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MMA Rankings
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MMA Rankings - 10-26-2012, 08:02 PM


1. Junior dos Santos (15-1)

With his May knockout of Frank Mir, dos Santos became the first man since Brock Lesnar to successfully defend the UFC heavyweight title. The hard-hitting Brazilian will try to repeat the feat before the year is through, as he’s set to rematch the man from whom he took the belt, Cain Velasquez, on Dec. 29.

2. Cain Velasquez (10-1)

Velasquez made a statement with his first-round battering of Antonio Silva, a win which put the American Kickboxing Academy product right where he wanted to be: title contention. Now, he’ll have a chance to redeem himself against the man who knocked him out and took his UFC title, Junior dos Santos, when the pair meet again on Dec. 29.

3. Alistair Overeem (36-11, 1 NC)

The “Demolition Man” remains suspended through December after failing a ran*** drug test in Nevada with elevated testosterone levels, but the news isn’t all bad for Overeem. UFC President Dana White recently stated that when the Dutchman does return to the Octagon, he’ll likely do so as a top contender.

4. Fabricio Werdum (16-5-1)

In his first fight on home soil in eight years, Fabricio Werdum was sensational at UFC 147 in Belo Horizonte, Brazil. “Vai Cavalo” stormed Mike Russow out of the gate, knocking him down and out in just over two minutes. Almost four years after exiting the UFC, Werdum is on the cusp of serious UFC title contention.

5. Daniel Cormier (10-0)

Cormier is still recovering from his third broken hand in the recent past, but the two-time U.S. Olympian is still expected to fulfill the final bout on his Strikeforce contract this fall. Though still unscheduled, the fight will be a momentous one, as Frank Mir will become the first fighter under UFC contract to cross over into Strikeforce.

6. Frank Mir (16-6)

A short-notice May assignment against Junior dos Santos did not go well for Mir, who had a three-fight winning streak snapped in a second-round stoppage loss to the Brazilian. For his next bout, Mir will fight outside the Octagon for the first time since 2001, as he is expected to face unbeaten wrestler Daniel Cormier under the Strikeforce banner this fall.

7. Antonio Rodrigo Nogueira (33-7-1, 1 NC)

Ever the competitor, Antonio Rodrigo Nogueira hoped to return to action at UFC 149 on July 21 in Calgary against Cheick Kongo. Instead, more “Dancing with the Stars” in Brazil is all he’ll get, as his arm that Frank Mir broke last December hasn’t made the necessary progress for “Minotauro” to train as he’d like in order to fight. The Brazilian great hopes to return before the year is out.

8. Josh Barnett (31-6)

While Daniel Cormier’s final Strikeforce bout on Sept. 29 has been grabbing the lion’s share of heavyweight attention, “The Warmaster” will make his final foray in the Strikeforce cage on the same bill. However, whether Barnett will slide into a warm spot in the Octagon after his Strikeforce deal, like Cormier, remains to be seen.

9. Antonio Silva (16-4)

Since recording his biggest win against Fedor Emelianenko, Silva has dropped back-to-back bouts for the first time in his 7-year career. Nonetheless, the American Top Team representative has been slotted into a main event opposite undefeated Hawaiian Travis Browne, who he’ll meet Oct. 5 in Minneapolis.

10. Mike Russow (15-2, 1 NC)

Mike Russow got the A-list opponent he was looking for at UFC 147, however, the Chicago policeman looked out of his depth in Belo Horizonte, Brazil. It took less than half of the first round for former BJJ world champion Fabricio Werdum to drop Russow standing and punctuate the bout on the canvas for a quick-and-dirty first-round knockout win.

Other contenders:
Travis Browne, Cheick Kongo, Cole Konrad, Mark Hunt, Ben Rothwell.

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Light Heavyweight - 10-26-2012, 08:03 PM

1. Jon Jones (16-1)

With his DWI run-in behind him and a new Nike endorsement in hand, the UFC’s youngest champ will have another chance to add to his rapidly growing legacy on Sept. 1. That’s when he’ll meet former Pride champion Dan Henderson in a new school vs. old school main event at UFC 151.

