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411 MMA Rankings 02.26.13: Pound for Pound
Posted by Jonathan Solomon on 02.26.2013





It's the post-women's UFC world and things are okay, so hell hasn't quite frozen over as some have talked about last week. It is Tuesday though, so time has come for the latest edition of the 411 MMA Rankings and for the first time this year, we look at the best pound for pound fighters in the world.

A lot of the overall best fighters have been in action over the past eight weeks and of course, just days ago we saw Ronda Rousey overcome a potential face crushing defeat to secure another armbar victory. Unfortunately, life wasn't so victorious for Dan Henderson because minutes earlier, he spent the better part of 15 minutes running after Lyoto Machida, only to lose a split decision. I don't know if it's disappointment or the stink of their horrible fight but in losing, Hendo is no longer ranked in our pound for pound rankings. It's ironic considering there is a man still listed despite being 0-3 in his past three fights. I hope it's not ageism at play here.

Elsewhere, one of the best four fighters in the world over the past few years maintained his status atop the featherweight division with a win over Frankie "The Decision" Edgar. This weekend, we learned Jose Aldo is refusing to defend his championship against Anthony Pettis in what was yet another case of jumping the gun by the UFC (Dana White announced the title fight earlier this month, giving the scoop to USA Today) despite not having contracts signed. However this potential fiasco turns out, does it really matter in the long run? Can anyone stop Aldo?

In under three weeks time, Georges St. Pierre (one of the best three fighters in the world dating back several years) will return to the octagon to fight Nick Diaz, assuming Diaz does not piss off Dana in some ridiculous fashion before then. The UFC has been and will push this as a sort of grudge fight, but I've never gotten that from either man. Sure, both may have called each other out at various points over the years, but it seems more as though Diaz just wants his shot at the #1 welterweight in the world. It's hardly personal, but the great thing about Nick Diaz is it doesn't matter. Business never prevented the brash fighter from smack talking his opponents in the middle of their fights in the past and despite the raucous Canadian crow expected in Montreal, you can bet the two will be dishing verbal barbs along with wicked jabs. The only thing which would make the fight more awesome, if GSP talks to the Stockton-native in French during their battle.

Maybe it's just me, but the mental image of the French-speaking GSP and the enigmatic Diaz with an emotional crowd reacting to every move has the potential to be the most memorable welterweight fight in years.




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Rankings From One Year Ago
01.24.12


1. Anderson Silva

2. Georges St. Pierre

3. Jon Jones

4. Jose Aldo

5. Frankie Edgar

6. Dominick Cruz

7. Junior dos Santos

8. Dan Henderson

9. Gilbert Melendez

10. Rashad Evans

11. Nick Diaz

12. Joseph Benavidez

12. Benson Henderson

14. Shogun Rua

15. Urijah Faber






411's MMA Ranking Rules

- Which fighters are eligible for these rankings? They must meet the following qualifications: fight at least once in the past 365 days or if they have not, be officially scheduled for an upcoming fight.

- A fighter serving a disciplinary suspension will not be ranked. They can return when they have served their suspension or in the event it is rescinded. This includes fighters who may disregard their suspension locally to fight overseas.

- If a fighter appears on just one single ballot, and in the top ten, five points will be deducted to balance between other fighters who may be ranked lower, but appear on a greater amount of ballots.

- Want to complain about a fighter's ranking in the comments section? Please include an objective reason why you despise the list, and try your best to bring the rest of us to your way of thinking.


* denotes a statistical tie



411's MMA Rankings


Pound For Pound



1) Anderson Silva (31-4)


Height: 6'2

Birthday: April 14, 1975

Currently Fighting With: UFC

Last 5 fights:

- vs. Stephan Bonnar - Win via TKO (knee) - UFC 153: Silva vs. Bonnar - October 13, 2012

- vs. Chael Sonnen - Win via TKO (knee and punches) - UFC 148: Silva vs. Sonnen 2 - July 7, 2012

- vs. Yushin Okami - Win via TKO (strikes) - UFC 134: Silva vs. Okami - August 27, 2011

- vs. Vitor Belfort - Win via KTFO (front kick) - UFC 126: Silva vs. Belfort - February 5, 2011

- vs. Chael Sonnen - Win via submission (triangle armbar) - UFC 117: Silva vs. Sonnen - August 7, 2010

Next scheduled appearance:

- Unknown

Comment: It's not signed and official yet but the UFC has let it be known they expect Silva to defend the middleweight crown against Chris Weidman on the July 4th weekend show in Las Vegas. Also, based on Dana White's coy facial expressions when asked, if you want to interpret them as I do, the big picture plan is for Silva to fight either Georges St. Pierre or Jon Jones in the fall, preferably in November in New York. Of course, A LOT must happen for that to even be a possibility, but it's fun to throw around, right?




