs Top 10: 0-1 (L-Ueda) 
            Next Fight: vs Zach Makovsky – Bellator LXV – April 13th 

Eduardo Dantas ended up ranked higher than Bellator champ Zach Makovsky in our poll.  We’ll see if he proves us right in his next fight versus Makovsky.

Bubbling under: Zach Makovsky, Chris Cariaso, Brad Pickett

Rankings: HeavyweightsLight HeavyweightsMiddleweightsWelterweights,  Lightweights, FeatherweightsPound For Pound

Check back on Friday for our Pound For Pound rankings

About Jeff Fox

Jeff Fox is Mr. Manifesto - the Supreme Leader and evil mind behind The Hoops Manifesto, The MMA Manifesto, & A Dry Heat.