Top 10 MMA Pound-for-Pound Rankings

nullIt has been two months since my last pound-for-pound rankings list, and only one fighter on the list has competed in that time.

Bantamweight Champion, Dominick Cruz made his UFC debut, and successfully beat Urijah Faber, but his win wasn’t strong enough to move him ahead of Frankie Edgar. So, my top 10 is the same, but there could be some serious shakeups in the next few months with the UFC putting together a number of big fights in the fall and early winter.

1. Anderson Silva (28-4): Silva is still the most feared opponent of anyone in MMA due to his devastating and unique striking ability. Chael Sonnen is the only man to make him look beatable, but Silva still found a way to beat him by submission despite a serious rib injury. Yushin Okami is next up for “The Spider” at UFC 134, which will be a good test for Silva, who has an obvious weakness in wrestling.

2. Georges St. Pierre (22-2): GSP will return to action in October to take on Nick Diaz. The welterweight kingpin hasn’t been challenged much in his recent fights, but he also hasn’t been that impressive either. St. Pierre is in need of a dominant win with a finish to really be considered for the top spot.

3. Jose Aldo (19-1): Aldo is set to face off with Kenny Florian in early October, defending his featherweight title for the second time in the UFC. Aldo is similar to Silva in the fact that his striking is so strong that many opponents have a hard time coming up with a game plan that they can stick to when they face off with him. Florian will provide a good test for Aldo, but it may not be enough to beat “Junior.”

4. Jon Jones (13-1): Jones will face off with Quinton “Rampage” Jackson in September in an interesting bout for the 24-year-old champion. Jones hasn’t had his chin tested at this point in his career and “Rampage” has been very tough to get to the ground. Something will have to give in that title fight.

5. Cain Velasquez (9-0): The UFC Heavyweight Champion has been off for nearly a year now, but will return to action in November to take on Junior dos Santos. When healthy, Velasquez has been the perfect mixture of striking and wrestling to dominate the heavyweight division. It will be interesting to see if his skills remain crisp when he takes on his toughest opponent to date.

6. Frankie Edgar (13-1-1): Edgar will settle the score with Gray Maynard at UFC 136 on Oct. 8. The speedy lightweight champion has been a puzzle for all the 155-pounders and his ability to escape his second bout with a draw against Maynard was a testament to his toughness after taking a beating in the opening round. His performance in those final four rounds tells me has the skills to top Maynard, he just needs to avoid the big punch.

7. Dominick Cruz (18-1): Cruz had a war with Faber at UFC 132 but he did enough to show that he deserved to retain the title. Cruz dictated the pace of the fight with his movement and striking. The only part that he struggled with was taking Faber down, but that was more of a testament to Faber than a criticism of Cruz.

8. Rashad Evans (15-1-1): Evans hasn’t fought in over a year, but will return at UFC 133 on Aug. 6 when he has a rematch with Tito Ortiz. Evans has been a great blend of wrestling and striking and his speed and quickness are hard for any opponent to handle. Ortiz looked good against Ryan Bader, but Evan is a much different fighter than what Ortiz faced back at UFC 73.

9. Jon Fitch (23-3-1): Fitch is in a bit of a standstill as he has been off since February due to surgery and is yet to have a fight signed for the future. That is a concern as most of the top welterweights are already signed of to face other opponents. It appears that Carlos Condit has passed Fitch in the line for No. 1 contender status, so Fitch may have to face a lesser opponent to stay relevant upon his return.

10. Gray Maynard (10-0-1): Maynard can make a big jump up the rankings if he beats Edgar in their third fight. Maynard is unbeaten and, though his style isn’t the prettiest, it has been quite effective. Maynard has big hands and he is a strong fighter that has a wrestling edge on most guys.

  

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