Sherdog Official Mixed Martial Arts Rankings

Featherweight

Feb 4, 2009
Photo by Sherdog.com

Mike Thomas Brown
Featherweight

1. Mike Thomas Brown (20-4)
While the WEC featherweight champ got to be the hometown favorite when he took the title from Urijah Faber in Florida this past December, MTB will be the figurative away team in his first title defense, as he takes on Lubbock native Leonard "Bad Boy" Garcia in the headliner of WEC's March 1 bill in Corpus Christi, Texas.

2. Urijah Faber (22-2)
It took just 94 seconds for Faber to replicate his victory over Jens Pulver from last June, grabbing a submission over pounding out a 25-minute decision. However head-scratching the near-immediate rematch may have been, a win is a win, and the quick and dominant showing puts the former WEC champ in line to face the winner of the forthcoming Brown-Garcia bout.

3. Leonard Garcia (12-3)
After a whirlwind 2008, Garcia is set for the biggest fight of his career. The heavy-hitting Texan will have the home field advantage when he challenges divisional king Mike Thomas Brown for the WEC crown on March 1 in Corpus Christi, Texas.

4. Wagnney Fabiano (11-1)
Looking to build on his dominant December WEC debut against Akitoshi Tamura, Fabiano will be back in action at WEC 40 on April 5 in Chicago, likely on the main card.

5. Dokonjonosuke Mishima (19-6-2)
Mishima was originally sought after as an entrant in Sengoku's featherweight tournament, where he would've been an early favorite. Unfortunately, a knee injury suffered in training will keep Mishima on the shelf for the early portion of '09, and the colorful veteran plans to return to action in the early summer to defend his Deep featherweight title.

6. Hatsu Hioki (17-3-2)
Official for Sengoku's featherweight tournament, Hioki will be an early favorite in the 143-pound bracket and may finally get the breakout that has long been predicted for the talented 25-year-old.

7. Jeff Curran (30-10-1)
"The Big Frog" will finally make his bantamweight debut at the April 5 WEC card in his backyard of Chicago, Illinois. Curran will be afforded the chance for some measure of revenge, as he takes on fast-rising Joseph Benavidez, a pupil of former WEC champ Urijah Faber who tapped Curran in their December 2007 title tussle.

8. Jose Aldo (13-1)
Having just wiped the sweat off from his Jan. 25 stoppage of Rolando Perez, Aldo will likely fight on a short turnaround on March 1. He’s expected to step onto the WEC 39 card in Corpus Christi, Texas, to take on Chris Mickle.

9. Masakazu Imanari (15-6-1)
While Deep continues its eliminator tournament to find a challenger to Imanari's bantamweight title, Imanari will await Dream parent company Fighting and Entertainment Group to finally flesh out the details of its featherweight grand prix, which Imanari has been unofficially confirmed for since the idea was first kicked around.

10. "Lion Takeshi" Takeshi Inoue (15-3)
In need of a far better 2009 than 2008, the Shooto 143-pound king looked like he was going to be a part of Sengoku's featherweight tournament. Unfortunately, Shooto brass has demanded Lion's services for the May 10 Shooto 20th Anniversary card for a mandatory title defense against a yet-to-be-named challenger.
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