UFC 169 Results: Updating the Featherweight Rankings

Riley KontekFeatured ColumnistFebruary 2, 2014

UFC 169 Results: Updating the Featherweight Rankings

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    Joe Camporeale-USA TODAY Sports

    UFC 169 saw a featherweight title defense in the co-main event, as champion Jose Aldo took on challenger Ricardo Lamas. It was an interesting matchup that people were curious to see.

    When it was all said and done, Aldo cruised to a unanimous decision victory in a bout where he was never really in trouble. He leg kicked and pounded Lamas in convincing fashion, retaining his title in the process.

    In the aftermath of that UFC 169 performance, let's take a look at the top-10 featherweights in the UFC.

10. Dennis Siver

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    Jayne Kamin-Oncea-USA TODAY Spor

    Last Fight: Decision win vs. Manny Gamburyan

    Next Fight: TBD

    German striker Dennis Siver has looked unbeatable at featherweight thus far, minus his fight against Cub Swanson.

    Siver is a hulking 145er whose physical strength makes him hard to take down. When the fight stays on the feet, he uses his technical kicks and power strikes to keep guys at bay.

    He is 3-1 at featherweight and is coming off a win over Manny Gamburyan. He is in a long line of featherweights waiting to get a crack at the title.

9. Jeremy Stephens

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    David Banks-USA TODAY Sports

    Last Fight: Decision win vs. Darren Elkins

    Next Fight: TBD

    Jeremy Stephens has stormed into the rankings with his impressive three-fight stint at 145 pounds.

    After pounding on Estevan Payan for 15 minutes and quickly knocking out Rony Jason, Stephens took on his biggest test at 145 in Darren Elkins. Though figured to be at a wrestling disadvantage, Stephens kept the fight upright and battered Elkins for 15 minutes of impressive combat action.

    With his wicked power and improving skills, Stephens has become a guy to keep your eye on at 145.

8. Nik Lentz

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    Kyle Terada-USA TODAY Sports

    Last Fight: Decision loss vs. Chad Mendes

    Next Fight: TBD

    Nik Lentz is one of the many former lightweights who has settled in nicely at 145 pounds. If you don't include his latest loss to Chad Mendes, Lentz has been pretty impressive.

    Before the loss to Mendes, Lentz had run through Eiji Mitsuoka, Diego Nunes and Hacran Dias with ease. His wrestling is what is bringing him success, but he needs to continue working his hands.

    He doesn't have a fight scheduled as of now, but he could be a guy that quietly moves up the ranks in his next couple outings.

7. Dustin Poirier

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    Jayne Kamin-Oncea-USA TODAY Spor

    Last Fight: Knockout win vs. Diego Brandao

    Next Fight: TBD

    Dustin Poirier has a lot of things going for him. He is skilled, tough and most of all, he is young. That will pay dividends down the road.

    Since coming to the UFC in 2011, Poirier has kept very busy. He is 7-2, losing only to Chan Sung Jung in a 2012 Fight of the Year and Cub Swanson on short notice.

    His last fight against Diego Brandao showed how impressive he truly is. He stayed in the pocket against a power striker and punished him into a stoppage.

6. Chan Sung Jung

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    Jason da Silva-USA TODAY Sports

    Last Fight: Knockout loss vs. Jose Aldo

    Next Fight: TBD

    Chan Sung Jung has been on the shelf since his August title fight against Jose Aldo, as he sustained injuries in that fight.

    Fans anxiously await Jung's return, as he is truly one of the most exciting fighters in MMA. Not only that, but he is one of the best.

    Before his loss to Aldo, Jung was on highlight reels everywhere with his twister win over Leonard Garcia, his seven-second KO of Mark Hominick and his Fight of the Year win over Dustin Poirier.

    Jung is a double threat in terms of skill and excitement.

5. Cub Swanson

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    Jayne Kamin-Oncea-USA TODAY Spor

    Last Fight: Knockout win vs. Dennis Siver

    Next Fight: TBD

    Theoretically, Cub Swanson could be next for the featherweight title. Either that, or he can duke it out with Chad Mendes to get the next crack.

    Swanson is a man reborn in the UFC. After losing his opening bout to Ricardo Lamas, he has gone on an absolute tear. He is on a five-fight surge, knocking out George Roop, Ross Pearson, Charles Oliveira and Dennis Siver, while decisioning Dustin Poirier.

    That's the type of resume that has title considerations written all over it.

4. Ricardo Lamas

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    Joe Camporeale-USA TODAY Sports

    Last Fight: Decision loss vs. Jose Aldo

    Next Fight: TBD

    Let's be honest here: Nobody really gave Ricardo Lamas a chance. It's not an insult to him, but more of praise to Jose Aldo.

    Lamas is a gritty fighter and proved that he could hang with Aldo. Most people thought Aldo would make somewhat quick work of Lamas, but the challenger stuck around the fight until the final bell.

    Where he goes from here is uncertain. Other than this loss to Aldo, Lamas has looked incredible in fighting some top featherweight competition.

3. Frankie Edgar

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    Jayne Kamin-Oncea-USA TODAY Spor

    Last Fight: Decision win vs. Charles Oliveira

    Next Fight: vs. BJ Penn at TBD

    We haven't seen Frankie Edgar for a bit of time. That's because the former UFC Lightweight Champion was tied up coaching "The Ultimate Fighter 19" opposite rival BJ Penn.

    However, never fear, because Edgar will be back sometime this year. The scrappy New Jersey native is looking to make another run at the featherweight championship and his first obstacle is Penn, a man whom he owns two victories over.

    If Aldo were ever to move up to 155, Edgar could be the next featherweight champ.

2. Chad Mendes

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    Kyle Terada-USA TODAY Sports

    Last Fight: Decision win vs. Nik Lentz

    Next Fight: TBD

    Chad Mendes is likely due a title shot soon. Since losing to Jose Aldo, Mendes has come back and won every fight he has been in.

    Sure, his last outing against Nik Lentz was nothing to write home about, but he still won. Mendes has the type of skills that are championship material.

    One could argue he is next in line for Jose Aldo at 145. If not, then a bout with Cub Swanson for top contender would make a ton of sense.

1. Jose Aldo

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    Joe Camporeale-USA TODAY Sports

    Last Fight: Decision win vs. Ricardo Lamas

    Next Fight: TBD

    Jose Aldo has cleared out the featherweight division. There is no doubt about that.

    Aldo literally owns wins over every fighter in these rankings from numbers two to six. That means he has beaten the best five featherweights in the world not named Jose Aldo.

    A move up to the lightweight division would make an incredible amount of sense in this writer's opinion. He has conquered 145 and can be a tasty matchup for Anthony Pettis and his 155-pound crown.