Top 10 Pound for Pound MMA Fighters in the World 8/15

One month ago I had a lot of debate as to who is the best pound-for-pound fighter in the world.

After UFC 101, my questions were answered.

Long have I felt Fedor Emelianenko was the best in the world no matter the weight class, but that honor I now give to Anderson Silva following his absolutely flawless win over Forrest Griffin.

The Silva victory combined with Emelianenko opting to sign with Strikeforce puts Silva at No.1 in my book. When making this list I am considering the fighters as they are today, not as they were five years ago. Emelianenko looked a little sloppy in his last fight and is now going to have much easier competition as a whole in Strikeforce, whereas Silva and Georges St. Pierre have fought the best and looked impressive doing so.
So, here is my list. As always, I encourage healthy discussions.

1. Anderson Silva (24-4) – Middleweight/Light Heavyweight – UFC
If you really look at, the Silva vs. Griffin fight was every bit as big as St. Pierre vs. Penn from a standpoint that you had a champion from one weight class facing a bigger fighter that was one fight removed from being the champion in that weight class as well. Silva made Griffin look like Glass Joe from Mike Tyson Punch Out and basically made Griffin quit out of embarrassment (which has caused me to stop reading Forrest’s book, as he know seems to look like a hypocrite). After that display, I truly feel that Silva could not only be Light Heavyweight champion, I have serious beliefs that he is the kind of guy that could actually beat a guy like Brock Lesnar. His accuracy and power while backing up would be a problem for Lesnar in more ways than one. Brock wouldn’t be able to get a takedown without eating a solid knee or punch that could put him down. I know many of you think I am crazy probably, but that is the way I feel.

2. Georges St. Pierre (19-2) – Welterweight – UFC
I used to think GSP could give Silva a fight, but I don’t feel so good about that now. If Silva was to move to Light Heavyweight on a permanent basis, I would like to see GSP move up to middleweight for a new set of challenges. Guys like Mike Swick and Martin Kampmann don’t seem to present much of a challenge and nobody is going to be excited to see rematches with Jon Fitch or Thiago Alves. Middleweight could present some intriguing fights and would really test GSP.

3. Fedor Emelianenko (30-1-1) – Heavyweight – Strikeforce
Well, again this is all about present day and Fedor hasn’t done anything as of late to keep his top ranking while guys like Silva and St. Pierre are beating some of the best. Fedor had no control over what happened with Affliction: Trilogy, but the option to sign with the UFC was there and he turned it down. He has to know that UFC has better overall talent and hosting an exhibition sparring match with Gegard Mousasi is not going to get me excited. I think Fedor’s career is probably the best of anyone, but in terms of best fighter in the world today, I don’t see him as No. 1.

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Top 10 Pound for Pound MMA Fighters in the World 7/14

At one point following UFC 100 this past weekend, I felt like there are a lot of new questions about who the best pound-for-pound fighter in the world is.

Georges St. Pierre certainly raised his stock with a definitive win over Thiago Alves, who was considered to be GSP’s toughest fight to date prior to UFC 100.

Brock Lesnar also deserves some consideration for his dominant performance over Frank Mir, which left many wondering who can beat him.

Here is my personalized top 10 ranking of who I feel are the top 10 overall fighters in the world. In making this list, I consider win-loss record, how convincingly the fighters have won their most recent fights, and their appeal to other fans. Well, here we go:

1. Fedor Emelianeko (30-1-1) – Heavyweight – Affliction
About a year ago, I was one of those people that claimed that Fedor was overrated and didn’t fight the best. Well, after two quick KO’s of Tim Sylvia and Andrei Arlovski, you can’t argue that Fedor is not the best. The guy has virtually never lost, with his lone loss coming on a cut. The guy never changes his expression and never makes a mistake in his fights. Until someone beats him cleanly, Fedor will be at the top of my list.

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Top 10 Pound for Pound MMA Fighters in the World 2/5

After two huge shows from Affliction and the UFC, it’s time again for another top 10 ranking of the best pound-for-pound MMA fighters in the world. What will change, who will remain, and who has been all but eliminated from superstardom?

First, let’s look at the mega fights that occurred.

Georges St. Pierre took on BJ Penn, Fedor Emelianenko battled Andrei Arlovski, and undefeated Lyoto Machida went up against undefeated Silva. Opinions on the overall best still may differ but one thing is for sure, changes are still forthright in 2009.

Below is our ranking of the best pound-for-pound fighters in the world, regardless of weight class.

1. Anderson Silva- 185/205 (UFC)
Most complete fighter in the game. Unstoppable striking and black belt jiu jitsu. Silva has dominated the 185-class like no one has ever before him.

2. Georges St. Pierre – 170 (UFC/UCC)
Best athlete in MMA, a total package of talent from wrestling, striking and solid submission skills. St. Pierre could move up to 185 if not for Silva.

3. Fedor Emelianenko – Heavyweight (Affliction/Pride)
Great ground and pound, heavy hands and sambo submissions. If he faced stronger competition and he showed more dominant control he’d move up higher.

4. Rashad Evans – 205 (UFC)
Great collegiate wrestler who has vastly improved striking with big knockout power. Has a solid camp and the only knock is his conditioning.

5. Miguel Torres – 135 (WEC)
Hardcore jiu jitsu fighter, black belt with devastating power in his striking. He owns the Bantamweight division.

6. Thiago Alves – 170 (UFC)
Big time knockout power and great Muay Thai skills. On a big winning streak and is the number one challenger at 170.

7. BJ Penn – 155 (UFC)
Great flexibility and world level jiu jitsu. Great hand speed and power, belongs at 155 where he owns the weight class.

