Sherdog Official Mixed Martial Arts Rankings

Bantamweight

Jan 29, 2009
Photo by Sherdog.com

Miguel Torres
Bantamweight

1. Miguel Torres (35-1)
After years of toiling in Midwestern obscurity, the breakout bantamweight star will have a homecoming. Torres headlines April 5's WEC 40 bill in Chicago, Ill., taking on his biggest challenger to date in surging Georgia native Brian Bowles.

2. Masakatsu Ueda (8-0-2)
While he did not lose his title in his first defense, Ueda failed to secure victory, as he fought Marcos Galvao to a split draw in their Sept. 28 contest at "Shooto Tradition 3.” However, Ueda remains the torchbearer for bantamweights on the other side of the ocean.

3. Brian Bowles (7-0)
After a meteoric rise to the top of the bantamweight division, Bowles will now be part of the sport's biggest bantamweight bout to date as he takes on divisional ruler Miguel Torres on the champ's home turf in Chicago at WEC 40 on April 5.

4. Atsushi Yamamoto (12-5-1)
After a hot-and-cold run as a bantamweight, Yamamoto returned to the featherweight division for the biggest fight of his career. An underdog against Hideo Tokoro at Dream 6 in September, Yamamoto’s improved standup earned him a unanimous decision.

5. Marcos Galvao (6-2-1)
After being initially penciled in to meet American Top Team product Rafael Rebello, "Louro" will now be in decidedly tougher company against Greg Jackson scrapper Damacio Page on the WEC 39 undercard on March 1 in Texas.

6. Takeya Mizugaki (11-2-2)
Mizugaki stuck to the script, and the overwhelming favorite in GCM's Cage Force bantamweight tournament punched out veteran Masahiro Oishi in December's bracket final to take the title. Now, the former Shooto rookie MVP has his sights set on a WEC deal, though some of his handlers wish to see him stay in Japan in the new year.

7. Manny Tapia (10-1-1)
While there's no shame in losing to the division's best, Manny Tapia was ripped up by Miguel Torres in his Dec. 3 title bid. Now, "The Mangler" has to take his spot at the back on the line in a deepening, intensifying bantamweight division.

8. Koetsu Okazaki (5-1-1)
Okazaki was quite simply outclassed by the stronger, more technical Ueda in their March 28 title showdown at Shooto “Back to our Roots 8.” What’s next for the Osaka, Japan, native remains uncertain, as he has never been much of a workhorse.

9. Will Ribeiro (10-2)
Following his Dec. 3 loss to Brian Bowles, the talented 25-year-old Brazilian was involved in a motorcycle accident in Rio de Janeiro, which left him with a 50-50 chance to live. While still in an induced coma, Ribeiro has reportedly made positive progress, and here's hoping to a speedy recovery for a choice fighter.

10. Chase Beebe (11-3)
After a disappointing 2008 campaign, the former WEC bantamweight champion looks to start 2009 in better fashion when he meets Lloyd Irvin product Mike "The Hulk" Easton for the UWC's bantamweight crown on Feb. 21.

*Formerly fourth-ranked Koetsu Okazaki falls to eighth in the rankings due to inactivity.
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