Sherdog Official Mixed Martial Arts Rankings

Featherweight

Oct 27, 2010
Dave Mandel/Sherdog.com

Jose Aldo
Featherweight

1. Jose Aldo (18-1)
It was not a mind-blowing highlight like his bout with Cub Swanson. It was not a protracted beatdown like his first title defense against Urijah Faber. However, Aldo’s Sept. 30 performance against Manny Gamburyan was still precise and brutal, as he strolled to a second-round smashing. In the wake of WEC 51, the question that remains for fans revolves around whether or not there’s a featherweight good enough to challenge the Brazilian dynamo.

2. Manny Gamburyan (11-5)
With his corking of former WEC champion Mike Thomas Brown in April, Gamburyan earned his shot at Jose Aldo. However, when the two met at WEC 51 on Sept. 30, the tough Armenian had very little for Aldo, who leisurely strolled through the first round before turning up the heat and halting Gamburyan in the second, seemingly at will.

3. Mike Thomas Brown (24-6)
It was not much of a workout, but Brown rebounded from his crushing April defeat to Manny Gamburyan. At WEC 51 on Sept. 30, it took Brown just 78 seconds to earn a questionable, tepid stoppage over former Div. II wrestling champion Cole Province.

4. Urijah Faber (23-4)
Faber was set to make his 135-pound debut at WEC 50 on Aug. 18, until a knee injury scuttled his bout with Takeya Mizugaki. He will now make his divisional debut against Mizugaki at WEC 52 in November at the Palms Casino Resort in Las Vegas.

5. Michihiro Omigawa (12-8-1)
Having solidified himself as Japan’s top featherweight, Omigawa is being sought by the WEC. Whether or not he signs and accepts a fight at WEC 53 on Dec. 16 will hinge on whether his management group, J-Rock, feels it can secure the 34-year-old a top-notch bout on New Year’s Eve in Japan.

6. Marlon Sandro (17-1)
The dominance of Sandro’s teammate, Jose Aldo, has been so extreme that many fans have taken to downheartedly dreaming of what it would be like if the two Nova Uniao studs could square off. However, Sandro still might have a high-stakes affair in Japan, should Sengoku line up a defense of his featherweight title against Hatsu Hioki.

7. Bibiano Fernandes (8-2)
Dream was hoping to have its featherweight champion back in action on Sept. 25. There was one problem: Fernandes told Brazilian outlet Tatame that he still had not been paid for his March title defense against Joachim Hansen. Though Fernandes was finally compensated in September, it was not soon enough to strike a deal to get the featherweight titleholder on the card at Dream 16.

8. Hatsu Hioki (22-4-2)
On Aug. 22, the Shooto world champion returned to the Sengoku ring, where he embarrassed “The Ultimate Fighter” alum Jeff Lawson en route to a first-round submission. However, the real big ticket fight for Hioki remains a showdown with SRC champion Marlon Sandro, which would be one of the biggest fights to be made outside of a Zuffa promotion, regardless of weight.

9. Josh Grispi (14-1)
Grispi hopes he can be the man to thwart WEC champion Jose Aldo. In order to get a crack at the Brazilian, Grispi -- who does not turn 22 until Oct. 14 -- will need to deal with tough, underrated scrapper Erik Koch at WEC 52 on Nov. 11.

10. Joe Warren (6-1)
Warren claiming to be “the baddest man on the planet” seems a tad dubious. However, the former Greco-Roman wrestling world champion showed in his Sept. 2 bout with Joe Soto that he was otherworldly tough, with some power to spare. He came back from a hellacious beating in the fight’s opening round to stop Soto and take Bellator’s featherweight title 33 seconds into round two.

Other contenders: Raphael Assuncao, L.C. Davis, Mark Hominick, Diego Nunes, Joe Soto.
<h2>Fight Finder</h2>