FIGHT! Facts & Rankings: Bellator 27

Bellator traveled to Texas for the fourth time last night to stage its first true championship bout, a Featherweight tilt between season one and season two tournament winners Joe Soto and Joe Warren. After getting controlled early, Warren took the fight in impressive fashion and took a top-five spot in FIGHT!’s rankings. Full results and analysis of how the fights affected our rankings are below.

Resuts

Joe Warren def. Joe Soto by knockout (strikes) at 0:33 of Round 2 to claim the Bellator Featherweight Championship.
Zach Makovsky def. Nick Mamalis by unanimous decision.
Ed West def. Bryan Goldsby by unanimous decision.
Ulysses Gomez def. Travis Reddinger by split decision.
Makovsky, West, and Gomez advance to the semifinal round of Bellator’s Bantamweight Tournament.
Gilbert Jimenez def. Aaron Barringer by unanimous decision.
Richard Odoms def. Dale Mitchell by split decision.
Andrew Craig def. Rodrigo Pinheiro by TKO (doctor’s stoppage due to cut) at 2:53 of Round 3.
Andrew Chappelle def. Joe Christopher by unanimous decision.
Jon Kirk def. Shane Faulkner by TKO (strikes) at 2:19 of Round 3.
Steven Peterson def. Ernest De La Cruz by unanimous decision.

Rankings

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.

For the first time in the promotion’s short history, two top 10-ranked fighters squared off in the circular cage when Joe Warren challenged Joe Soto for the Bellator Featherweight Championship belt. Soto came into the fight ranked #9 in FIGHT!’s Featherweight Rankings, and Warren, whose first MMA action was a trial by fire in DREAM’s 145-pound tourney, came into the fight ranked #8. Warren took the belt with a early second round stoppage, vaulting to #3 in the rankings, while Soto fell to #17. Warren’s next foe is the man he bumped out of the #3 spot, Michihiro Omigawa. A victory could set him up for a New Year’s Eve DREAM title bout with Bibiano Fernandes, the only man to beat him. Warren has already talked about leaving MMA to train for and compete in the 2012 Olympic Games, so it’s conceivable that with wins over Omigawa and Fernandes, he could rise to the top ranking in the weight class in less than two full years of fighting, and then take two full years off from competing in MMA.

At 135 pounds, Zach Makovsky entered his Bantamweight tournament opening round match ranked #11. With a decision win over previously unranked Nik Mamalis, “Fun Size” jumps to #5 in our Bantamweight Rankings, while Mamalis is installed at #14. Fellow tourney contestant Ed West notched his third qualifying fight and entered our Bantamweight Rankings at #28.

The only other ranked fighter appearing on the card, Jon Kirk, moved from #106 to #96 in our Middleweight Rankings with his win over unranked Shane Faulkner.

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