2) Jon "Bones" Jones (17-1)


Height: 6'4

Birthday: July 19, 1987

Currently Fighting With: UFC

Last 5 fights:

- vs. Vitor Belfort - Win via submission (americana) - UFC 152: Jones vs. Belfort - September 22, 2012

- vs. Rashad Evans - Win via decision (unanimous) - UFC 145: Jones vs. Evans - April 21, 2012

- vs. Lyoto Machida - Win via submission (guillotine choke) - UFC 140: Jones vs. Machida - December 10, 2011

- vs. Quinton Jackson - Win via submission (rear naked choke) - UFC 135: Jones vs. Rampage - September 24, 2011

- vs. Shogun Rua - Win via TKO (strikes) - UFC 128: Shogun vs. Jones - March 19, 2011

Next scheduled appearance:

- vs. Chael Sonnen - UFC 159: Jones vs. Sonnen - April 27, 2013

Comment: So far, on the current season of The Ultimate Fighter, it's Team Sonnen kicking ass after a few weeks.

It still doesn't change the overwhelming conclusion that Jones will demolish Sonnen when the two square off in Newark in almost exactly two months.




3) Georges St. Pierre (23-2)


Height: 5'10

Birthday: May 19, 1981

Currently Fighting With: UFC

Last 5 fights:

- vs. Carlos Condit - Win via decision (unanimous) - UFC 154: St. Pierre vs. Condit - November 17, 2012

- vs. Jake Shields - Win via decision (unanimous) - UFC 129: St. Pierre vs. Shields - April 30, 2011

- vs. Josh Koscheck - Win via decision (unanimous) - UFC 124: St. Pierre vs. Koscheck 2 - December 11, 2010

- vs. Dan Hardy - Win via decision (unanimous) - UFC 111: St. Pierre vs. Hardy - March 27, 2010

- vs. Thiago Alves - Win via decision (unanimous) - UFC 100 - July 11, 2009

Next scheduled appearance:

- vs. Nick Diaz - UFC 158: St. Pierre vs. Diaz - March 16, 2013

Comment: It's always special when GSP gets to fight in Canada and if Nick Diaz doesn't piss off UFC brass again, the two will make for one of the most entertaining scenes in MMA this year. It's not too often you get one fighter who is loathed by an entire arena, but that will be the case when Diaz steps inside the octagon in Montreal. It's a fight fans have been clamoring for, for years and we're leas than three weeks away!




4) Jose Aldo (22-1)


Height: 5'7

Birthday: September 9, 1986

Currently Fighting With: UFC

Last 5 fights:

- vs. Frankie Edgar - Win via decision (unanimous) - UFC 156: Aldo vs. Edgar - February 2, 2013

- vs. Chad Mendes - Win via KO (knee) - UFC 142: Aldo vs. Mendes - January 14, 2012

- vs. Kenny Florian - Win via decision (unanimous) - UFC 136: Edgar vs. Maynard 3 - October 8, 2011

- vs. Mark Hominick - Win via decision (unanimous) - UFC 129: St. Pierre vs. Shields - April 29, 2011

- vs. Manny Gamburyan - Win via KO (punches) - WEC 51: Aldo vs. Gamburyan - September 30, 2010

Next scheduled appearance:

- vs. Anthony Pettis - UFC - August 3, 2013

Comment: Out of nowhere, Aldo becomes a thorn for the UFC because he is refusing to fight Anthony Pettis this summer. Why? He believes the lightweight is not deserving of a shot at his featherweight belt. Of course, the champion just beat Frankie Edgar earlier this month who had never fought at 145-pounds before UFC 156, but who's counting?

Dana White said in no uncertain terms that Aldo WILL fight Pettis in August, or paraphrasing here….bad shit is going to happen. Is this going to be a game of MMA CHICKEN?!




