Salvador Sanchez knocked him out as a featherweight and later Azumah Nelson. Miguel Torres: Torres won 17 fights from 2000-2001, his first two years as a professional. Eder Jofre: Few historians do not rank Jofre as the best bantamweight of them all. -- Campbell, 6. 9. -- Brookhouse, 3. He was never knocked out in 157 fights. Among the big names he conquered were Monte Attell (KO 8), Kid Williams (KO 4), Pete Herman (NWS 10, W 15), Memphis Pal … Dominick Cruz: While injury has robbed the two-time UFC champion and former WEC king of nearly a full decade of his prime, it hasn't stolen from his overall greatness. 11. At the age of 33, Bowles fought for the last time in 2013 to close a 10-3 career that forever teased bright potential. Check out the bantamweight rankings according to votes cast by Brent Brookhouse, Brian Campbell and Brandon Wise, and make sure to check out our previous rankings for featherweight, lightweight, welterweight and light heavyweight and heavyweight. section: | slug: ten-greatest-bantamweight-fighters-in-mma-history-dominick-cruz-tops-the-all-time-list | sport: mma | route: article_single.us | “Boxing is the sport to which all other sports aspire.” 1 bantamweight was an easy one -- Dominick Cruz standing out above the rest of the field -- the debate over places two through 10 was fierce, with men who made their names in WSOF and Bellator battling their way onto the list. CBS Sports is a registered trademark of CBS Broadcasting Inc. Commissioner.com is a registered trademark of CBS Interactive Inc. site: media | arena: mma | pageType: stories | After moving from WSOF to the UFC without ever losing his title, Moraes lost a split decision to Raphael Assuncao in his Octagon debut, though the decision was almost unanimously viewed as an injustice. 1. Featuring world champions and fan favorites, many of these best bantamweight boxers are also among the best boxers of all time. Kyoji Horiguchi: The native of Japan has quietly built an incredible resume despite not yet turning 30. 6-keys: media/spln/mma/reg/free/stories, at But for the other eleven, there is of course plenty of room for debate, so forthwith, our Top 12; let the arguments commence! Montreal is The Fight City. After pushing Demetrious Johnson to the final second of Round 5 in their 2015 UFC flyweight title bout, he began a 13-fight win streak that was only recently halted. Even though his career has plummeted since those days, going 2-8 and being cut by the UFC, the native of Brazil cemented himself as one of the greatest 135-pound fighters in history. Eduardo Dantas: A two-time former Bellator champion, Dantas has spent the better part of a decade as a constant at the top of the promotion's bantamweight division. 2. He also ran off a 31-fight streak after suffering a loss in his pro debut. -- Brookhouse, 7. After winning four straight WSOF fights, Moraes won the inaugural bantamweight title by beating Josh Rettinghouse. Dillashaw holds two wins over Renan Barao, the first winning him the UFC bantamweight title, and a pair of wins over Cody Garbrandt, the first of those kicking off his second run as champion. How does new featherweight titlist Emanuel Navarrete stack up against the best in the division? While a failed drug test for EPO has tainted Dillashaw's legacy, his bantamweight run remains as elite as any bantamweight other than Dominick Cruz. Nine of Bowles' 10 career wins came via stoppage. Then came the UFC merger, a failed drug test, an unsuccessful comeback after two years and trouble with the law outside of the cage. Going into his second fight with Chucho Castillo, his record was 61-0-1. Montreal is The Fight City. He bested Little Pancho, Jackie McCoy, Luis Castillo, Harold Dade, Benny Goldberg and many others. He ran off a record of 22-1 between 2012 and 2019. debate, Khabib reveals reason for triangle choke vs. Gaethje, Nurmagomedov vs. Ferguson fight set for UFC 249 in April, McGregor set to return at UFC 246 in January vs. 'Cowboy', Wheili Zhang vs. Joanna official for UFC 248 in March. He didn’t he kept boxing and moved up two weight classes to fight the likes of Arguello who he almost defeated, Danny Lopez, Bobby Chacon, and Pedroza. Champion for almost a full decade, he fought in 23 title bouts, the most ever until Joe Louis broke the record. – George Foreman. Ultimately he did win two more world titles at Featherweight. Panama Al Brown: Boxing’s first Hispanic world champion was a top bantam for more than a full decade, not to mention the world champ for six. How dominant has Horiguchi been regardless of promotion? Like many sports, those deemed the best are some of those who were the first to see success when the sport, or in this case weight class, was introduced. Johnny Coulon: “The Chicago Spider” boasts wins over Pete Herman, Frankie Burns, Kid Murphy, Jim Kendrick and Charlie Goldman. Manuel Ortiz: A two-time world champ, Ortiz was a complete fighter and a veteran of 23 world title fights. George Dixon’s brilliance influenced generations of boxers. -- Campbell, 2. 