MCGRATH: Ranking the top ten male bantamweights in MMA

By David McGrath, MMATORCH contributor

John Lineker (photo credit Jason da Silva © USA Today Sports)

1. TJ Dillashaw (UFC champion)

Dillashaw is now one of the top pound for pound fighters in all of MMA. He has two dominant knockouts of Cody Garbrandt and his next mission is to become the double champion and kill the flyweight division when he faces 125-pound champion Henry Cejudo in two weeks.

2. Cody Garbrandt

Garbrandt has ran through the 135ers outside of the champion Dillashaw. He’s young has great hands and is improving. I’m looking for Cody to have a big 2019.

3. Dominick Cruz

Cruz is the best bantamweight of all time. His inactivity and injuries are what kills him. Cruz had one of the most interesting and innovative fight styles in the history of MMA . Unfortunately, he may miss all of 2019 with yet another shoulder injury.

4. Jimmie Rivera

Rivera is one win away from moving way up and possibly securing a title shot. Rivera has been around a long time and has proven an excellent and exciting fighter.

5. Raphael Assuncao

Similar to Rivera, Raphael has proven himself elite being in with the best fighters in the division and has been around for a long time. Assuncao is at a bit of a career crossroads, but has proven a tough matchup for anyone.

6. Darrion Caldwell (Bellator Champion)

Caldwell is a big up and comer. Before his last loss, he ripped off 9 wins in a row. I would to see Caldwell against top competition potentially in the UFC in 2019.

7. John Lineker

I would have loved to see Lineker and Cruz do their thing at UFC 232. Lineker is such a war machine that his fights are appointment viewing. Outside of Dillashaw, he is the most interesting watch in the division.

8. Marlon Moraes

Coming off three wins in a row. With a huge showdown on ESPN against Raphael Assunacao, Moraes could vault way up the rankings with a huge win come February .

9. Eduardo Dantas

Losing 2 in a row hurts for Dantas. Due to the lack of depth in the division, he remains in the top 10. Barely. At Bellator 215 he has a chance to right the ship, if not he may fall out altogether.


10. Bibiano Fernandes

Fernandes is an interesting prospect. He fights for ONE championship and has lost one pro fight. I want to see Fernandes against top competition. But remember his name he could be making big noise someday in a big organization.

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