5) Benson Henderson (17-2)


Height: 5'9

Birthday: November 16, 1983

Currently Fighting With: UFC

Last 5 fights:

- vs. Nate Diaz - Win via decision (unanimous) - UFC on Fox 5: Henderson vs. Diaz - December 8, 2012

- vs. Frankie Edgar - Win via decision (split) - UFC 150: Henderson vs. Edgar 2 - August 11, 2012

- vs. Frankie Edgar - Win via decision (unanimous) - UFC 144: Edgar vs. Henderson - February 26, 2012

- vs. Clay Guida - Win via decision (unanimous) - UFC on Fox: Velasquez vs. dos Santos - November 12, 2011

- vs. Jim Miller - Win via decision (unanimous) - UFC on Versus: Hardy vs. Lytle - August 14, 2011

Next scheduled appearance:

- vs. Gilbert Melendez - UFC on Fox: Henderson vs. Melendez - April 20, 2013






6) Cain Velasquez (11-1)


Height: 6'2

Weight: 242

Currently Fighting With: UFC

Last 5 fights:

- vs. Junior dos Santos - Win via decision (unanimous) - UFC 155: dos Santos vs. Velasquez 2 - December 29, 2012

- vs. Antonio Silva - Win via TKO (strikes) - UFC 146: dos Santos vs. Mir - May 26, 2012

- vs. Junior dos Santos - Loss via TKO (strikes) - UFC on Fox: Velasquez vs. dos Santos - November 12, 2011

- vs. Brock Lesnar - Win via TKO (punches) - UFC 121: Lesnar vs. Velasquez - October 23, 2010

- vs. Antonio Rodrigo Nogueira - Win via KO (punch) - UFC 110: Nogueira vs. Velasquez - February 20, 2010

Next scheduled appearance:

- vs. Antonio "Bigfoot" Silva - UFC 160: Velasquez vs. Silva 2 - May 25, 2013

Comment: Velasquez returned to the top of the heavyweight division with a dominant performance against Junior dos Santos to close out 2012. He battered the Brazilian and although he was not able to finish him in the span of 25-minutes, it was the type of win that makes you think "Damn!," and there may not be anyone who can stop him when he's at his best.




7) Demetrious "Mighty Mouse" Johnson (17-2-1)


Height: 5'3

Birthday: August 13, 1986

Currently Fighting With: UFC

Last 5 fights:

- vs. John Dodson - Win via decision (unanimous) - UFC on Fox 6: Johnson vs. Dodson - January 26, 2013

- vs. Joseph Benavidez - Win via decision (split) - UFC 152: Jones vs. Belfort - September 22, 2012

- vs. Ian McCall - Win via decision (unanimous) - UFC on FX: Johnson vs. McCall - June 8, 2012

- vs. Ian McCall - DRAW - UFC on FX: Alves vs. Kampmann - March 3, 2012

- vs. Dominick Cruz - Loss via decision (unanimous) - UFC on Versus: Cruz vs. Johnson - October 1, 2011

Next scheduled appearance:

- vs. John Moraga - UFC: TUF 17 Finale - April 13, 2013

Comment: Johnson has established himself as the best flyweight in the world without question on the heels of his first successful title defense against John Dodson last month. "Mighty Mouse" is back on television in April on The Ultimate Fighter season 17 finale on FX where he'll fight two-time All-American Division-I wrestler John Moraga (13-1).




8) Renan Barao (30-1)


Height: 5'6

Birthday: February 27, 1987

Currently Fighting With: UFC

Last 5 fights:

- vs. Mike McDonald - Win via submission (arm triangle choke) - UFC on Fuel: Barao vs. McDonald - February 16, 2013

- vs. Urijah Faber - Win via decision (unanimous) - UFC 149: Faber vs. Barao - July 21, 2012

- vs. Scott Jorgensen - Win via decision (unanimous) - UFC 143: Diaz vs. Condit - February 4, 2012

- vs. Brad Pickett - Win via submission (rear naked choke) - UFC 138: Leben vs. Munoz - November 5, 2011

- vs. Cole Escovedo - Win via decision (unanimous) - UFC 130: Rampage vs. Hamill - May 28, 2011

Next scheduled appearance:

- Unknown

Comment: Any questions about Barao being able to remain atop the bantamweight division with champion Dominick Cruz still nursing injuries were laid to rest in England 10 days ago. He choked out Mike McDonald and is very likely going to reign supreme as interim-champion for a long, long time.




