Following July 19th the debate began as to who is the best pound for pound fighter in the world in Mixed Martial Arts. Before July 19th two people were really thought of as perhaps the top guy: Fedor Emelianenko and Anderson Silva. Following July 19th the debate gets tougher with both guys winning. Let me begin by defining the term best pound for pound. The best pound for pound fighter does not necessarily mean that he could beat any fighter in the world. For example at 145 lbs, Urijah Faber would stand little chance against most heavier opponents. The pound for pound title is for the best fighter in the world, size and weight has nothing to do with it and a fight between #1 and #2 wouldn’t necessarily settle the debate. That is why the title best pound for pound fighter is difficult to determine and is very subjective. Here is my list of the best pound for pound fighters.
1. Anderson Silva – Anderson is number one to me for a few reasons. First, he has cleaned out the middleweight divison of the UFC. There is not a middleweight that I think can beat him. Second, he has beaten top fighters constantly. He beat a top notch fighter in Dan Henderson and another in Rich Franklin, and he destryoed Franklin. He beat a solid guy in Nate Marquardt. Third, he challenges himself. He moved up to 205 to fight James Irvin. Irvin is not a stud a 205, but he has serious KO power. He could have KO’d Silva, but Silva destroyed him quickly. Fourth, Anderson is so well rounded. His striking is legendary. His Muay Thai is deadly. His jiu jitsu is incredible although we don’t see much of it. I don’t see him getting beat any time soon at 185 or 205.
2. Fedor Emelianenko – I am tempted to rank Fedor 1b. Someone could make a solid argument to him being number 1. Fedor always impresses. He really impressed against Sylvia. Not just that he won, but that he won in 36 seconds. He is no doubt the best heavyweight, but I put him second to Anderson because I do not feel he has cleaned out the divison like Anderson has. Fedor still has several guys to beat that are top level. I’d like to see him fight Couture, Arlovski and Barnett. Don’t get me wrong Fedor has a great resume and has beaten great guys like Nogueira and Cro Cop. Fedor is incredible. As for now he is numebr 2 pound for pound and I think he has to win another and Silva has to lose to change that.
3. B.J. Penn – Pure talent B.J. may be up there with Anderson and Fedor. I believe B.J. may be the guy to challenge the two above guys. He has looked dominant since his return against Pulver, Stevenson, and Sherk. He wants to fight St. Pierre in what would be a dream match. B.J. is one of those guys that can fight at several divisons and he has made clear he wants the welterweight belt. If he beats St. Pierre he has to be in the talk for number 1. He has beaten solid welterweights before and can fight well at 170. He has even talked about going up to 185 to challenge Anderson. B.J.’s knock has always been his drive. That has changed lately it seems and when on his game he can beat anyone at any weight. B.J. made very good fighters in Sean Sherk and Joe Stevenson look bad. I am on the Penn bandwagon right now and think that right now he can beat anyone at 155 and maybe anyone at 170.
4. Urijah Faber – Some people may want St. Pierre in this spot, but I have Faber. Faber is an awesome featherweight. He may be the best featherweight ever. I and many still want the Yamamoto fight, but the Pulver fight was great. Faber impressed there and moved up my rankings because of that. I don’t see any 145 lb guy beating Faber. His boxing is great and he is so innovative on the ground. The category is best pound for pound fighter and I think Urijah is one of the best.
5. Georges St. Pierre – St. Pierre is not ranked higher because he does have a recent loss to Matt Serra. I know he avenged that loss since then, but Serra I consider far less talented than him. St. Pierre is the total package. When he is on he is unstoppable, and the key is when he is on. I don’t suspect he will lose to Jon Fitch and a matcvh with B.J. Penn is on the horizon. St. Pierre looked great against Serra, Hughes and Koscheck lately. He is beating top level talent at the welterweight divison. he is a few fights away from cleaning out the divison. If he beats Fitch, Penn, Alves and Sanchez, he may move up to 185. St. Pierre is an awesome fighter and he has room to climb up. I think what is so impressive about him is his desire to learn more and grow as a fighter.
6. Miguel Torres – A 135 pound fighter is hard to rank, however there is no doubt that Torres is the world’s best bantamweight. His popularity is growing by leaps and bounds. His last fight may be fight of the year. He has sick jiu jitsu and showed he can stand and bang. He has an incredible overall record and he sports a mullet unashamedly. Torres is great at 135. Many are calling for a Torres vs. Faber fight and that would be awesome as I believe Torres would be a challenge to Urijah. I do not know if we know how good Miguel is and I do not know if we ever will. He has to be one of the most underrated fighters in the world.
7. Lyoto Machida – I do not know how many people consider Machida in their pound for pound rankings, but I think it must be considered. He is undefeated. He dominated Tito Ortiz. I know many people are critical of him, but right now he may be the world’s best light heavyweight. He certainly fits the bill of being underrated. Many people do not like him because of his style, but he keeps winning. Some accuse him of running in fights, but he strikes and moves. He is very effective. If he keeps winning he needs to move up lists. His fight with Thiago Silva at UFC 89 will tell us a lot. Don’t sleep on Lyoto as a pound for pound top fighter.
8. Antonio Rodrigo Nogueira – Big Nog is the UFC Heavyweight champion. He has beaten great guys. He takes a lickin’ and keeps on tickin’. He has tons of talent and is very well rounded. Most consider him the #2 or #3 heavyweight and in the midst of Couture’s desire to fight the best in Fedor he has overlooked fighting Nogueira. In my opinion Randy should have challenged Nogueira for the belt before pulling this cry baby crap with the UFC and pouting because he wanted Fedor. He could have foguht out his contract against Nogueira and one other guy and then left with no conflict to get the Fedor fight. He could have fulfilled his contract with no controversy with the UFC. His legacy is tarnished. I think Nog would beat Randy. He has proven himself over and over. Nogueira is a solid fighter and I look forward to his fight with Mir and his TUF 8 coachind stint.
Others: Kid Yamamoto, Takanori Gomi, Paulo Filho, Forrest Griffin, Dan Henderson, Randy Couture, Mauricio “Shogun” Rua
Filed under: Anderson Silva, Antonio Rodrigo Nogueira, B.J. Penn, Dan Henderson, Dana White, Fedor Emelianenko, Forrest Griffin, Georges St. Pierre, Lyoto Machida, Mauricio "Shogun" Rua, Miguel Torres, Norifumi Yamamoto, Paulo Filho, Randy Couture, Takanori Gomi, Urijah Faber | Tagged: Anderson Silva, Antonio Rodrigo Nogueira, B.J. Penn, Dan Henderson, Fedor Emelianenko, Forrest Griffin, Georges St. Pierre, Lyoto Machida, Mauricio "Shogun" Rua, Miguel Torres, Norifumi Yamamoto, Paulo Filho, Randy Couture, Takanori Gomi, Urijah Faber | 4 Comments »