So who's most likely the least popular guy in the room right now? This guy (me)!
It seems I have some 'splainin to do after putting Renan Barao ahead of T.J. Dillashaw as the best 135-pound fighter on the planet (still) even though "The Viper" mopped the floor with "The Baron" at UFC 173, which took place at MGM Grand Garden Arena in Las Vegas, Nevada, on May 24, 2014.
Look, it was an emphatic beat down, complete with a decisive fifth round finish (watch highlights here). I get it -- Dillashaw was far and away the better fighter on Memorial Day weekend. But, could Barao just have had a bad night, while Dillashaw had the fight of his life?
In addition, Barao just wasn't the same after eating that monster right hand in the second stanza. In fact, it probably could have put a mule to sleep, but somehow, Barao managed to survive and continue on most likely dazed and terribly confused.
Lastly, prior to the shocking upset -- all-time top five in UFC championship history -- Barao was considered among the top two best pound-for-pound fighters in the sport, while Dillashaw wasn't even the No. 1 option to headline UFC 173 opposite the Brazilian (it was Raphael Assuncao).
To be honest, I'm not even sure Dillashaw is the best Bantamweight fighter at Team Alpha Male at the moment, but I could be really, really wrong. I'm confident, however, that over time Dillashaw -- and all you -- will prove the reality either way as the division moves forward with new leadership.
Nevertheless, the SB Nation panel -- compiled by MMA Mania, MMA Fighting and Bloody Elbow -- recently sifted through the Top 10 Bantamweight fighters for UFC and beyond.
Here is what happened:
1. T.J. Dillashaw
2. Renan Barao
3. Urijah Faber
4. Raphael Assuncao
5. Michael MacDonald
6. Takeya Mizugaki
7. Johnny Eduardo
8. Eduardo Dantes
9. Bibiano Fernandes
10. Iuri Alcantara
To see how these compare to the "official" UFC rankings click here.
Anyone else think Barao deserves to be in the rankings driver's seat because of his body of impressive work or has Dillashaw proven he is indeed the real deal -- and new Bantamweight king -- with what Joe Rogan described as, "the greatest performance he has ever seen."
You've heard from us, Maniacs, now let's hear from you. Top 10 Bantamweight fighters are ...