2. Dan Henderson (29-8)

Who could have guessed that Henderson would be more relevant than ever at age 41? With a four-fight winning streak that includes victories over fellow MMA icons Fedor Emelianenko and Mauricio Rua, “Hendo” is now looked upon as one of the only possible foils to UFC light heavyweight champ Jon Jones, who he’ll meet in September at UFC 151.

3. Rashad Evans (17-2-1)

Though he was downed by Jon Jones in his bid to reclaim UFC gold at 205, Rashad Evans might not be out of the title picture entirely. After Anderson Silva’s July 7 triumph of Chael Sonnen, Evans suggested via Twitter that he would be interested in fighting the middleweight king at 185, re-igniting discussions of Evans at 185 which hadn’t been entertained in years.

4. Mauricio “Shogun” Rua (21-6)

It took the better part of four rounds, but “Shogun” was able to punch out Brandon Vera late in their Aug. 4 headliner on Fox. Next up for the Brazilian is a showdown with Swedish up-and-comer Alexander Gustafsson, another bout bound for network TV and one which could decide the next 205-pound challenger.

5. Lyoto Machida (18-3)

Machida needed a big win to secure a title shot on Aug. 4 and that’s exactly what he got. According to UFC boss Dana White, Machida’s second-round knockout of Ryan Bader has earned him a crack at the winner of next month’s Jon Jones-Dan Henderson light heavyweight title tilt.

6. Phil Davis (9-1, 1 NC)

Davis’ Aug. 4 meeting with Brazilian newcomer Wagner Prado was cut short when the former NCAA wrestling champ accidentally poked Prado in the eye less than 90 seconds into the bout. The pair will get a chance to run it back on Oct. 5, when they’re scheduled to rematch in Minneapolis.

7. Alexander Gustafsson (14-1)

Sweden’s top export put himself on the verge of title contention with his April decision win against Thiago Silva, and his next matchup could just put Gustafsson over the top. In the biggest fight of his young career, “The Mauler” will square off against Mauricio “Shogun” Rua on Fox in December.

8. Antonio Rogerio Nogueira (20-5)

Injury derailed Nogueira’s second UFC main event, which was to come against Swedish up-and-comer Alexander Gustafsson on April 14. Instead, “Lil Nog” opted for surgery for an injured patella and watch from the sidelines as Gustafsson went out and cruised past Thiago Silva.

9. Ryan Bader (14-3)

Following the biggest win of his career against Quinton Jackson, Bader bit off more than he could chew with another ex-champ, Lyoto Machida. Having been scorched by “The Dragon” in the second round of their August encounter, it’s a step back down the light heavyweight ladder for the wrestler from Arizona State.

10. Quinton “Rampage” Jackson (32-10)

In spite of his public antagonism of the UFC, “Rampage” will have the final bout on his contract fulfilled the promotion. However, Zuffa brass aren’t doing the former light heavyweight champ any favors: Jackson’s potential final UFC bout will come at UFC 153 in Rio de Janeiro against Brazilian stalwart Glover Teixeira on Oct. 13.

Other contenders:
Rafael Cavalcante, Forrest Griffin, Muhammed “King Mo” Lawal, Vladimir Matyushenko, Gegard Mousasi.

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Middleweight - 10-26-2012, 08:04 PM

1. Anderson Silva (32-4)

His long and loud feud with Chael Sonnen now in the rearview, pound-for-pound king Silva is back to the same problem he had before: a lack of suitable challengers. Unbeaten wrestler Chris Weidman remains an option, while Silva’s management has said “The Spider” is still interested in fighting Georges St. Pierre. Whatever the next move, it will have to wait until 2013, as Silva has opted to take the rest of the year off.

2. Chael Sonnen (27-12-1)

Despite a strong opening round, Sonnen was once again trumped in his UFC title rematch with Anderson Silva on July 7, this time being punched out after an ill-timed spinning back-fist. The loss has prompted a move back to light heavyweight, where Sonnen will take on Forrest Griffin on Dec. 29 in a rematch of a 2003 bout which Griffin won via submission.

