Top 10 Featherweight Rankings

nullThe rankings schedule has made it way back to featherweight.

Not too much has changed in the division since I last came out with my 145-pound top 10, but we did have some debuts and a mild upset or too.

Here is a look at my latest top 10 for the featherweight division.

1. Jose Aldo (19-1) – Aldo is the champion and awaits his next opponent. It looks to be Kenny Florian, but a date and location have yet to be set. Aldo showed some signs of vulnerability against Mark Hominick, but still dominated a great deal of their 25-minute fight. Florian will need to be on top of his game to take Aldo’s title.

2. Chad Mendes (10-0) – The wrestling master has been labeled the No. 1 contender for Aldo, but he opted not to wait for the champion to heal up with some injuries and will now take on Rani Yahya at UFC 133, with his title shot on the line. Mendes likely has the grappling edge in this one, but will have to avoid the slick submissions of Yahya.

3. Kenny Florian (14-5) – Florian won his featherweight debut over Diego Nunes and now appears to be in line for a title shot. Florian didn’t look his best, but the first fight at a lower weight class is always the toughest. Florian will have a strong game plan to fight Aldo, the question will be if he can execute it?

4. Hatsu Hioki (24-4-2) – Hioki is now part of the UFC after giving up his Shooto championship and some consider him the second best featherweight in the world behind Aldo. It will be interesting to see if Hioki suffers the same fate as many others that struggle in their octagon debut.

5. Diego Nunes (16-2) – Nunes fought amicably against Florian in a decision loss and showed that he does have some skills to compete with the best, but he still has to find a way to bring his whole game together to get over the hump.

6. Mark Hominick (20-9) – Hominick is still one of the best technical strikers in the division and he has very good submission ability as well. Hominick exposed some holes in Aldo’s game, which is more than anyone had done to that point. His next bout will be key as he needs to look impressive to get back in the title hunt.

7. Dustin Poirier (10-1) – Poirier continues to rise up the rankings as the young promising striker picked up another victory. Poirier has an interesting style that looks to pose some problems for the top contenders. He deserves a contest with a top-8 opponent next to see if he is for real.

8. Tyson Griffin (15-5) – Griffin earned a razor-close decision win over Manny Gamburyan in his featherweight debut. The win was big for Griffin, who had been struggling at lightweight prior to his jump down to 145. Griffin is a great grappler and has fasts hands, but he has yet to really find the perfect combination to make him a real threat for a championship.

9. Manny Gamburyan (11-6) – Even in a loss, Gamburyan was still right in the mix with Griffin and could have won the fight with a slight move here or there. Manny has beaten some of the best in the division but now finds himself behind a newly-crowded featherweight division.

10. Erik Koch (12-1) – Koch picked up a knockout win over Raphael Assuncao in his last fight and he will get Ultimate Fighter Champion, Jonathan Brookins in September. Koch’s lone loss was to Mendes by decision and he has since finished his last three opponents in the first round, making him a very dangerous threat in the division.

  

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