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Keeping Tabs On The UFC Flyweight Division 3/31: Mighty Mouse, Dodson, and the UFC's top 15 flyweights
Mar 31, 2014 - 11:45:49 PM
Keeping Tabs On The UFC Flyweight Division 3/31: Mighty Mouse, Dodson, and the UFC's top 15 flyweights
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By: Jamie Penick, MMATorch Editor-in-Chief

We’re back on the rotation in our “Keeping Tabs On…” series, where we break down the UFC’s Top 15 ranked fighters in each division. We'll let you know where we've got them ranked, what they've got coming up, how often they've been competing, what we've said about them recently at MMATorch, and more. We get back on track today with the flyweight division.


Champ: Demetrious Johnson

MMATorch Rank: 1
Next Fight: TBA
Previous Fight: Joseph Benavidez (Win), UFC on Fox 9
Number of Fights Since Jan. 2012: 6
Contender Status: Current Champ
What We're Saying: "Johnson just keeps getting better every time out. Given Johnson's grappling game and his revamped striking game, he'll be heavily favored into this one." - Jamie Penick


1. John Dodson

MMATorch Rank: 3
Next Fight: John Moraga, UFC Fight Night, June 7
Previous Fight: Darrell Montague (Win), UFC 166
Number of Fights Since Jan. 2012: 4
Contender Status: Right back in the mix, could be a fight or two from another title bout
What We're Saying: "Dodson returns for the first time since an October knockout over Darrell Montague. He had been scheduled to face Scotty Jorgensen at UFC on Fox 9 in December, but a knee injury pushed him off the card. Now he's ready to return, and he'll take on the man who fell to Demetrious Johnson after him in Moraga." - Jamie Penick


2. Joseph Benavidez

MMATorch Rank: 2
Next Fight: Tim Elliott, UFC 172, April 26
Previous Fight: Demetrious Johnson (Loss), UFC on Fox 9
Number of Fights Since Jan. 2012: 5
Contender Status: Falling, decisive second loss to the Champ makes his path harder
What We're Saying: "Benavidez gets back on the horse after his second loss to Demetrious "Mighty Mouse" Johnson last December. The brutal knockout was the first time he'd ever been stopped, and was his third loss in title fights dating back to his time in the WEC." - Jamie Penick


3. Ian McCall

MMATorch Rank: 4
Next Fight: TBA
Previous Fight: Iliarde Santos (Win), UFC 163
Number of Fights Since Jan. 2012: 4
Contender Status: Stagnant, bounced back after a three-fight winless stretch, needs more wins to be a contender
What We're Saying: "That's an unfortunate loss to this card. That would have been a great flyweight matchup, and a serious test for Pickett in his 125 lb. debut." - Jamie Penick


4. John Moraga

MMATorch Rank: 7
Next Fight: TBA
Previous Fight: Dustin Ortiz (Win), UFC Fight Night 35
Number of Fights Since Jan. 2012: 7
Contender Status: Stagnant, needs more wins to get back up to title level
What We're Saying: "The 30-year-old Moraga got a UFC Title fight last July after only two wins in the organization, but he was soundly defeated and ultimately submitted in the fifth round by Johnson. Moraga returned in January of this year, defeating Dustin Ortiz in a controversial split decision." - Jamie Penick


5. Ali Bagautinov

MMATorch Rank: 6
Next Fight: TBA
Previous Fight: John Lineker (Win), UFC 169
Number of Fights Since Jan. 2012: 9
Contender Status: Rising, nearing title contention
What We're Saying: "Bagautinov has worked himself into contention on the strength of three straight wins in the UFC, which moved his overall winning streak to eleven fights. The 28-year-old moved to 13-2 overall with those wins over Marcos Vinicius, Tim Elliott, and most recently, John Lineker." - Jamie Penick


6. Jussier Formiga

MMATorch Rank: 10
Next Fight: TBA
Previous Fight: Scott Jorgensen (Win), UFC Fight Night 38
Number of Fights Since Jan. 2012: 6
Contender Status: Rising, but well away from contention
What We're Saying: "Formiga's memory of the knockdown is flat out wrong given we saw the video evidence of the headbutt on Sunday's broadcast. It's certainly unfortunate for Jorgensen to have had that be what sent him down in the first place, but Formiga did what he needed to do in order to capitalize from there." - Jamie Penick


7. John Lineker

MMATorch Rank: 8
Next Fight: TBA
Previous Fight: Ali Bagautinov (Loss), UFC 169
Number of Fights Since Jan. 2012: 6
Contender Status: Falling, loss and weight cutting issues hurt his status
What We're Saying: "John Lineker has all the talent in the world but he is not, repeat he is NOT, a contender. He's never made 125 lbs. on the dot, he's missed weight three times. He almost missed weight [for UFC 169]. He just lost to the number six guy in the division, he's not a contender." - Rich Hansen