3. Chris Weidman (9-0)

Weidman kept his record blemish-free and recorded another impressive victory July 11 with a bloody and brutal knockout of Mark Munoz on Fuel TV. The Serra-Longo product has since been challenged on Twitter by Vitor Belfort, but Weidman declined; likewise, UFC boss Dana White recently stated that Weidman could be next in line for Anderson Silva.

4. Michael Bisping (22-4)

After a June surgery to repair a torn meniscus in his knee, Bisping already knows who he’ll face when he’s recuperated. The perpetual middleweight contender will try to get back on track against heavy-handed American Brian Stann come Sept. 22 in Toronto.

5. Tim Boetsch (16-4)

Despite being looked upon by many as fodder for incoming Bellator champ Hector Lombard, “The Barbarian” took an unexpected -- and, some would argue, undeserved -- split decision against Lombard in a tepid July 21 affair at UFC 149.

6. Mark Munoz (12-3)

Munoz appeared on the brink of contention after four straight wins against Chris Leben, Demian Maia, C.B. Dollaway and Aaron Simpson. The title talk came to a screeching halt on July 11, however, when the former Oklahoma State was dealt a bloody knockout at the hands of unbeaten up-and-comer Chris Weidman.

7. Vitor Belfort (21-9)

With his latest hand injury healed, many expected that Belfort would take on rival “The Ultimate Fighter Brazil” coach Wanderlei Silva in his return bout. That fight may still happen down the line, but for now, Belfort has been paired against a serious contender in Alan Belcher, who he’ll meet Oct. 13 in Rio de Janeiro.

8. Yushin Okami (27-7)

Okami shuffled through three opponents for UFC 150, originally being paired with Luiz Cane, then Rousimar Palhares and finally Buddy Roberts. The Japanese import looked solid in stopping Roberts on second-round punches and halting the first two-fight losing skid of his career.

9. Luke Rockhold (10-1)

Tim Kennedy proved no match for Rockhold in their July 14 Strikeforce title bout, as the younger, rangier AKA product had his way for the majority of their 25-minute encounter. Rockhold’s next defense is still up in the air, but it does appear he’ll stay put in Strikeforce for the foreseeable future.

10. Brian Stann (12-4)

Still on the mend from a separated shoulder which took him out of a major bout with Hector Lombard, Stann has a fight to look forward to when he’s back in fighting shape. The “All-American” will tangle with Michael Bisping on Sept. 22, with each man looking to move up in the suddenly bustling middleweight division.

Other contenders:
Alan Belcher, Rousimar Palhares, Jake Shields, Alexander Shlemenko, Ronaldo “Jacare” Souza.

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Welterweight - 10-26-2012, 08:04 PM

1. Georges St. Pierre (22-2)

Don’t look now, but Georges St. Pierre has a date for his Octagon return. The UFC’s welterweight ruler -- sidelined since last year due to knee surgery -- will end a near-19-month absence on Nov. 17, when he’s scheduled to take on interim titleholder Carlos Condit at UFC 154.

2. Carlos Condit (28-5)

After winning the UFC interim welterweight title in a five-round decision against Nick Diaz, not everyone agreed with Condit’s decision to sit and wait for the champ to return. However, the risk has given “The Natural Born Killer” exactly what he, and most every 170-pounder in MMA, wanted: a shot at Georges St. Pierre. Condit will attempt to become the UFC’s undisputed champ Nov. 17 before a pro-St. Pierre crowd in Montreal.

3. Nick Diaz (26-8, 1 ND)

Diaz still has six months left on his Nevada Athletic Commission-served suspension for a positive drug test, but that hasn’t kept the cantankerous Californian out of the news. Most recently, Diaz stirred things up when his management announced his return from a short-lived retirement and a desire to face middleweight ace Anderson Silva -- a super-fight which was immediately shot down by UFC brass.

4. Johny Hendricks (13-1)

Johny Hendricks is on the precipice at 170 pounds, and if he can find success against Martin Kampmann on Nov. 17 at UFC 154, he might dive headfirst into a UFC welterweight title shot. The high-stakes Hendricks-Kampmann bout figures to deserve as the de facto eliminator, with the winner meeting the eventual Georges St. Pierre-Carlos Condit winner in the new year.