9) Ronda "Rowdy" Rousey (7-0)


Height: 5'6

Birthday: February 1, 1987

Currently Fighting With: UFC

Last 5 fights:

- vs. Liz Carmouche - Win via submission (armbar) - UFC 157: Rousey vs. Carmouche - February 23, 2013

- vs. Sarah Kaufman - Win via submission (armbar) - Strikeforce: Rousey vs. Kaufman - August 18, 2012

- vs. Miesha Tate - Win via submission (armbar) - Strikeforce: Tate vs. Rousey - March 3, 2012

- vs. Julia Budd - Win via submission (armbar) - Strikeforce Challengers 20 - November 18, 2011

- vs. Sarah D'Alelio - Win via submission (armbar) - Strikeforce Challengers 18 - August 12, 2011

Next scheduled appearance:

- Unknown

Comment: After all the media, all the hype, all the naysayers, Rousey and Liz Carmouche had a hell of a fight on Saturday, making history as the first women to fight in the octagon. For the first time in her MMA career, Ronda was nearly finished courtesy of a fierce head and neck crank (Carmouche went for a rear naked choke but couldn't secure the throat). After a scramble, Ronda was at home going for an armbar, finishing it and collecting another tap out victory.




10) Junior dos Santos (15-3)


Height: 6'4

Weight: 243

Currently Fighting With: UFC

Last 5 fights:

- vs. Cain Velasquez - Loss via decision (unanimous) - UFC 155: dos Santos vs. Velasquez 2 - December 29, 2012

- vs. Frank Mir - Win via TKO (strikes) - UFC 146: dos Santos vs. Mir - May 26, 2012

- vs. Cain Velasquez - Win via KO (strikes) - UFC on Fox: Velasquez vs. dos Santos - November 12, 2011

- vs. Shane Carwin - Win via decision (unanimous) - UFC 131: dos Santos vs. Carwin - June 11, 2011

- vs. Roy Nelson - Win via decision (unanimous) - UFC 117: Silva vs. Sonnen - August 7, 2010

Next scheduled appearance:

- vs. Alistair Overeem - UFC 160: Velasquez vs. Silva 2 - May 25, 2013

Comment: Never before had we see JDS treated like a piece of meat but that's exactly what happened at UFC 155 when Cain Velasquez dominated him for 25 minutes. Healed and ready to get back in the mix, Junior is scheduled to return in May to fight Alistair Overeem. With a win, he probably earns himself a rematch with the champion, but you can't count out the REEM, or at least I wouldn't (no matter how poor he looked getting knocked out by Bigfoot this month).




11) Lyoto Machida (19-3)


Height: 6'1

Birthday: May 3, 1978

Currently Fighting With: UFC

Last 5 fights:

- vs. Dan Henderson - Win via decision (split) - UFC 157: Rousey vs. Carmouche - February 23, 2013

- vs. Ryan Bader - Win via KO (punch) - UFC on Fox 4: Shogun vs. Vera - August 4, 2012

- vs. Jon Jones - Loss via submission (guillotine choke) - UFC 140: Jones vs. Machida - December 10, 2011

- vs. Randy Couture - Win via KO (KICK) - UFC 129: St. Pierre vs. Shields - April 29, 2011

- vs. Quinton Jackson - Loss via decision (split) - UFC 123: Rampage vs. Machida - November 20, 2010

Next scheduled appearance:

- Unknown

Comment: "The Dragon" is back in our list of the best P4P fighters following his win over Henderson on Saturday. Was it impressive? Hardly, but when you're a top five fighter in a division and you beat a fellow top contender, you only move up. Now, whether Lyoto actually gets the next title shot at light heavyweight or not remains to be seen (as we saw in 2012, anything can happen to cause changes in the plans).




