FanPost

Just Who Are The World's Top Flyweights?

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Image from www.cdn.sherdog.com

Who are the world’s top flyweights? If you look at the few MMA sites that rank the division, almost all of them will have Jussier "Formiga" da Silva (4-0) ranked #1, and the former Shooto champion whom sa Silva defeated Shinichi Kojima (10-4-5) as #2. This is logical, since the Shooto Flyweight belt is the most prestigious one, and they run more Flyweight matches than anyone else and have always done so, and have easily the most established Flyweight division in MMA.

The problem with this is, the real answer is that nobody actually knows who the world’s top Flyweights are.

A few years ago, the top 8 Bantamweights in the Sherdog rankings were all fighters whose last fight had been in Shooto, followed by Miguel Torres and Chase Beebe of WEC. Now it is the exact opposite: the top 8 slots are held by WEC fighters and #9 and #10 are people who only fight in Japan. The only two people still on the list from three years ago are Miguel Torres and Takeya Mizugaki. No one knew who Brian Bowles or Dominick Cruz or Joseph Benavidez were. A lot of the top Bantamweights of today were not even fighting at Bantamweight at the time. While some Bantamweights undoubtedly got better, others were just unknown because they were fighting outside their weight class or in tiny indy shows. There wasn't a good way to compare people. Three years later the picture is a lot clearer, even with the recent revolving title changes involving the WEC belt.

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And that’s basically the problem today. You have people who are natural Flyweights fighting in the WEC above their normal weight class, like Demetrious Johnson, Charlie Valencia, and even the aforementioned Benavidez. You also have Flyweights who fight in North America like John Dodson and Pat Runez who have no interaction with anyone from the Japanese fighter pool, which make direct comparisons very difficult. Meanwhile the two top Shooto flyweights have both gone nearly a year without a fight.

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via assets.sbnation.com

This is basically a plea for World Extreme Cagefighting and Zuffa LLC to stop dragging their heels on the Flyweight division, something they announced well over a year ago, so we can finally find out just who the best Flyweights are, and how good they are. There is no reason for them to try and sign every top international Flyweight off the bat. Their Bantamweight division did not start out that way, and now Zuffa dominates the Bantamweight division as much as they have near-monopolies on the top Light-Heavyweights and Welterweights. All they need to do here is make a division, and the talent will come, and sort itself out.

Just start with some exhibition matches, sign a few top guys, have a few others drop down, and maybe do a four-man mini-tournament over the course of a couple of shows around the beginning of 2011. WEC has claimed that they aren’t focusing on Flyweights because they want to give their current roster as many fights as they can. On the other hand this same organization used to run fewer shows while maintaining 6 weight classes, and look to be only doing more shows in the future with the occasional Pay-Per-View. It shouldn't be too onerous to fit in a 14-man or so Flyweight division. If they ran just two extra cards in a year, with a total of 21 fights, they could have a total of 14 fighters getting three fights each without having to cut anyone at all. Furthermore with another belt, and one that would presumably be a lot more meaningful than their Lightweight belt, they'd have an easier time putting together additional Pay-Per-Views in the future.

Enough already, I’d like to know who the best in the world is.

\The FanPosts are solely the subjective opinions of Bloody Elbow readers and do not necessarily reflect the views of Bloody Elbow editors or staff.

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