5. Jon Fitch (23-4-1, 1 NC)

A knee injury took Fitch out of a planned July bout against Aaron Simpson and delayed the American Kickboxing Academy fighter’s quest to get back on track after his first knockout loss in the Octagon. However, another opportunity has presented itself for the former Purdue Boilermaker, this time in the form of fast-rising Brazilian Erick Silva, who Fitch will attempt to derail Oct. 13 at UFC 153.

6. Martin Kampmann (20-5)

After years of just being on the bubble, Martin Kampmann might be but a single fight away from a UFC welterweight title shot. At UFC 154 on Nov. 17, he will meet up with Johny Hendricks in what essentially amounts to a 170-pound title eliminator.

7. Jake Ellenberger (27-6)

Ellenberger’s title campaign came to a screeching halt in June when he was put down by a knee from resurgent striker Martin Kampmann. While the heavy-handed Nebraskan was originally slated to face fellow wrestler Josh Koscheck at UFC 151, Ellenberger will instead welcome Jay Hieron back to the UFC.

8. Josh Koscheck (17-6)

After dropping a narrow split decision to Johny Hendricks in May, “Kos” was booked for the co-main event slot at UFC 151 against fellow power-punching wrestler Jake Ellenberger. The fight was not to be, though, as Koscheck suffered a back injury in early August and was forced to withdraw.

9. Ben Askren (10-0)

It wasn’t flashy, but Askren wrestled his way to another ***inating win over perhaps his most dangerous opponent to date with an April 6 routing of Douglas Lima. Now a perfect 10-0, Bellator’s welterweight ace will next defend against Frenchman Karl Amoussou, who defeated Bryan Baker in the company’s Season 6 welterweight tourney final.

10. Nate Marquardt (32-10-2)

Many were skeptical of Nate Marquardt as he ended his 16-month absence with a much-questioned return to 170 pounds. However, Marquardt turned in one of the finest performances of his career in a surprisingly entertaining slugfest with Tyron Woodley, completing his title capture with a picturesque fourth-round knockout.

Other contenders:
Rory MacDonald, B.J. Penn, Mike Pierce, Erick Silva, Tyron Woodley.

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Lightweight - 10-26-2012, 08:04 PM

1. Ben Henderson (17-2)

The second go-around was even more contentious than the first, but Ben Henderson managed to get his hands raised by split decision in Denver, and retain the UFC lightweight title. The 155-pound king cannot rest for long, however, as he is already slotted in to main-event the UFC on Fox 5 come Dec. 8 against dangerous challenger Nate Diaz.

2. Frankie Edgar (14-3-1)

Edgar fought in his familiar style and piled up punches on Ben Henderson, but in spite of earning their Aug. 11 rematch in most observers’ eyes, the New Jersey native lost another decision. Though many have begun to beat the drum for Edgar to move to 145, “The Answer” has thus far been resolute in continuing to contend at 155.

3. Gilbert Melendez (21-2)

It seems like things just get more and more grim for the Strikeforce lightweight champ. Despite a shallow Strikeforce lightweight talent pool, it seemed Pat Healy was the next on deck for Melendez. After his razor-thin decision win over Deep champ Mizuto Hirota on July 14, Healy still seems to be the man to next challenge Melendez, but certainly not with whatever enthusiasm existed previously for the bout.

4. Gray Maynard (11-1-1, 1 NC)

Maynard’s path to a third UFC lightweight title shot will undoubtedly be littered with notable 155-pound contenders if it is to continue. After topping Clay Guida in June, Maynard has signed on to tangle with Joe Lauzon at UFC 155 on Dec. 29.

5. Nate Diaz (16-7)

Diaz’s decision to wait for the winner of Ben Henderson-Frankie Edgar 2 proved wise. With Henderson getting his hand raised in Denver, he is now signed on to defend his UFC lightweight title against Diaz, who will make his second headlining appearance on network television at UFC on Fox 5 on Dec. 8.

6. Jim Miller (21-4)

After going more than two years between losses, the younger of New Jersey’s fighting Miller brothers has dropped two of his last three starts. The latest loss came May 5 at the hands of Nate Diaz, who forced Miller to submit to a second-round guillotine choke.

