Top 10 Featherweight Rankings

nullIt’s Wednesday night, which means another edition of my top 10 rankings.

The featherweights get the spotlight this week, headlined by UFC king, Jose Aldo.

So, without further ado, here is my top 10.

(If you need to go back and find my pound-for-pound, heavyweight, light heavyweight, middleweight, welterweight or lightweight rankings, click on the links)

1. Jose Aldo (19-1) – Aldo is one of the top strikers in all of MMA as his leg kicks are one of the most devastating strikes in the game. Aldo struggled toward the end of his win over Mark Hominick at UFC 129, but it was later discovered he was dealing with an infection leading up to the fight. Still, Aldo found a way to beat up Hominick for four rounds and retain his title.

2. Chad Mendes (10-0) – The protégé of Urijah Faber is unbeaten in his MMA career and he continues to develop his striking to go along with his overpowering wrestling. Mendes is set to take on Aldo for the title later this year, but the memory of seeing Faber get blasted in the leg by Aldo may haunt him heading into the fight. Mendes appears to posses the ability to take Aldo to the ground. But, the question is, what will Mendes be able to do to Aldo when the fight hits the ground and can he hold the champ down for 25 minutes?

3. Kenny Florian (13-5) – Florian has yet to fight at 145 pounds, but I still consider him one of the best now that he is jumping into the mix. Florian has only suffered losses to some of the best at 155 pounds and his style should pose a lot of problems for the top featherweights in the UFC. He begins his march towards a title against Diego Nunes at UFC 131, and a win will likely make him the No. 1 contender to the featherweight title later in 2011.

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Apparently everyone wants to get beaten by Jose Aldo

nullThere seems to be a growing trend in the UFC as of lately: lightweights dropping down to featherweight.

It all started with Kenny Florian, who decided to make the drop following knee surgery this last winter. Florian makes his debut in his new weight class at UFC 131 on June 11 against Diego Nunes. Florian has already lost two lightweight title fights and recently lost a No. 1 contender’s match to Gray Maynard. I think it’s safe to say that a chance at a lightweight title fight anytime soon would not have been likely.

Then word came that Tyson Griffin was making the drop to 145 pounds in hopes of breaking out of his current funk. Griffin will make his featherweight debut on June 26 at UFC Live 4 against former No. 1 contender, Manny Gamburyan. Griffin lost his last three fights inside the octagon but immediately has to be considered one of the top threats for Aldo’s belt due to his wrestling ability.

Now, Joe Stevenson is throwing his hat into the featherweight mix as Sherdog’s Brian Knapp announced that he will take on Javier Vazquez also on June 26. Stevenson lost five of his last seven UFC bouts, but is hoping for a fresh start at 145 pounds.

Prior to the merger with the WEC, lightweights had no other place to go in the UFC, so perhaps these moves were long overdue. But, I have to laugh at the idea that fighters may believe there is an easier road to the title by going through Jose Aldo as opposed to Frankie Edgar.

While the road to a title fight may be easier in the featherweight division, getting through the champion is another story.