8. Quinton Jackson – 205 (UFC/Pride/WFA)
Greatly improved hands and overall skill set from his PrideFC days. Still has big slams and ability to escape submissions.

9. Dan Henderson – 185 (UFC/Pride)
Great knockout power in his right hand, Olympic caliber wrestling skills and terrific ground control over opponents.

10. Urijah Faber – 145 (WEC)
Good solid submissions, loves to throw leather and is very athletic and quick. Has owned the 145 featherweight division until a recent loss.

Dropping out of the top 10:

10. Andrei Arlovski – Heavyweight (Affliction/UFC)

Check out the previous top 10 ranking:
Top 10 Pound for Pound MMA Fighters in the World 1/20

Top 10 Pound for Pound MMA Fighters in the World 1/20

Who is the best in the world in the ultra popular world of Mixed Martial Arts? With leagues in Brazil, Canada, Japan, Russia, and the U.S., fighters have the freedom and choice of where and who they want to fight, which many times earns them fame and fortune.

Many monthly lists come out giving a top 10-grade to fighters in each individual weight class and don’t venture to call out a single “best of the best.” This is a great way to keep up with MMA, but for those interested in reading about the best fighters worldwide and not just in the mainstream UFC, it’s rather conventional.

Below is our ranking of the best pound-for-pound fighters in the world, regardless of weight class.

1. Anderson Silva – 185/205 (UFC)
Silva is the best technical striker in MMA. He picks his opponents apart methodically and has lifted himself to a higher level than anyone else at 185 and some feel 205, as well. He brings a great Muay Thai clinch, has solid Brazilian Jiu Jitsu and can finish off black belts on the ground. There’s not much else you can say about Silva; just feel sorry for his next victim.

2. Georges St. Pierre – 170 (UFC/UCC)
St. Pierre has dangerous knockout power in his hands and kicks, coupled with great wrestling and jiu jitsu styles. He has taken down the best in the world at 170 including Olympic Judo black belts, American college wrestlers, and dominant kick boxers. His nickname of “Rush” is well earned as he usually pushes the pace and is quick to finish his opponent. If he stops BJ Penn again and moves up in weight class, he’d be considered the best overall.

3. Fedor Emelianenko – Heavyweight (Affliction/Pride)
Emelianeko has never been stopped by an opponent in a fight (he suffered one loss due to a doctor stoppage) and has the largest list of victims in MMA. Why not the top spot? If he beats Arlovski at “Afflictions Day of Reckoning”, then only the excitement of Pierre and Silva would keep him out. Emelianenko is still the best heavyweight in the world with heavy hands, world championship Sambo and ground and pound. Many US fans don’t know much about Fedor because he fought for some time in Japan and Russia, but after squaring off with Tim Silvia and Arlovski, he will cement his place in MMA history.

4. BJ Penn – 155/170 (UFC/K1)
Penn has all the tools to be the best. He has amazing dexterity and flexibility for his jiu jitsu game, as well as knockout boxing skills. He has fought at many different weight classes and has been successful in most. Perhaps his only downside is his mental game. Despite this, he has dominated the 155 lightweight class and has been successful at 170 in the UFC. He could become the only person to hold two titles at one time in the UFC.

5. Rashad Evans – 205 (UFC)
Evans is an undefeated 18-0-1 Michigan State wrestler who has knockout power in hands and feet, and gave the most brutal knockout Chuck Liddell has ever endured. He is the new UFC light heavyweight champ and has shown improvement in his stand up boxing and cardio, which was once a weakness. If another big name fight goes his way, he could move up the list.

6. Miguel Torres- 135 (WEC)
No one else in the WEC has beaten down their opponents like Torres has. He is a tough kid from a rough neighborhood who happens to have a black belt in Gracie Jiu Jitsu, his own training center, and the WEC bantamweight title. So far, no one has come close to taking his belt and in most cases they receive a beating inside the cage.

7. Thiago Alves – 170 (UFC)
Thiago is another UFC welterweight who has knocked off big names in a hurry. Huge wins over Matt Hughes and Josh Koscheck have given him number one contender rankings in the UFC. Brutal Muay Thai striking and powerful knockout punching power will keep him high on most MMA lists of 170-pound fighters. At such a young age and with the fortune of having a great team at his disposal, he should only continue his rise to the top.

8. Quinton Jackson – 205 (UFC/Pride/WFA)
A long time unknown in the U.S. fighting in Pride, Jackson’s boxing skills have sky rocketed his ability in the octagon. Rampage brings it all to the table – wrestling, huge slams, and great hands. A great showing against Wanderlei Silva has put him back into title contention and as long as his legal issues stay out of the way, he may be back in the mix for a belt.

9. Urijah Faber – 145 (WEC)
Exciting, energetic, and “natural” are all used to describe the California Kid. One of the more wild and thrilling fighters with solid striking and submissions, Faber doesn’t normally disappoint. Though he lost his title to Mike Brown, he is still 21-2 and will most likely get his rematch for the featherweight belt with another victory over Jens Pulver.

10. Andrei Arlovski – Heavyweight (Affliction/UFC)
The “Pitbull”, Arlovski is a former UFC heavyweight champion, a pro boxer, and Sambo champion. He has the tools to be the best heavyweight in MMA, but the biggest question regarding him is which fighter will enter the ring: the ultra-aggressive striker, which earned him his belt, or the calmer methodical version, which has cost him his title? With his upcoming fight with Fedor looming, the result will place him among the best or place him as just another good heavyweight. He has shown knockout power and good submission skills against top contenders in the UFC.

–Written By TSR Contributor John Duke

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