7. Clay Guida (29-13)

Some might have expected Clay Guida to lose his June 22 bout with Gray Maynard, but probably not to lose fans. The widely-beloved lightweight put together a stinker of a gameplan for his bout with “The Bully,” staying on his bicycle and avoiding any real contact. However, the plan nearly worked for “The Carpenter,” who lost a close split decision.

8. Anthony Pettis (15-2)

Frank Edgar and Benson Henderson might have stolen the show at UFC 144 in the main event, but Anthony Pettis wasn’t content to let his 155-pound brethren get all the shine. “Showtime” showed up in sizzling style in Saitama, kicking Joe Lauzon upside the head and knocking out the respected “J-Lau” early in the first frame.

9. Donald Cerrone (19-4, 1 NC)

The “Cowboy” begged for a fight in Denver at UFC 150 and was rewarded with former training partner Melvin Guillard. In turn, Cerrone rewarded onlookers with a crushing and quick knockout of “The Young Assassin” that further entrenched the Jackson-Winkeljohn pupil as one of MMA’s most action-packed fighters and a UFC lightweight mover-and-shaker.

10 Michael Chandler (10-0)

Bellator’s lightweight ace did exactly what was expected of him in his May 5 non-title bout, sending Japanese vet Akihiro Gono into retirement with a 56-second demolition. Chandler will get a much stiffer test in his as-yet-unscheduled first defense, which will see the NCAA wrestling standout clash with Olympic judoka and sixth-season tourney winner Rick Hawn.

Other contenders:
Shinya Aoki, Eddie Alvarez, Rick Hawn, Pat Healy, Joe Lauzon.

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Featherweight - 10-26-2012, 08:05 PM

1. Jose Aldo (21-1)

A left thigh injury took away Jose Aldo’s chance to defend his title at UFC 149 against Erik Koch in Calgary, Alberta. However, the makeup matchup for Aldo might be even sweeter: “Scarface” will still get to face Koch, but this time at UFC 153 in Aldo’s backyard in Rio de Janeiro on Oct. 13.

2. Pat Curran (17-4)

It’s been a difficult task to get Bellator’s 145-pound title defended in regular fashion. After delays in bringing the Joe Warren-Pat Curran title defense to fruition, Patricio Freire came off the mend to face Curran, only for the champ to suffer an orbital bone injury and withdraw from their Aug. 24 date.

3. Chad Mendes (12-1)

In his first performance since being knocked out in his first career loss by Jose Aldo in January, “Money” Mendes returned to action and was exactly what his nickname promised: his 31-second knockout of Cody McKenzie at UFC 148 was an emphatic statement and his first knockout in three years.

4. Ricardo Lamas (12-2)

Ricardo Lamas entered Atlantic City, N.J., as a classic live underdog against Hatsu Hioki and he certainly cashed his big ticket. In the biggest opportunity of his career, the Chicagoan stayed unbeaten in his three Octagon bouts by earning three 29-28 scorecards against the Japanese standout and leaping forward into meaningful 145-pound contention.

5. Hatsu Hioki (26-5-2)

It was another heartbreaking stumble for Hatsu Hioki on June 22 in Atlantic City, N.J., as the former Shooto world champion started strong but faded down the stretch against Ricardo Lamas. Hioki struggled to deal with Lamas’ boxing and sneaky guillotine attacks, and wound up losing a unanimous verdict.

6. Dennis Siver (20-8)

Dennis Siver’s first 145-pound outing was a success with an April decision win over Brazilian Diego Nunes. However, to advance in UFC title contention, Siver will have to deal with hard-hitting submission specialist Eddie Yagin at UFC 151 on Sept. 1.

7. Diego Nunes (17-3)

Nunes tasted defeat just once in his first 17 pro bouts, but has fallen in two of his last three. In order to right the ship, the Brazilian featherweight will need to take out heavy-hitting Midwesterner Bart Palaszewski on Oct. 5 at UFC on FX 5 in Minneapolis.

