Sherdog Official Mixed Martial Arts Rankings

Featherweight

Apr 27, 2010
Dave Mandel/Sherdog.com

Jose Aldo
Featherweight

1. Jose Aldo (17-1)
Aldo's first WEC title defense against Urijah Faber was supposed to be a test of the well-rounded skills of the young Brazilian dynamo. It wound up being a test of his humanity instead, as he brutally crushed "The California Kid" with low kicks for the duration of their 25-minute bout. After his dominant performance to cap the promotion's biggest event, the trick for WEC brass will now be making challengers seem threatening to Aldo.

2. Manny Gamburyan (11-4)
After two bouts at 145 pounds -- assumed to be his more natural weight class -- Gamburyan had not set the world on fire, despite winning both. However, in his WEC 48 bout with former divisional king Mike Thomas Brown, the native Armenian had his coming-out party as a featherweight. He clobbered Brown in the first round to emerge as the likely next challenger for Jose Aldo.

3. Mike Thomas Brown (23-6)
Brown was a healthy favorite heading into his April 24 bout with Manny Gamburyan. There's a reason that they fight 'em: Gamburyan caught Brown with a big right hand and pounced for the finish, knocking the former champ further down the pecking order at 145 pounds.

4. Urijah Faber (23-4)
In front of his hometown Sacramento faithful and in the main event of the biggest WEC card to date, "The California Kid" was dominated from bell to bell by Jose Aldo en route to losing a lopsided five-round decision. Now, the next step for the former featherweight ruler is uncertain, though he'll undoubtedly remain one of the biggest stars below the lightweight division.

5. Bibiano Fernandes (8-2)
In the first defense of the Dream featherweight title he captured last October, Fernandes did enough to earn a split decision victory over former Dream lightweight champion Joachim Hansen. He kept his title and notched easily the biggest win of his blossoming career.

6. Raphael Assuncao (14-2)
In his first elite-level test, Assuncao was game but outmatched against former WEC featherweight champion Urijah Faber at WEC 46, eventually succumbing to “The California Kid” late in the third frame. It was just the second loss of Assuncao’s career, following his highly controversial majority decision defeat to Jeff Curran in November 2006.

7. Michihiro Omigawa (10-8-1)
It wasn't flashy -- Omigawa seldom is -- but the gritty Hidehiko Yoshida student paid due respect to his mentor on Yoshida's April 25 retirement card by grinding out a unanimous decision over a tough Micah Miller. Now, the calls for Omigawa to come stateside to the WEC will only intensify.

8. Hatsu Hioki (20-4-2)
From his professional debut as a 19-year-old, Hioki was always tabbed as a future Shooto world champion. On May 30, the Nagoya, Japan, native will get his chance when he squares off with Shooto’s 143-pound ace “Lion Takeshi” Takeshi Inoue at “The Way of Shooto 3,” with the title on the line.

9. Masanori Kanehara (16-7-5)
On New Year’s Eve, Kanehara notched the most significant win of his professional career by upsetting Japanese superstar Norifumi “Kid” Yamamoto. Now, in his first Sengoku title defense on June 20, he will be in for another tough test when he takes on Nova Uniao standout Marlon Sandro.

10. Marlon Sandro (16-1)
It took Sandro just nine seconds to crush Tomonari Kanomata in March. That brutal win paved the way for his Sengoku featherweight title challenge on June 20 against Kanomata’s teammate, Masanori Kanehara. It will mark Kanehara’s first defense.

Other contenders: L.C. Davis, Josh Grispi, Takeshi Inoue, Mackens Semerzier, Deividas Taurosevicius.
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