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411 MMA Rankings 03.04.14: Pound for Pound
Posted by Jonathan Solomon on 03.04.2014





Depending on how argumentative you may be or perhaps how wild your imagination runs, the pound-for-pound rankings in MMA should be the most entertaining of the bunch. There's not a single logical bit of information to go off of other than your own opinions and when you throw half a dozen different people into the mix, as we do, what you get is an interesting final list.

This is how the 411 MMA Rankings emerge and this week, we view the best of the best, regardless of weight and ( in the case of one fighter) regardless of their sex. As a matter of fact, there's even debate amongst the 411 MMA staff about whether to include Ronda Rousey. While I made the decision last year to do so, there remains a number of writers who just cannot compare male fighters with female combatants. My thought process is, there's no logic towards comparing the likes of heavyweight Cain Velasquez with flyweight Demetrious Johnson, but we do. So, that's the same cloud we include Rousey, unanimously considered the best female fighter in the sport, based on her particular skill set.

In any event, the top of the list is still a bit awkward without names like Anderson Silva or Georges St. Pierre. In fact, of the top five, there are more "small" fighters compared to the "heavier" guys like Velasquez and Jon Jones. I'm not sure that's been the norm in modern MMA history, until the period we're living now.

Later this month, the welterweight division is back in the spotlight with Johny Hendricks fighting Robbie Lawler for the UFC's vacant championship. While Lawler has never been considered one of the best in the sport, he has run up the divisional ladder and is one win away from being labeled the best active 170-pounder in the world. But, what kind of move will the winner make in the P4P rankings? It's easier to see Hendricks leap into the top 7 spots than it is Lawler, who is not even ranked below yet. Regardless, who gets bumped to make room for the top welterweight? Who would you bump among the top seven spots?

One factor worth mentioning is that the recent developments for Vitor Belfort have not impacted him here one iota. While he has not definitively failed any drug test recently, the decision (his, the UFC's, Greek god Zeus or Charlie Brown, it does not really matter) to leave the middleweight title fight with Chris Weidman on the table so he can safely get off testosterone replacement therapy is just a factor of MMA in 2014. We cannot speak to his abilities fighting "clean" with substandard levels and how that compares to his abilities on synthetic testosterone, the whole picture is too awkward to get a grip on.

Lastly, to get my cheap plug out of the way, be sure to check out 411's TRT-free live coverage of Bellator 111 this Friday night. I'll be covering the show, which includes a big bantamweight championship fight with Eduardo Dantas defending his gold. Plus, the newest heavyweight tournament kicks off, so there's guaranteed KO's in store for those fights.

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Rankings From One Year Ago
12.25.12


1. Anderson Silva

2. Georges St. Pierre

3. Jon Jones

4. Jose Aldo

5. Junior dos Santos

6. Benson Henderson

7. Frankie Edgar

8. Demetrious Johnson

9. Dan Henderson

10. Gilbert Melendez

11. Carlos Condit

12. Ronda Rousey

13. Renan Barao

14. Cain Velasquez

15. Rashad Evans






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.





411's MMA Rankings


Pound For Pound



1) Jon "Bones" Jones (19-1)


Height: 6'4

Birthday: July 19, 1987

Currently Fighting With: UFC

Last 5 fights:

- vs. Alexander Gustafsson - Win via decision (unanimous) - UFC 165: Jones vs. Gustafsson - September 21, 2013

- vs. Chael Sonnen - Win via TKO (strikes) - UFC 159: Jones vs. Sonnen - April 27, 2013

- 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

Next scheduled appearance:

- vs. Glover Teixeira - UFC 172: Jones vs. Teixeira - April 26, 2014





2) Jose Aldo (24-1)


Height: 5'7

Birthday: September 9, 1986

Currently Fighting With: UFC

Last 5 fights:

- vs. Ricardo Lamas - Win via decision (unanimous) - UFC 169: Barao vs. Faber 2 - February 1, 2014

- vs. Chan Sung Jung - WIn via TKO (strikes) - UFC 163: Aldo vs. Korean Zombie - August 3, 2013

- 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

Next scheduled appearance:

- Unknown

Comment: Aldo conquered another challenger last month as he topped Ricardo Lamas in five rounds of action. That makes nine consecutive wins in title fights going back to November 2009 and there's no sign that streak will come to a halt anytime soon. We do know that any talk of the featherweight kingpin moving up to 155-pounds is over thanks to the fact that Anthony Pettis is matched up with Gilbert Melendez. As to who that means will challenge Aldo next,





3) Cain Velasquez (13-1)


Height: 6'2

Birthday: July 28, 1982

Currently Fighting With: UFC

Last 5 fights:

- vs. Junior dos Santos - Win via TKO (strikes)- UFC 166: Velasquez vs. dos Santos 3 - October 19, 2013

- vs. Antonio Silva - Win via TKO (strikes) - UFC 160: JDS vs. Velasquez 2 - May 25, 2013

