Sherdog Official Mixed Martial Arts Rankings

Flyweight

May 19, 2010
Daniel Herbertson/Sherdog.com

Jussier "Formiga" da Silva.
Flyweight

1. Jussier da Silva (3-0)
It has been 10 months since da Silva rolled into Japan and upset Shinichi “BJ” Kojima inside the Shooto ring. Finally, he has another fight scheduled under the Shooto banner, though it will go down on this side of the Pacific. “Formiga” will take on Brazil’s other top flyweight, Alexandre Pantoja, at Shooto Brazil 16 on June 12 in a big fight for the flyweight division in Brazil.

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 the 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. He won 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 tough test, however, as Shimizu will put his title on the line against the once-beaten Isao Hirose on July 4.

9. Mitsuhisa Sunabe (12-6-3)
In expected fashion, Sunabe blew out Hayato Sato in the Pancrase ring on April 29. The tune-up affair lasted less than three minutes, as the Okinawan hitter kicked Sato in the head and punched him out in the first round.

10. Fumihiro Kitahara (8-1-1)
Quietly piecing together a quality resume in Shooto’s 123-pound division, 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: John Dodson, Isao Hirose, Alexandre Pantoja, Jessie Riggleman, Alexis Vila.
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