MMA pound-for-pound top 10 rankings

nullWhat’s a blog site without rankings?

Everyone has their say. Everyone has their opinion. Well, as someone that has been watching MMA for almost a decade, I think I have a pretty good eye for a well-rounded fighter.

Here is my take on the top 10 in all of MMA. This is a list I will update regularly and I am sure there is plenty of room for debate in my choices.

1. Anderson Silva (28-4): The pound-for-pound king to me is the UFC middleweight champion. The guy hasn’t lost since 2006, and that was by DQ. His last loss by submission or KO was a 2004 loss via flying heel hook. Silva is a work of art and a pleasure to watch in action. He truly is an artist with his striking and he rarely throws a punch or kick that goes to waste. Silva has been unbeatable in the UFC, but the blueprint to beat him seems to be pretty clear. His takedown defense is somewhat lacking and you have to bring the fight to him right away. Many opponents make the mistake of letting Silva go through his feel out process in the first round and once he does, it is lights out. Silva likely has a super fight with Georges St. Pierre or a title defense against Yushin Okami next. Both fighters possess the skills to beat him.

2. Georges St. Pierre (21-2): GSP is No. 2 on this list simply due to his lack of finishing fights. It would be hard to argue that any fighter has dominated his opponents on average more than St. Pierre, but he still hasn’t been able to win in the fashion that Silva has. St. Pierre has shown very well-rounded skills as he can out-strike, out-wrestle, and out-submit his opponents. His defense is very good as well as he rarely takes damage and is one of the best at staying off his back. For someone to beat the UFC welterweight champion, they will have to either land a clean punch or put him on his back. Both of those tasks will be difficult.

3. Jose Aldo (18-1): Aldo is the best fighter to yet step in the octagon of the UFC despite being its featherweight champion. Aldo is similar to Silva in his deadly striking ability, but has been more impressive in his ability to always bring the fight. It seems like it is only a matter of time that Aldo will finish off his opponent once the bell rings. He has run through the best in the division and now has the possibility of intriguing fights with new featherweight additions, Kenny Florian and Tyson Griffin. For someone to beat Aldo, they need to get him to the ground and keep him there.

4. Jon Jones (13-1): It was tough for me to not consider putting Jones in the top three. I know he is still young and he has yet to be tested, but it isn’t because he hasn’t fought quality opponents. He ran through Mauricio “Shogun” Rua and Ryan Bader and made Stephan Bonner look like a rag doll. The new UFC Light Heavyweight champion shows the total package of striking and grappling and his 80-plus inch reach is just so hard to get inside. Could Jones have a weakness to exploit? Sure. But thus far we have yet to see it and I don’t think his next opponent, Rashad Evans, will be able to find it either.

5. Cain Velasquez (9-0): Maybe people don’t consider the UFC Heavyweight Champion in their rankings because he is a heavyweight. But, when you look at Velasquez’ skills, he has the total package. He came on the scene as an All-American wrestler from Arizona State but quickly developed into a powerful boxer. His striking skills are what allowed him to defeat Brock Lesnar for the title. What also makes Velasquez impressive is his ability to stay off his back despite weighing just 245 pounds. He was able to keep Lesnar off of him even when taken down and that sort of strength is hard to find.

6. Frankie Edgar (13-1-1): Edgar is the UFC Lightweight champion and is coming off a draw against Gray Maynard at UFC 125. The two will have a rematch coming up at UFC 130, but what was impressive in Edgar’s last bout was his ability to bounce back after taking a great deal of damage in the opening round. Edgar has a style that is very difficult to face as he is constantly moving and deceptively strong. His striking isn’t devastating, but it slowly picks apart his opponent. In terms of grappling, he has been able to takedown bigger and stronger opponents with ease due to his speed and explosion. If his opponents can’t hit Edgar, they probably aren’t going to beat him.

7. Dominick Cruz (17-1): Cruz is another fighter I feel doesn’t get enough respect. He has been dominant in the bantamweight division and is now the UFC champion. His style is as different as anyone’s and that will make him very tough to dethrone. As much as Edgar moves, Cruz moves more and comes in with a lot of different angles. Cruz also sprinkles in explosive takedowns that frustrate his opponents and breaks their will. His only loss comes at the hands of Urijah Faber, and many are expecting Cruz to lose in the rematch, but I for one think Cruz has the edge in this rematch because of his movement and wrestling skill.

8. Jake Shields (26-4-1): Shields deserves to be on the list for his impressive run through the welterweight and middleweight divisions in Strikeforce, but his UFC debut against Martin Kampmann was less than impressive. Shields is one of the best grapplers in all of MMA, but his striking is severely lacking. Shields will take one GSP for the UFC welterweight title late in April for a chance to show that he deserves an even better ranking.

9. Rashad Evans (15-1-1): Evans hasn’t fought in quite some time but his mixture of wrestling and striking is among the best in the sport. The No. 1 contender for Jon Jones’ light heavyweight title has some of the fastest hands in MMA and his collegiate wrestling background make him tough to get to the ground. Evans may have too much confidence in his hands at times but he ultimately knows where his strength is and that is in his wrestling.

10. Jon Fitch (23-3-1): Fitch gets a spot on my list strictly for his record in the UFC, which is 13-1-1. It is hard to say Fitch is well-rounded as he clearly lacks in striking skills, but his wrestling is top notch and typically is stronger than that of his opponents. Fitch has only been beaten by GSP and ran through everyone else with his wrestling, so he deserves to be considered one of the best pound-for-pound fighters.

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