3. Ortiz (left) battling Howard Dade in 1947. The best bantamweight boxers of all time are the best men to ever enter the ring and compete at the weight class, which has limited participants to 118 pounds or 53.5 kilograms since its formation in 1894. -- Brookhouse, 1. So next up, the all-time best bantamweights, a division as deep in legendary talent as any other. He beat one of the guys on this list via KO and there is no legitimate greatest bantamweight list without him. That he defeated Cruz was impressive enough, but coming into the fight, most observers thought Garbrandt's only path to victory was a knockout. It is a city of fights and fighters, of hockey and heroes, of broken dreams and immortal glory, a city unlike any other. Carlos Zarate: One of the hardest punchers in bantamweight history, Zarate has 63 KO’s in 70 wins. 4. After grinding as a warrior on the midwest regional scene, Torres quickly proved he was a legitimate world-class talent, submitting Chase Beebe in his second WEC fight to capture the promotion's championship. T.J. Dillashaw: Like Moraes, Dillashaw has a controversial split decision loss to Raphael Assuncao on his resume. George Dixon, Terry McGovern, Pete Herman and Joe Lynch are some of the men who increased the popularity of … Zarate is one of Mexico’s greatest champions. But he rarely fell out of the top three of the division over the same time and only lost consecutive bouts one time in a career that has spanned 46 pro fights over 17 years. But Gomez was a super bantamweight who then became a featherweight. 5. We bring sports news that matters to your inbox, to help you stay informed and get a winning edge. Horiguchi has held bantamweight titles in three promotions, including Bellator and Rizin. All Rights Reserved. Fighting Harada: A tough and gritty battler, Harada won both the flyweight and bantamweight titles. A metropolis where hundreds of young warriors train and battle each day in its many gyms, it is where Archie Moore, Sugar Ray Leonard, Roberto Duran and Bernard Hopkins all found greatness. A sharp boxer with an iron chin, Brown was floored just a single time in 168 fights. 8. In fact, that name surely deserves more mentions when the topic of the greatest boxers of all time comes up. One peculiar characteristic about the men who fought in the rooster division is the lack of argument to be made regarding the greatest bantam of them all. © 2004-2020 CBS Interactive. Urijah Faber: Although he won his only major title as a featherweight in WEC, Faber spent the majority of time in his legendary career at 135 pounds. His splendid career is one of the most impressive in the history of the sport. Where is Wilfredo Gomez? Victims include Alfonso Zamora, Alberto Davila, Andres Hernandez, Paul Ferreri, and Rodolfo Martinez. Cruz's insanely dominant run from his WEC debut in 2008 to his first major injury in 2011 has only been exceeded by the courage and persistence he has shown in multiple comebacks, including one in 2016 to reclaim the his UFC title. He didn’t he kept boxing and moved up two weight classes to fight the likes of Arguello who he almost defeated, … A four time world champ, he defeated such top talents as Chucho Castillo, Lionel Rose, Art Hafey, Efren Torres and Bobby Chacon. Instead, he outworked the best bantamweight in history over five rounds to capture the title. Moraes made his WSOF debut in their first event, beating Miguel Torres in just his second fight as a bantamweight. Going into his second fight with Chucho Castillo, his record was 61-0-1. Despite his many layoffs, Cruz's victories over Ian McCall, Joseph Benavidez (twice), Brian Bowles, Scott Jorgensen, Urijah Faber (twice), Demetrious Johnson, Takeya Mizugaki and TJ Dillashaw make him a clear choice as best in history. -- Brookhouse, 5. Honorable Mentions: Orlando Canizales, Khaosai Galaxy, Lupe Pintor, Joe Lynch, Jeff Chandler, Sixto Escobar, Frankie Burns, Jose Becerra, Rafael Herrera, Jimmy Carruthers, Abe Goldstein, Memphis Pal Moore, Jeff Fenech, Rafael Herrera, Raul Macias, Lionel Rose, Miguel Lora, Veeraphol Sahaprom, Harry Jeffra. Johnny Coulon, Pete Herman, Eddie O’Dowd, Joe Dundee, Charley Goldman, Young Montreal and Midget Smith were among those who succumbed to his non-stop attack. Featuring world champions and fan favorites, many of these best bantamweight boxers are also among the best boxers of all time. Dantas has since moved up to featherweight, but his run at the top end of the division was enough to place him on the list. -- Brookhouse, 9. 6. Brazilian boxer Eder Jofre, who is also one of the best featherweight boxers of all time, competed in 87 fights between 1957 and 1976, winning 72 of them including several which earned him championships. Ten greatest bantamweight fighters in MMA history: Dominick Cruz tops the all-time list Cruz stood above a competitive field of bantamweight fighters in the CBS Sports all-time list -- Campbell, 4. As of December 2019, he is ranked as the world’s best active bantamweight by BoxRec and the Transnational Boxing Rankings Board (TBRB), as well as being ranked as the world's second best active boxer, pound for pound, by the The Ring, TBRB and fourth by ESPN. Olivares in my opinion is the best Bantamweight boxer of all time, no disrespect to Jofre because he is great also. 10. -- Campbell, 8. Brain Bowles: There was a time just over a decade ago when Bowles looked like the future of the division when he improved to 8-0 by knocking out Miguel Torres to end his 17-fight win streak and capture the WEC title.
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