- 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

Next scheduled appearance:

- Unknown





4) Renan Barao (32-1)


Height: 5'6

Birthday: February 27, 1987

Currently Fighting With: UFC

Last 5 fights:

- vs. Urijah Faber - Win via TKO (strikes) - UFC 169: Barao vs. Faber 2 - February 1, 2014

- vs. Eddie Wineland - Win via TKO (spinning kick) - UFC 165: Jones vs. Gustafsson - September 21, 2013

- 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

Next scheduled appearance:

- Unknown

Comment: Much like his teammate Jose Aldo, the reigning bantamweight champion in the UFC, Renan Barao knocked off another challenger of his own. While it may have been marred in a minor bit of controversy (potential early stoppage), the Brazilian knocked of Urijah Faber for the second time in about a year and a half. Here's hoping Dominick Cruz can actually return to action in 2014 so we can see a fresh match-up at 135-pounds.




5) Demetrious "Mighty Mouse" Johnson (19-2-1)


Height: 5'3

Birthday: August 13, 1986

Currently Fighting With: UFC

Last 5 fights:

- vs. Joseph Benavidez - Win via KO (punch) - UFC on Fox: Johnson vs. Benavidez 2 - December 14, 2013

- vs. John Moraga - Win via submission (armbar) - UFC on Fox 8: Johnson vs. Moraga - July 27, 2013

- 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

Next scheduled appearance:

- Unknown





6) Chris Weidman (11-0)


Height: 6'2

Birthday: June 17, 1984

Currently Fighting With: UFC

Last 5 fights:

- vs. Anderson Silva - Win via TKO (fractured leg) - UFC 168: Weidman vs. Silva 2 - December 28, 2013

- vs. Anderson Silva - Win via KO (punches) - UFC 162: Silva vs. Weidman - July 6, 2013

- vs. Mark Munoz - Win via KO (elbow and punches) - UFC on Fuel: Munoz vs. Weidman - July 11, 2012

- vs. Demian Maia - Win via decision (unanimous) - UFC on Fox 2: Evans vs. Davis - January 28, 2012

- vs. Tom Lawlor - Win via technical submission (D'arce choke) - UFC 139: Shogun vs. Henderson - November 19, 2011

Next scheduled appearance:

- vs. Lyoto Machida - UFC 173: Weidman vs. Machida - May 24, 2014

Comment: While Weidman remains the betting favorite with the switch from Vitor Belfort to Lyoto Machida, it seems there are plenty of people who feel it's a rougher match-up for the wrestler. Lyoto is indeed the man famous for avoiding the attacks of his opponents, sometimes leading to boring fights, but will he be able to deal with Weidman's power?




7) "Showtime" Anthony Pettis (16-2)


Height: 5'9

Birthday: January 27, 1987

Currently Fighting With: UFC

Last 5 fights:

- vs. Benson Henderson - Win via submission (armbar) - UFC 164: Henderson vs. Pettis 2 - August 31, 2013

- vs. Donald Cerrone - Win via TKO (liver kick) - UFC on Fox: Johnson vs. Dodson - January 26, 2013

- vs. Joe Lauzon - Win via KO (head kick) - UFC 144: Edgar vs. Henderson - February 25, 2012

- vs. Jeremy Stephens - Win via decision (split) - UFC 136: Edgar vs. Maynard 3 - October 8, 2011

- vs. Clay Guida - Loss via decision (unanimous) - TUF 13 Finale - June 4, 2011

Next scheduled appearance:

- vs. Gilbert Melendez - TBA - 2014

Comment: With Pettis recovering from knee surgery, we now have an idea when to expect his return to the octagon. That time would be the end of 2014 as both he and Gilbert Melendez will be coaches on season 20 of The Ultimate Fighter (shooting begins in May, it will hit Fox Sports 1 in September).




8) Anderson "Spider" Silva (33-6)


Height: 6'2

Birthday: April 14, 1975

Currently Fighting With: UFC

Last 5 fights:

- vs. Chris Weidman - Loss via TKO (fractured leg) - UFC 168: Weidman vs. Silva 2 - December 28, 2013

- vs. Chris Weidman - Loss via KO (punches) - UFC 162: Silva vs. Weidman - July 6, 2013

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

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

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

Next scheduled appearance:

- Unknown





9) Vitor Belfort (24-10)


Height: 6'0

Birthday: January 4, 1977

Currently Fighting With: UFC

Last 5 fights:

- vs. Dan Henderson - WIn via KO (head kick) - UFC Fight Night: Belfort vs. Henderson - November 9, 2013

- vs. Luke Rockhold - Win via TKO (strikes) - UFC on FX 8: Belfort vs. Rockhold - May 18, 2013

- vs. Michael Bisping - Win via TKO (strikes) - UFC on FX 7: Belfort vs. Bisping - January 19, 2013