8. Erik Koch (13-1)

The first time Koch was due for a UFC featherweight title shot against Jose Aldo, he was set to challenge at UFC 149 in Calgary, Alberta. After an Aldo injury postponed the bout, Koch’s task has gotten considerably tougher. Now, the Roufusport product will have to take out Brazil’s fighting prince in front of a partisan crowd at the HSBC Arena at UFC 153 in Rio de Janeiro.

9. Chan Sung Jung (13-3)

The “Korean Zombie” lived up to his name by walking through everything Dustin Poirier had to offer on May 15, then relieving the American of his consciousness with a fourth-round brabo choke. With his third straight win, Jung put himself into legitimate featherweight contention, emerging as more than just an “action fighter.”

10. Dustin Poirier (12-2)

The young man from Lafayette, La, was pegged as a future contender when he burst into the Octagon with an upset victory over Josh Grispi last January, and Poirier’s next three wins only served to reaffirm that notion. However, one win from a title shot, the “Diamond” proved a bit too rough, as Poirier succumbed to a fourth-round brabo choke from Chan Sung Jung in their May 15 encounter.

Other contenders:
Iuri Alcantara, Hacran Dias, Patricio Freire, Tatsuya Kawajiri, Daniel Straus.

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Bantamweight - 10-26-2012, 08:05 PM

1. ***inick Cruz (19-1)

After UFC 149, ***inick Cruz theoretically knows the next man he’ll face in newly-minted interim champ Renan Barao. However, Cruz’s own personal road is less clear, as he’s still months away from training, nevermind starting a fight camp, creating questions as to whether Barao will defend his interim strap before tangling with Cruz.

2. Renan Barao (29-1, 1 NC)

At UFC 149 in Calgary, Alberta, Renan Barao became the latest Brazilian -- and the latest fighter under the Nova Uniao banner – to capture a UFC title with a 25-minute ***ination of Urijah Faber. Now, the question is whether Barao will defend the interim bantamweight title, or simply bide his time until real champion ***inick Cruz returns to action.

3. Urijah Faber (26-6)

In his fourth challenge for a Zuffa title, Urijah Faber was defeated once again. The former WEC featherweight champ was bested by the leg kick assault of Renan Barao over 25 minutes in Calgary, Alberta, and walked away empty-handed once again at UFC 149.

4. Brian Bowles (10-2)

Bowles suffered his first submission loss on Nov. 19 by way of Urijah Faber guillotine choke, and with it was dealt his first setback in the Octagon after wins over Takeya Mizugaki and Damacio Page. For now, the 31-year-old from Georgia moves down a rung in the ever-deepening UFC bantamweight division and takes a step back from a potential rematch with the man who took his WEC title, ***inick Cruz.

5. Michael McDonald (15-1)

It seems the sky’s the limit for the 21-year-old from Northern California, whose latest feat was a first-round drubbing of former divisional ruler Miguel Torres. The win extended McDonald’s current winning streak to eight in a row -- five of those by way of knockout -- and thrust the youngster firmly into the logjam atop the division.

6. Brad Pickett (21-6)

Last November, Brad Pickett’s return to fight in his native Britain for the first time in two years went disastrously, as upstart Brazilian Renan Barao ran roughshod over him. “One Punch” is looking to rectify his rep in his homeland and he’ll have the chance come Sept. 29 when he meets Yves Jabouin at the UFC on Fuel TV 5 in Nottingham, England.

7. Eduardo Dantas (14-2)

Dantas might be Bellator’s precocious bantamweight champion, but the 23-year-old Nova Uniao prodigy isn’t one to rest on his laurels. “Dudu” is jumping back into action at Shooto Brazil’s BOPE benefit fight show on Aug. 25, where he will meet Oregon-trained Hawaiian Tyson Nam in a fun 135-pound contest.

8. Eddie Wineland (19-8-1)

Eddie Wineland’s first two Octagon spots were tough, debuting against Urijah Faber and following with Joseph Benavidez. However, the third time was the charm for the Indiana native, as he put his fearsome punching power on brutal display on June 8 against Scott Jorgensen, turning in a spectacular second-round stoppage and halting his two-fight skid.

9. Scott Jorgensen (13-6)

After passing his first two UFC assignments, “Young Guns” has hit a rough patch. After dropping a unanimous verdict to Renan Barao in February, Jorgensen took a nasty nap in the second round against Eddie Wineland on June 8, losing consecutive bouts for the first time in his career.

