Sherdog Official Mixed Martial Arts Rankings

Bantamweight

May 19, 2010
Dave Mandel/Sherdog.com

Dominick Cruz
Bantamweight

1. Dominick Cruz (15-1)
No one doubted that Cruz was a worthwhile challenger to Brian Bowles’ WEC title, but few saw a road to victory for the once-beaten bantamweight. On the back of his speedy jab and low kicks, Cruz battered Bowles for 10 lopsided minutes until a broken hand halted the champion, giving Cruz the WEC crown and bantamweight supremacy.

2. Brian Bowles (8-1)
In his first title defense, Bowles was a step behind Dominick Cruz throughout the WEC 47 main event. After two rounds of one-way action, Bowles bowed out when a doctor examined his broken right hand.

3. Joseph Benavidez (12-1)
Not many gave Benavidez a serious shot at knocking off former 135-pound kingpin Miguel Torres. At WEC 47, Benavidez shamed his doubters, leaving Torres a bloody mess before guillotining him in the second stanza. Whether the win earns Benavidez his crack at the WEC title remains to be seen, but there are no challengers more deserving.

4. Miguel Torres (37-3)
A matter of months ago, Torres was seen as the king of the bantamweights and a pound-for-pound stalwart. Now, after tapping out to Joseph Benavidez in the second round of their March 6 bout, he has two consecutive humbling losses and a scar in the middle of his forehead, courtesy of Benavidez.

5. Scott Jorgensen (10-3)
Jorgensen felt wronged by the judges in his first encounter with Antonio Banuelos last June. In their April 24 rematch, he got even. The former Boise State University wrestler dominated Banuelos over the second and third rounds to earn revenge and a possible WEC bantamweight title shot.

6. Takeya Mizugaki (13-4-2)
It was the only bout at WEC 48 that did not see some form of airtime, but Mizugaki took a unanimous decision over Rani Yahya on the event’s undercard. Unspectacular though it may have been, the win helps Mizugaki keep pace in an intensifying 135-pound division.

7. Damacio Page (15-4)
Coming off shoulder surgery, Page was set for an April 24 return against Antonio Banuelos on the main card of the WEC 48 pay-per-view. However, further injury woes will keep the Greg Jackson pupil out of action a bit longer.

8. Rani Yahya (15-6)
Yahya’s road to another shot at the WEC bantamweight title just got longer. The Brazilian jiu-jitsu ace dropped his second straight bout at WEC 48, losing a unanimous verdict to Takeya Mizugaki in a ho-hum affair that will drop him behind the pack in the WEC 135-pound division.

9. Shuichiro Katsumura (11-7-3)
The most unlikely Shooto world champion to date, Katsumura pulled off perhaps the biggest upset of 2010 so far when he choked out Masakatsu Ueda and took the Shooto 132-pound world title on March 22. The victory was Katsumura’s third straight since returning from a two-year layoff.

10. Masakatsu Ueda (10-1-2)
Perhaps seeking to quickly erase bitter memories of dropping the Shooto world title to Shuichiro Katsumura on March 22, Ueda will return to action at “The Way of Shooto 3” on May 30. Ueda will meet WEC veteran Akitoshi Tamura in a pairing of former Shooto world champions.

Other contenders: Antonio Banuelos, Cole Escovedo, Wagnney Fabiano, Charlie Valencia, Eddie Wineland.
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