MMA Power Rankings -- BANTAMWEIGHT
Monday, June 11
The lighter-weight classes are having a devil of a time when it comes to title fights of late. We have seen the logjam in recent years at 155 pounds, but now it's epidemic among the littler guys. Featherweight champion Jose Aldo had to back out of his title fight with Erik Koch at UFC 149 due to an undisclosed injury and, earlier this year, the inaugural flyweight belt hit a snag when scorecards were read incorrectly in Australia in the first Ian McCall/Demetrious Johnson fight.
So what about bantamweight? Same thing. With Dominick Cruz having suffered a torn ACL injury that will sideline him well into 2013, the landscape changes pretty drastically. Now Urijah Faber will fight Brazilian upstart Renan Barao for the interim belt, but instead of happening on July 7 in Las Vegas as it was slated to, that fight moves to UFC 149 in Calgary two weeks later with Aldo out. It's been a hair-tugging rash of injuries for matchmaker Sean Shelby, and in the back of his mind there's also this: Should Faber lose to Barao, there's a very real chance we never see the trilogy fight between him and Cruz.
Meanwhile, Eddie Wineland found his way back into the win column with a big knockout of Scott Jorgensen, and finds himself headed north in the Power Rankings. Also, Eduardo Dantas made a huge statement by tapping out champion Zach Makovsky at Bellator 65 to become the new 145-pound titleholder. At just 23 years old, the sky's the limit for the Nova Uniao product who learns and trains with the best in his division, Jose Aldo.