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

- vs. Anthony Johnson - Win via submission (rear naked choke) - UFC 142: Aldo vs. Mendes - January 14, 2012

Next scheduled appearance:

- Unknown





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


Height: 5'6

Birthday: February 1, 1987

Currently Fighting With: UFC

Last 5 fights:

- vs. Sara McMann - Win via TKO (knee to the body) - UFC 170: Rousey vs. McMann - February 22, 2013

- vs. Miesha Tate - Win via submission (armbar) - UFC 168: Weidman vs. Silva 2 - December 28, 2013

- 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

Next scheduled appearance:

- Unknown

Comment: Rousey outclassed Miesha Tate in their rematch last month and despite taking three rounds, she ultimately finished her (again) via armbar. Now, Ronda has already signed to return to the octagon to fight U.S. silver medalist Olympic wrestler Sara McMann in about six weeks.




11) Johny Hendricks (15-2)


Height: 5'9

Birthday: September 12, 1983

Currently Fighting With: UFC

Last 5 fights:

- vs. Georges St. Pierre - Loss via decision (split) - UFC 167: St. Pierre vs. Hendricks - November 17, 2013

- vs. Carlos Condit - Win via decision (unanimous) - UFC 158: St. Pierre vs. Diaz - March 16, 2013

- vs. Martin Kampmann - Win via KO (punch) - UFC 154: St. Pierre vs. Condit - November 17, 2012

- vs. Josh Koscheck - Win via decision (split) - UFC on Fox 3: Diaz vs. Miller - May 5, 2012

- vs. Jon Fitch - Win via KO (punches) - UFC 141: Lesnar vs. Overeem - December 30, 2011

Next scheduled appearance:

- vs. Robbie Lawler - UFC 171: Hendricks vs. Lawler - March 15, 2014

Comment: Less than two weeks to go before Hendricks gets his second crack at the UFC welterweight gold, this time in a bout with knockout artist Robbie Lawler. The Oklahoman must win this one, right? It would be insane if he falls to Lawler when he has shown the ability to handle practically everyone else in the division, certainly most of the elite 170-pounders.




12) Benson Henderson (19-3)


Height: 5'9

Birthday: November 16, 1983

Currently Fighting With: UFC

Last 5 fights:

- vs. Josh Thomson - Win via decision (split) - UFC on Fox: Henderson vs. Thomson - January 25, 2014

- vs. Anthony Pettis - Loss via submission (armbar) - UFC 164: Henderson vs. Pettis 2 - August 31, 2013

- vs. Gilbert Melendez - Win via decision (split) - UFC on Fox: Henderson vs. Melendez - April 20, 2013

- 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

Next scheduled appearance:

- Unknown

Comment: Bendo must not be a happy camper to learn that the 155-pound championship will be on ice for the next year. Now, he'll have to probably beat at least two of the following people: TJ Grant, Khabib Nurmagomedov, Rafael dos Anjos and Jim Miller to get a title fight in 2015.




13) Frankie Edgar (16-4-1)


Height: 5'6

Birthday: October 16, 1981

Currently Fighting With: UFC

Last 5 fights:

- vs. Charles Oliveira - WIn via decision (unanimous) - UFC 162: Silva vs. Weidman - July 6, 2013

- 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

Next scheduled appearance:

- vs. B.J. Penn - UFC - 2014





14) Lyoto Machida (21-4)


Height: 6'1

Birthday: May 3, 1978

Currently Fighting With: UFC

Last 5 fights:

- vs. Gegard Mousasi - Win via decision (unanimous) - UFC Fight Night: Machida vs. Mousasi - February 15, 2014

- vs. Mark Munoz - WIn via KO (head kick) - UFC Fight Night: Machida vs. Munoz - October 26, 2013

- vs. Phil Davis - Loss via decision (unanimous) - UFC 163: Aldo vs. Korean Zombie - August 3, 2013

- 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

Next scheduled appearance:

- vs. Chris Weidman - UFC 173: Weidman vs. Machida - May 24, 2014

Comment: Thanks to the shenanigans involving Vitor Belfort's ability to stay clean, Machida will challenge Chris Weidman on Memorial Day Weekend for the UFC's middleweight championship. Coming off his impressive performances in the division since October, many believe he will be the man to stop Weidman in his tracks.



15) Gilbert Melendez (22-3)


Height: 5'9

Birthday: April 12, 1982

Currently Fighting With: UFC

Last 5 fights:

- vs. Diego Sanchez - Win via decision (unanimous) - UFC 166: Velasquez vs. dos Santos 3 - October 19, 2013

- vs. Benson Henderson - Loss via decision (split) - UFC on Fox: Henderson vs. Melendez - April 20, 2013

- 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

Next scheduled appearance:

- vs. Anthony Pettis - TBA - 2014





Closing Comments: Chad Mendes, Urijah Faber, Alexander Gustafsson, Junior dos Santos, Eddie Alvarez, Daniel Cormier and Michael Chandler received additional votes.






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