Sherdog Official Mixed Martial Arts Rankings


Apr 27, 2010
Daniel Herbertson/

Jussier "Formiga" da Silva.

1. Jussier da Silva (3-0)
After upsetting Shooto world champion Shinichi “BJ” Kojima in a non-title affair in July, it was expected “Formiga” would be brought back for a year-end title rematch. However, those prospects remain in limbo, as da Silva’s management and professional Shooto promoters haggle over purse figures for the Natalense fighter.

2. Shinichi Kojima (10-4-5)
Kojima’s Shooto world title run had effectively been on the rocks since July, when he was dominated in a non-title affair against Jussier da Silva. “BJ” officially ended his title reign in March, as he vacated the Shooto world title due to a knee injury and freed up the Shooto 123-pound title picture.

3. Mamoru Yamaguchi (23-5-3)
After a decade-long career in which he had never fought outside of Shooto sanctioning, Yamaguchi headed to King of the Cage in Okinawa, Japan, and bulldozed previously unbeaten Frank Baca for a second-round submission victory. The win gave Yamaguchi the KOTC 125-pound title and a new window of opportunity later in his pioneering career.

4. Yuki Shojo (10-5-2)
In a more entertaining outing than his September majority points win over Junya Kudo, Shojo earned a lopsided unanimous decision victory over tough Guam product Jesse Taitano on March 22. With it, he kept pace in the Shooto 123-pound division.

5. Yasuhiro Urushitani (16-4-6)
After two unsuccessful bids to win the Shooto 123-pound world title in 2003 and 2007, will the third time be the charm for Urushitani? On May 30, he will square off with Ryuichi Miki -- a man he defeated in September -- for the title Shinichi “BJ” Kojima vacated in March.

6. Ryuichi Miki (10-3-3)
Miki holds a 0-1-1 mark against Yasuhiro Urushitani. “The Way of Shooto 3” on May 30 will be Miki’s chance to finally put a tally in the win column. Better still, if he can do so, he will walk out of JCB Hall in Tokyo as the fourth 123-pound world champion of professional Shooto.

7. Pat Runez (4-0)
Showing savvy far beyond his actual MMA experience, Runez overcame an early shellacking from John Dodson to take a well-earned split decision win on Oct. 3, as he claimed the Ultimate Warrior Challenge flyweight title in what was the most significant 125-pound bout to date outside of Japan.

8. Kiyotaka Shimizu (5-3-1)
Shimizu has earned his stripes the hard way in the flyweight division, earning the King of Pancrase title in February, less than two years after beginning his career 0-2-1. The first defense of his throne will be another toughie, however: Shimizu will put his title on the line against once-beaten Isao Hirose on July 4.

9. Mitsuhisa Sunabe (11-6-3)
In February, Sunabe lost the flyweight King of Pancrase title to Kiyotaka Shimizu in a mild upset. His road to a rubber match with Shimizu starts on April 29 when he meets Hayato "Cat" Sato in what amounts to a bounce-back bout for the Okinawan product.

10. Fumihiro Kitahara (8-1-1)
Quietly piecing together a quality resume in Shooto's 123-pound division, Fumihiro Kitahara picked up another strong victory on April 24. The 2008 Shooto rookie champion outslugged gritty veteran Masaaki Sugawara to earn a majority decision and take a leap up in contention for the Shooto 123-pound world title.

Other contenders: Masaaki Sugawara, John Dodson, Isao Hirose, Fumihiro Kitahara, Jessie Riggleman, Alexis Vila.

*With his April 24 loss to Fumihiro Kitahara, previously 10th-ranked Masaaki Sugawara falls to the contenders list.
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