12) Frankie Edgar (14-4-1)


Height: 5'6

Birthday: October 16, 1981

Currently Fighting With: UFC

Last 5 fights:

- vs. Jose Aldo - Loss via decision (unanimous) - UFC 156: Aldo vs. Edgar - February 2, 2013

- vs. Ben Henderson - Loss via decision (split) - UFC 150: Henderson vs. Edgar 2 - August 11, 2012

- vs. Ben Henderson - Loss via decision (unanimous) - UFC 144: Edgar vs. Henderson - February 26, 2012

- vs. Gray Maynard - Win via KO (punches) - UFC 136: Edgar vs. Maynard 3 - October 8, 2011

- vs. Gray Maynard - Draw (Split) - UFC 125: Resolution - January 1, 2011

Next scheduled appearance:

- Unknown

Comment: I know many of you must be at your wits end with Frankie Edgar in our P4P rankings considering he is 0-3 in his past three fights and has not won since 2011. Still, it's almost a curse at this point with how Edgar is engaged in such close fights (not saying he should have beaten Aldo, but it was far from the one-sided ass kicking I expected). The man has never been dominated since the first round of his second fight with Gray Maynard on New Year's Day in 2011 and he remains one of the best fighters in the world, despite his streak of defeats.




13) Gilbert Melendez (19-2)


Height: 5'9

Birthday: April 12, 1982

Currently Fighting With: Strikeforce

Last 5 fights:

- vs. Josh Thomson - Win via decision (split) - Strikeforce: Barnett vs. Cormier - May 19, 2012

- vs. Jorge Masvidal - Win via decision (unanimous) - Strikeforce: Melendez vs. Masvidal - December 17, 2010

- vs. Tatsuya Kawajiri - Win via TKO (strikes) - Strikeforce: Diaz vs. Daley - April 9, 2011

- vs. Shinya Aoki - Win via decision (unanimous) - Strikeforce: Nashville - April 17, 2010

- vs. Josh Thomson - Win via decision (unanimous) - Strikeforce: Evolution - December 19, 2009

Next scheduled appearance:

- vs. Benson Henderson - UFC on Fox: Henderson vs. Melendez - April 20, 2013





14) Carlos Condit (28-6)


Height: 6'1

Birthday: April 26, 1984

Currently Fighting With: UFC

Last 5 fights:

- vs. Georges St. Pierre - Loss via decision (unanimous) - UFC 154: St. Pierre vs. Condit - November 17, 2012

- vs. Nick Diaz - Win via decision (unanimous) - UFC 143: Diaz vs. Condit - February 4, 2012

- vs. Dong Hyun Kim - Win via KO (flying knee) - UFC 132: Cruz vs. Faber - July 2, 2011

- vs. Dan Hardy - Win via KO (punches) - UFC 120: Bisping vs. Akiyama - October 16, 2010

- vs. Rory MacDonald - Win via TKO (punches) - UFC 115: Liddell vs. Franklin - June 12, 2010

Next scheduled appearance:

- vs. Johny Hendricks - UFC 158: St. Pierre vs. Diaz - March 16, 2013

Comment: Originally set to fight Rory MacDonald in a rematch of their 2010 bout, Condit will now see the bearded Okie, Johny Hendricks across from him in Canada next month. MacDonald suffered a back injury so Hendricks stepped up (and was taken out of a match with Jake Ellenberger, who will now fight Nate Marquardt) and the top two contenders in the welterweight division will square off.




15) Daniel Cormier (11-0)


Birthday: March 20, 1979

Height: 5'9

Weight: 239

Currently fighting with: UFC

Last 5 fights:

- vs. Dion Staring - Win via TKO (strikes) - Strikeforce: Marquardt vs. Seffiedine - January 12, 2013

- vs. Josh Barnett - Win via decision (unanimous) - Strikeforce: Barnett vs. Cormier - May 19, 2012

- vs. Antonio Silva - Win via KO (strikes) - Strikeforce: Barnett vs. Kharitonov - September 10, 2011

- vs. Jeff Monson - Win via decision (unanimous) - Strikeforce: Overeem vs. Werdum - June 18, 2011

- vs. Devin Cole - Win via decision (unanimous) - Strikeforce Challengers: Woodley vs. Saffiedine - January 7, 2011

Next scheduled appearance:

- vs. Frank Mir - UFC on Fox: Henderson vs. Melendez - April 20, 2013





Closing Comments: Pat Curran, Dan Henderson, Anthony Pettis and Joseph Benavidez received additional votes.





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