10. Miguel Torres (40-5)

While Miguel Torres’ outside-of-the-cage battles stemming from his now-infamous “rape van” tweet were difficult, they couldn’t possibly stack up to the unenviable outcome of his UFC 145 bout with hot prospect Michael McDonald. Torres, who was knocked out in grim fashion in the first round, is 3-4 in his last seven bouts after losing just once in his previous 37 outings.

Other contenders:
Raphael Assuncao, Bibiano Fernandes, Marcos Galvao, Zach Makovsky, Mike Easton.

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Flyweight - 10-26-2012, 08:06 PM

1. Demetrious Johnson (15-2-1)

Demetrious Johnson rests a top the 125-pound division for now, but his real test will come Sept. 22 in Toronto. When “Mighty Mouse” meets Joseph Benavidez with the vacant UFC flyweight title up for grabs, the bout will produce the “true” top flyweight in the world for the time being.

2. Ian McCall (11-3-1)

To say “Uncle Creepy” has made headlines in his few short months in the UFC would be an understatement. After his contentious two-fight series with Demetrious Johnson, McCall’s slated bout with John Moraga fell apart due to injury. Instead, McCall’s recent action has come against the law, as he was arrested on Aug. 14 for driving with a suspended license in Irvine, Calif.

3. Jussier da Silva (14-1)

“When is the UFC going to sign Jussier da Silva?” fans asked as soon as the 125-pound division launched in the Octagon. The once-beaten Brazilian will make his much-awaited UFC debut on Oct. 5 in Minneapolis, when he takes on “The Ultimate Fighter” Season 14 winner John Dodson.

4. Joseph Benavidez (16-2)

Joseph Benavidez’s quest to be the best flyweight in the world can be realized at on Sept. 22. The Team Alpha Male rep will meet Demetrious Johnson to determine the UFC’s first flyweight champion in Toronto at UFC 152, with the winner becoming the focal point of the young division for the foreseeable future.

5. Yasuhiro Urushitani (19-5-6)

Yasuhiro Urushitani’s UFC debut didn’t go so well this past March in Australia, as the former Shooto world champ took an early goodnight kiss from Joseph Benavidez. The fancy-boxing veteran will have a chance to prove his worth at 125 on Sept. 1 at UFC 151 against aggressive Brazilian John Lineker.

6. Darrell Montague (10-2)

California’s “Mongoose” was in fine form on May 10, when he victimized Taylor McCorriston with a crushing first-round TKO at Tachi Palace Fights 13. It was the second win in as many weeks for Montague, who has looked vicious since dropping his TPF title to Ian McCall last August.
7. John Dodson (13-5)

Dodson’s May assignment against little-known Timothy Elliott turned out to be much tougher than expected. However, “The Magician” will need to bring a suitable amount of hocus-pocus in order to deal with his next task, as he’ll meet highly regarded Brazilian Jussier da Silva at UFC on FX 5 on Oct. 5.

8. Chris Cariaso (14-3)

Against Josh Ferguson in July, Cariaso showed exactly why he was pegged for flyweight success as soon as he dropped weight. Cariaso put on a workmanlike striking performance to earn a unanimous decision and announce himself as a factor in the newly minted UFC weight class.

9. Louis Gaudinot (6-2)

Gaudinot used his grappling to thrill in his May comeback win against Brazilian thumper John Lineker. In his next Octagon appointment, he’ll have the chance for some particularly exciting grappling when he meets ground specialist Darren Uyenoyama on Oct. 5 at UFC on FX 5 in Minneapolis.

10. John Moraga (11-1)

Since his December 2010 loss to John Dodson, Arizona’s John Moraga has rolled through all five foes he’s faced. That figure includes his UFC debut, when he came in three weeks notice originally to face Ian McCall, but wound up facing Ulysses Gomez, who fell prey to Moraga’s fists and elbows in the first round.

Other contenders:
Timothy Elliott, Nam Jin Jo, Shinichi "B.J." Kojima , Josh Robinson, Sean Santella.

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