In MMA’s recent weeks, it has been the little men making the big noise.
By this time in 2012, we figured we’d be gearing up for the first UFC flyweight championship title fight. The controversial first bout between Demetrious Johnson and Ian McCall put a three-month delay on matters, but with Johnson’s sound unanimous decision verdict on June 8, “Mighty Mouse” punched his ticket to meet Joseph Benavidez later this year for the vacant strap. For now, Johnson owns the top spot in these rankings, but it is his forthcoming bout with the Team Alpha Male product that will truly crown the top 125-pounder in the world.
Bantamweights? Urijah Faber and Renan Pegado were already set for interim title action, courtesy of 135-pound ace Dominick Cruz’s knee injury. However, Faber and Barao now have a new destination and date, as they’ll meet two weeks later than anticipated in Calgary, Alberta, Canada at UFC 149.
Given the ongoing injury epidemic, it comes as little surprise that the change comes as a result of a leg injury to UFC featherweight champion Jose Aldo. However, 135 pounds has not been without real, in-cage action lately. Eddie Wineland’s potent June 8 knockout of Scott Jorgensen has got him rubbing elbows with top bantamweights on this list.
Let’s not give all the attention to the flyweights and bantamweights, though. A week prior to Wineland’s handiwork and 35 pounds heavier, Martin Kampmann turned in a second-round stoppage of his own against the favored Jake Ellenberger that has MMA’s foremost Dane cresting as high as he ever has in these rankings and in prime contention at 170 pounds.
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