clock menu more-arrow no yes mobile

Filed under:

MMA Top 10 Bantamweights: Rise of Cruz, Fall of Torres

Dominick CruzWe saw a major shift in the bantamweight division of mixed martial arts on Saturday night, when two major upsets took place at WEC 47.

The bantamweight title belt, of course, changed hands when Dominick Cruz beat Brian Bowles, who suffered a broken hand and couldn't keep fighting after the second round. But in what might be an even more significant change in our perceptions of the 135-pounders, Joseph Benavidez thoroughly dominated Miguel Torres, the man who for most of the last few years has been regarded as far and away the best bantamweight in the sport.

So now we have to re-assess our thoughts about the bantamweight division as we unveil our latest Top 10 rankings below.

(Editor's note: The previous bantamweight rankings are in parentheses).

1. Dominick Cruz (3): Crazy as it sounds considering he was an underdog heading into Saturday night, it's hard to even see who represents a good challenge to Cruz. In his last two fights Cruz has beaten the second- and third-best bantamweights in the world in dominant fashion. He's a real champion.

2. Joseph Benavidez (4): I was blown away by how much stronger Benavidez was than Torres. And what's really amazing is that Benavidez can make 125 pounds when and if the WEC adds a flyweight division.

3. Brian Bowles (1): It's impossible to know what Bowles would have done against Cruz if he hadn't broken his hand, but we have to base this on what we know, which is that Cruz won the fight soundly.

4. Miguel Torres (2): Torres hasn't just lost two fights in a row, he's been dominated two fights in a row. It might even be a little bit generous to have him at No. 4.

5. Scott Jorgensen (8): If the WEC wants to give Cruz a new challenge, rather than a rematch with Benavidez or Bowles, Jorgensen would be the guy.

6. Rani Yahya (5): He's probably the best pure submission grappler in the bantamweight class, but he was badly beaten by Benavidez in his last fight.

7. Masakazu Imanari (NR): "The Master of Leglocks" isn't well known among American fans because he fights for DEEP, but he's the best bantamweight outside the WEC.

8. Wagnney Fabiano (7): He looked good in his bantamweight debut at WEC 46 and could be a title contender at 135 pounds.

9. Takeya Mizugaki (9): Only 1-2 since joining the WEC, but the losses were a couple of hard-fought decisions to Torres and Jorgensen.

10. Charlie Valencia (10): Like Benavidez, he can make 125 pounds. I'd love to see the WEC make Benavidez-Valencia its first flyweight fight.

Sign up for the newsletter Sign up for the MMA Fighting Daily Roundup newsletter!

A daily roundup of all your fighting news from MMA Fighting