twitter google debuts new featherweight rankings

In what could be its biggest vote of confidence to date, the featherweight division is now a part of’s World Rankings.

In’s newest set of rankings, which can be found here, Akitoshi Tamura debuts as the number one ranked 145 lbs. fighter in the world.

What about Urijah Faber, you ask?

The WEC featherweight champion is ranked number five.

Kid Yamamoto?

He’s included in the with the lightweight fighters (160 lbs. limit) and is ranked number nine.

Special thanks to my “Inside the Cage Radio” co-host Matt Cava of for pointing the rankings out to me.

Women’s MMA rankings can’t be too far behind.

  • says:

    Interesting, I don’t agree with them entirely but they have a majority of the top 10 guys listed in my opinion.

    Here are my FW rankings from July 21st for reference (I do FW and SHW top 10s along with top 20s for each of the main five divisions):


    Featherweight (145lbs)

    1. Norifumi Yamamoto * K-1 Hero’s Middleweight Champion (154lbs) 2005
    2. Akitoshi Tamura * Shooto Lightweight Champion (143lbs)
    3. Urijah Faber * WEC Featherweight Champion (145lbs)
    4. Takeshi Inoue Shooto
    5. Antonio Carvalho Shooto
    6. Hatsu Hioki Shooto/TKO/PRIDE
    7. Jeff Curran WEC
    8. Rani Yahya WEC/PFC
    9. Hideo Tokoro K-1 Hero’s
    10. Emmanuel Fernandez FX 3

    Honorable Mention:

    Tenkei Fujimiya Shooto
    Mark Hominick TKO/ROF
    Rumina Sato Shooto
    Brad Pickett Cage Rage/Bodog
    Alex Owen Cage Rage/FX 3

    I’ll have to look into DJ Hata and Imanari more, I’m still not an expert on 145lb fighters.

  • says:

    Either way, in the WEC, Faber’s next title fight should be against Curran. He is the only logical choice.

  • says:

    Even though Yamamoto walks around in the low 140s and really should be fighting at 135 (just as he competes in amateur wrestling at 135), all of his MMA fights in recent years have been in the K-1 Hero’s 154-pound division, against fighters who are far bigger than him. That is why Yamamoto’s current rankings eligibility is in the lightweight division and not the featherweight division. With the recent announcement that K-1 Hero’s will have a 145/143 pound division, this will change in the coming months when Yamamoto competes in that division.

  • says:

    great rankings rory. sam: the link in the story didn’t work for me, just took me to an error page…could be my fault. either way, here’s the one that worked for me:

    I have trouble ranking Kid Yamamto too high, as he’s effectively quit MMA to train for next year’s summer olympics. I have no doubt he’ll be back, but til then, he’s not going to be taking any fights. i always felt there should be a time limit on who gets in the rankings…maybe i’m jumping the gun tho. i guess by the time the Beijing Olympics roll around I should talk about it.

    I like rory’s placement of Urijah Faber at three better than five…I feel he’s been utterly dominant in his wins, with only two decisions (one majority one unanimous) and one TKO loss. I’d love to settle the issue, that would be something to see. I have to cop to it: I don’t know the Shooto champ at all, I’ll have to look that guy up. Faber’s only loss was to a top-tier fighter as well. it feels kind of like faber is suffering a bit from fighting in a promotion deemed “second class” or “triple A” as it were. we’ll see how it shakes out…any chance of Tamura coming to the US or the WEC going to japan?
    one last point: i’ve been getting a bit leery of the Japanese promotions of late… so many fighters (not necessarily japanese fighters) who fight primarily in Japan seem to be running afoul of US steroid regulations. is it just a perception? we’ve been going on about it a lot recently, but it just feels kind of poisoned right now, especially with all this talk of Barry Bonds and the pro wrestler who died. the insidiousness of it really gets to me.

  • says:

    Garth, you are more or less correct about Faber’s situation. He has proven himself in North America and I think putting him below all four of the top SHOOTO guys is a little harsh… however, I wonder what will happen in Urijah ever matches up with the top Japanese talent. Hell, he arguably hasn’t fought anyone on the level of Curran.

    As for Yamamoto, he got hurt during the Olympic preparations and had to bow out of qualifying. He left a message on his blog about how he’d be returning to MMA soon… the last places I saw him were in some photo-op with Gomi in Japan, then he is in a recent video with BJ Penn swimming in Hilo. There is a solid chance we see Kid fighting in September or whenever the next Hero’s show happens.

  • says:

    wow, i didn’t hear about the injury, thanks for the heads-up Rory. i saw that photo-op thing with Gomi, didn’t they have some goofy kind of wrestling match between two of their fighters or somesuch?

    that’s too bad for Kid, from what I hear he was psyched to wrestle for his country. injuries suck.

  • says:

    Ivan – I understand your reasoning regarding Kid Yamamoto, but don’t agree with them. Kid has fought just 2 times in the last 19 months. Both guys he fought, Miyata and Majoros, are 145lbers. And both have losing records. If MMAWeekly is going to ignore Sherk who at least has fought and dominated 2x at lightweight and Nick Diaz who dominated Gomi at 160 (I understand the N/C afffects that in MMAWeekly’s eyes), some consideration has to be given to moving or dropping Kid until he returns to action.

    Kid is an awesome fighter and conceivably deserves the #1 spot at 145. But his inaction and low level of opponents the last two years does not warrant 160lb ranking IMO.

    Keep upi the good work Ivan.

  • says:

    Hi Gygax, thank you for the comments. In regards to Sean Sherk, he was in our lightweight rankings (higher than Yamamoto) prior to his positive test for steroids. We’ve always had the policy with the rankings that any fighter who is currently serving a drug-related suspension is not eligible for top ten consideration, so Sherk is not eligible to be ranked at this time.

    As for Yamamoto’s inactivity, he hasn’t gone a full 12 months in a row without fighting, but he has been inactive due to his Olympic aspirations and his injuries, and his ranking has suffered as a result. He used to be #6 and has slipped over the course of the time.

  • says:

    “…Faber’s only loss was to a top-tier fighter…”

    Tyson Griffin is good, but not top-tier. Also, Griffin was drained for that fight due to the fact that he had to make 145 because Faber wouldn’t even fight at the catch-weight of 150, & Griffin still dropped him with 1 punch!

    “…Hell, he arguably hasn’t fought anyone on the level of Curran…”

    Faber hasn’t, hell, some of Urijah’s wins are against 135’ers! Faber is over-rated in the US because NOBODY knows about any 145’ers & they hear Faber has the belt & only 1 loss, ans say “he must be the best”, when he isn’t.

    It was good to see him in the rankings about where he should be.

  • hbo's oz says:

    hbo’s oz…

    I Googled for something completely different, but found your page…and have to say thanks. nice read….


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