Petr Yan brutalizes Jose Aldo to win UFC bantamweight gold

Bantamweight: The UFC’s Best Division Right Now

The UFC has several “stacked” divisions. Some come, some go, some always are. Lightweights and welterweights are one good mainstay in the UFC simply due to the size of the average man fighting. But as of today, the best divison in the UFC is the bantamweight division. The division is stacked and has plenty of good “what ifs” that will give fans wanting more after each high level fight.

With this weekend’s bantamweight matchup between Marlon Moraes and Cory Sandhagen, the division will get back into the swing of things once again. The two are ready to show down at Fight Island and stake their claim in the division. Similar to last week’s column about the light heavyweights, bantamweight was a two man show for the longest. Dominick Cruz and TJ Dillashaw ran the show. Cody Garbrandt came in and changed the game, but the belt returned to Dillashaw once again.

Henry Cejudo flipped the script and claimed the bantamweight belt after dispatching Dillashaw at flyweight. Since Cejudo didn’t fight the rightful number one contender and beat bantamweight GOAT, Dominick Cruz. This let a slew of new contenders and new stars rise up and beg for a title shot, allowing for some left out and some controversy.

Breaking Down The Bantamweights

At the very top of the list is Petr Yan, the new champion of the division. Yan won the belt against Jose Aldo and hasn’t looked back. He’s rumored heavily to take on Aljamain Sterling in the future, although that fight’s not set in stone. Yan and Sterling might be the fight to make from the looks of things, but TJ Dillashaw, the former champion, is set to return in January. Should Yan and Sterling not have a date yet, Dillashaw could be the next fight for Yan.

Then, there is Marlon Moraes, who takes on Cory Sandhagen this weekend. He kneed Sterling’s head into orbit and made himself known in the division. Moraes went on to lose to Cejudo for the vacant title and then beat Aldo in a razor close decision. Moraes was set to fight Yan before Cejudo retired and Yan was tapped for a title shot.

Then there is Frankie Edgar, the former lightweight champion. Edgar looked fantastic against Munhoz and the weight cut didn’t seem to hurt him in his bantamweight debut. Edgar brings a new level of skill to the division and he’s expressed interest in fighting Dominick Cruz as well, a legendary fight in it’s own rights.

Then there are the newcomers, the threats to the throne that nobody thinks about yet. First up is Merab Dvalishvili, who is a Sambo World silver medalist. Dvalishvili is a takedown machine and, having just beat John Dodson, is ready to continue his five fight win streak with what could be another win over Cody Stamann.

Chito Vera is the newest star of the bantamweights. He upset the highly popular Sean O’Malley a few months ago and made his name known across the world. Don’t sleep on O’Malley either. He built immense popularity in a short period of time that has fans watching just on his style along. O’Malley will absolutely bounce back and climb the division again.

The bantamweight division has legs, there’s so much fresh blood that wasn’t around 6-12 months ago. Gone are the days of Raphael Assuncao, Jimmie Rivera, and John Dodson. The new age of bantamweight is here.

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