Sherdog’s Official Mixed Martial Arts Rankings


By Staff Jan 5, 2014


1. Demetrious Johnson (19-2-1)

When Johnson bested Joseph Benavidez at UFC 152 for the promotion’s inaugural flyweight strap, it was a closely contested split decision in favor of “Mighty Mouse.” In their rematch at UFC on Fox 9, Johnson removed all doubt as to who is the division’s undisputed king with a first-round knockout victory. Since he first captured 125-pound gold in September 2012, Johnson has defended his title three times in increasingly impressive fashion.

2. Joseph Benavidez (19-4)

While more than a few pundits might have forecasted another loss for Benavidez in his rematch with Demetrious Johnson at UFC on Fox 9, virtually no one saw the Team Alpha Male product going down via first-round knockout. Despite the disappointing setback, Benavidez enjoyed a successful 2013, as he earned triumphs over Ian McCall, Darren Uyenoyama and Jussier da Silva prior to falling short against “Mighty Mouse.”

3. John Dodson (15-6)

After failing in his bid for the flyweight title against Demetrious Johnson at UFC on Fox 6, “The Magician” showed there would be no post-title shot hangover. Showcasing the numbing power that has made him one of the division’s top contenders, Dodson floored Darrell Montague twice en route to a dominant first-round stoppage at UFC 166. A knee injury forced the Jackson’s MMA product out of a UFC on Fox 9 clash with Scott Jorgensen. Dodson later revealed that partial tears to his ACL and MCL will keep him out for approximately eight to 10 weeks.

4. Ian McCall (12-4-1)

It took four tries, but “Uncle Creepy” finally secured his first Octagon win at UFC 163. Good conditioning, leg kicks and fancy footwork carried McCall to a unanimous decision against Iliarde Santos in Rio de Janeiro and likely saved him from the Zuffa chopping block. In his next bout, McCall will welcome former bantamweight contender Brad Pickett to 125 pounds on March 8.

5. Jussier da Silva (15-3)

Once thought to be the No. 1 flyweight in the world, “Formiga” has faced cruel reality since joining the UFC. The Brazilian jiu-jitsu black belt has suffered knockout losses in two of his three Octagon appearances, most recently falling to Joseph Benavidez inside of a round at UFC Fight Night 28. While losing to the likes of Benavidez and John Dodson is nothing to be ashamed of, a limited standup arsenal puts a cap on how far da Silva can go in the division.

6. John Lineker (23-6)

Lineker continued to showcase his considerable firepower at UFC Fight Night 30, overwhelming Phil Harris with heavy punches to the head and body en route to a first-round technical knockout. Unfortunately, “Hands of Stone” also missed weight for the third time in his five-fight UFC tenure. Up next, Linker will battle Ali Bagautinov -- and the scale -- at UFC 169.

7. Darrell Montague (13-2)

Prior to signing with the UFC, Montague was largely recognized as one of the top flyweights in the world for his work outside the Las Vegas-based promotion. At UFC 166, “The Mongoose” learned what it meant to face the Octagon’s elite, as he suffered a first-round TKO loss to John Dodson in Houston. Montague will look to rebound from that defeat when he meets Will Campuzano at UFC 171.

8. John Moraga (13-2)

Moraga was fast-tracked to title contention after stopping established flyweights Chris Cariaso and Ulysses Gomez in his first two Octagon appearances, but the step up proved too much. The Arizonan was thoroughly dominated by UFC champion Demetrious Johnson for 23 minutes on July 27 before tapping to a fifth-round armbar. Moraga will meet Dustin Ortiz at UFC Fight Night 35 in his next appearance.

9. Zach Makovsky (17-4)

After a disappointing end to 2012 in which Makovsky dropped his Bellator bantamweight title and was later dropped by the promotion following consecutive losses, “Fun Size” resurfaced in 2013. Three consecutive wins, including a decision over the heavily favored Scott Jorgensen in his UFC debut, have marked Makovsky as a person of interest in the flyweight division.

10. Joshua Sampo (11-2)

Sampo made a name for himself by upsetting a pair of former big-show fighters: Antonio Banuelos and Alexis Vila. In his own big-show debut, “The Gremlin” proved he belonged, submitting Ryan Benoit with a rear-naked choke 4:31 into the second round at “The Ultimate Fighter 18” Finale.

Other Contenders: Ali Bagautinov, Will Campuzano, Chris Cariaso, Tim Elliott, Alptekin Ozkilic.


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