Will this be the last time Jose Aldo is ranked as a featherweight? The longtime champ is apparently dropping his 145-pound title to move up to lightweight where he'll face off with Anthony Pettis. If that happens it will mean a vacant title, two challengers, and a wide open division for the first time since the UFC absorbed the lighter weights from the WEC. With that in mind, the SB Nation rankings panel decided to take one last look at the division before things get flip turned upside down.
As usual, our panel consists of two members from each of the three SB Nation MMA sites - Ariel Helwani and Dave Doyle from MMA Fighting; Thomas Myers and Alex Giardini from MMA Mania; and finally, Dallas Winston and yours truly from Bloody Elbow. Here's the fancy chart:
(Scoring: Fighters are given 10 points for a first-place vote, nine points for a second, etc., down to one point for 10th place. The results are then tallied up and presented here. Official SB Nation rankings policy: Fighters under commission suspension are ineligible to be ranked during the duration of their suspension or if they have licensing issues.)
Obviously Aldo holds down the number one spot unanimously after his win over Ricardo Lamas at UFC 169. That was the only spot all six of us could agree on though. Number two on most of the cards was Chad Mendes, who is likely to be one of the two guys fighting for the vacant title. Former lightweight champ Frankie Edgar is tied with Lamas for the number three spot, with Cub Swanson (the other man in the potential title fight) in the five slot.
Injured fighter Chan Sung Jung holds down the six spot, with Dustin Poirier in seventh. All seven of those fighters were unanimously ranked, but the next three were left off of at lest two ranking ballots. At eight is Jeremy Stephens, while Nik Lentz and Daniel Straus tied for the ninth spot. Other fighters receiving votes include Dennis Siver, Tatsuya Kawajiri, Pat Curran, and Patricio Freire.
Upcoming matchups for ranked fighters
Frankie Edgar (3) vs. B.J. Penn (NR) - TBA
Daniel Straus (9) vs. Pat Curran (NR) - Bellator 112, March 14th