8. Tim Elliott

MMATorch Rank: 11
Next Fight: Joseph Benavidez, UFC 172, April 26
Previous Fight: Ali Bagautinov (Loss), UFC 167
Number of Fights Since Jan. 2012: 5
Contender Status: Falling, back into the pack after the loss to Bagautinov
What We're Saying: "Elliott... hopes to bounce back from his loss in November to Ali Bagautinov. Elliott had won his previous two fights into UFC 167, but was out-classed en route to a decision loss." - Jamie Penick


9. Chris Cariaso

MMATorch Rank: 13
Next Fight: Louis Smolka, UFC Fight Night 40
Previous Fight: Danny Martinez (Win), UFC 169
Number of Fights Since Jan. 2012: 6
Contender Status: Stagnant, but unlikely to fight for a title
What We're Saying: "Cariaso's been a part of the roster in the UFC's lower weight classes for some time now, going 3-1 in their bantamweight division before dropping down to flyweight, where he's won three of five fights. He's lost in the division to top ten fighters John Moraga and Jussier Formiga, but he's won two straight fights into this event over Iliarde Santos and, most recently, Danny Martinez." - Jamie Penick


10. Zach Makovsky

MMATorch Rank: 5
Next Fight: TBA
Previous Fight: Josh Sampo (Win), UFC 170
Number of Fights Since Jan. 2012: 6
Contender Status: Rising, very close to contention
What We're Saying: "Zach Makovsky took the clear decision over Josh Sampo, who fought well and made it close, but there's no doubt that Makovsky won. Makovsky moves closer to a title shot, but it's going to be hard to unseat UFC Flyweight Champion Demetrious Johnson." - Frank Hyden


11. Brad Pickett

MMATorch Rank: Not Ranked
Next Fight: TBA
Previous Fight: Neil Seery (Win), UFC Fight Night 37
Number of Fights Since Jan. 2012: 6
Contender Status: Made successful debut, needs consistency to make a run
What We're Saying: "The UFC wanted to book [Pickett vs. McCall] before, and it still makes sense now after the London event. Putting it in Germany or Ireland certainly works if they want to keep Pickett as a part of their EMEA tour, and really it's just a sensible fight at this stage." - Jamie Penick


12. Louis Gaudinot

MMATorch Rank: Not Ranked (received votes)
Next Fight: TBA
Previous Fight: Phil Harris, UFC Fight Night 37
Number of Fights Since Jan. 2012: 3
Contender Status: Stagnant, bounced back from a loss
What We're Saying: "
There were three first round finishes as Louis Gaudinot submitted Phil Harris, Luke Barnatt stopped Mats Nilsson, and Ilir Latifi submitted Cyrille Diabete. I always love a finish." - Frank Hyden


13. Scott Jorgensen

MMATorch Rank: Not Ranked (received votes)
Next Fight: TBA
Previous Fight: Jussier Formiga (Win), UFC Fight Night 38
Number of Fights Since Jan. 2012: 6
Contender Status: Falling, close to release
What We're Saying: "Jorgensen definitely has a leg to stand on with this appeal. The California State Athletic Commission overturned Robbie Peralta's win over Mackens Semerzier on the basis of an uncalled headbutt, and it's clear given the replay that the driving force of the headbutt did the most damage to Jorgensen here." - Jamie Penick


14. Dustin Ortiz

MMATorch Rank: Not ranked
Next Fight: Alptekin Ozkilic, UFC Fight Night 39
Previous Fight: John Moraga (Loss), UFC Fight Night 35
Number of Fights Since Jan. 2012: 6
Contender Status: Stagnant, had a good showing in a close fight with Moraga
What We're Saying: "Flyweights Alptekin Ozkilic and Dustin Ortiz will try to get back on track after decision losses in their last outings. Ozkilic fell to impressive newcomer Louis Smolka, while Ortiz had a seeming win taken away by controversial scorecards against John Moraga." - Jamie Penick


15. Darrell Montague

MMATorch Rank: Not Ranked (received votes)
Next Fight: Kyoji Horiguchi, UFC Fight Night 40
Previous Fight: John Dodson (Loss), UFC 166
Number of Fights Since Jan. 2012: 5
Contender Status: Stagnant, lost to a top competitor, still well regarded
What We're Saying: "Montague is returning to action for the first time since his short notice debut last fall, where he was knocked out by top contender John Dodson. He was supposed to fight in March against Will Campuzano, but an injury pushed his second appearance back." - Jamie Penick


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MMATORCH STAFF

EDITORS:

Wade Keller, supervising editor
(mmatorch@gmail.com)

Jamie Penick, editor-in-chief
(mmatorcheditor@gmail.com)

STAFF COLUMNISTS:

Shawn Ennis - Jason Amadi
Frank Hyden - Rich Hansen
Chris Park - Matt Pelkey


Interested in joining MMATorch's writing team? Send idea for a theme to your column (for Specialist section) or area of interest (i.e. TV Reporter) along with a sample of writing to mmatorch@gmail.com.

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