(Faber is ready to party at 135.)
At FIGHT! Magazine, we believe there is a need for a completely objective and unbiased ranking system for fighters to replace the myriad subjective rankings that have become skewed, in many instances, by fighter popularity. In an effort to address this issue FIGHT! Magazine brings you its computerized rankings system which takes into account a fighters strength of opponent, strength of performance, and frequency of activity.
If there were any questions about Urijah Faber’s prospects at 135 pounds, he answered them – definitively – with a quick submission win over one-time Bantamweight contender Takeya Mizugaki. After losses to Mike Thomas Brown and Jose Aldo, Faber had slipped to #9 in our Featherweight Rankings but following his win at WEC 52 he was installed at #3 in our Bantamweight poll. Mizugaki drops from #12 to #16.
Faber’s teammate, Joseph Benavidez, used his “Joejitsu” to submit Wagnney Fabiano and hold on to his #2 spot in FIGHT!’s Bantamweight Rankings. Fabiano dropped out of the top 10, falling from #7 to #12. Demetrious Johnson jumped to #5 in our Bantamweight poll with his upset stoppage win over Damacio Page, who fell from #8 to #22. After the fight, the undersized Johnson spoke openly about his desire to fight at 125 pounds when the UFC continues to expand its weight class portfolio. FIGHT! will unveil it’s Flyweight rankings in 2011. In the night’s only other Bantwamweight bout, 19-year-old phenom Michael “Mayday” McDonald crushed Clint Godfrey with lightning-quick punches and turned a failed guard-jump into a successful armbar. The Tachi Palace Fights veteran entered his WEC debut at #10 in our Bantamweight Rankings and left it at #8. Godfrey remains unranked until he logs his third qualifying fight.
At 145 pounds, Team Alpha Male’s Chad Mendes used his wrestling to control Javier Vasquez, moving from #11 to #7 in FIGHT!’s Featherweight Rankings. Vasquez fell from #12 to #18 with the loss. Eric Koch stopped unranked late-replacement Francisco Rivera, moving from #35 to #16 at 145. Raphael Assuncao stopped a two-fight slide with a win over LC Davis, clawing his way from #52 to #26 while Davis falls from #27 to #54. In the Fight of the Night, Cub Swanson went to war with Mackens Semerzier and came away with a split decision win. Swanson moves up one spot, from #37 to #36, while Semerzier drops the same distance, from #48 to #49. Yves Jabouin and Brandon Visher rounded out the evenings Featherweight action. Both entered their bout unranked; Jabouin entered our rankings at #31 after his unanimous decision win, while Visher is installed at #64.
Two bouts took place at Lightweight featuring fighters who might find themselves on the outside looking in after the UFC absorbs the WEC. Anthony Njokuani jumped from #123 to #74 with his win over unranked Faaloloto and Zack Micklewright entered our Lightweight Rankings at #162.