Top 10 Pound-for-Pound Rankings

Kevin HessAnalyst IFebruary 29, 2012

Top 10 Pound-for-Pound Rankings

0 of 10

    If you could take away any size advantages and have fighters compete on a completely level playing field, you would then be able to determine who is the best in the world at their craft.

    These competitors are the elite of today's mixed martial arts fighters whether they are current champions or rising championship contenders.  

No.10: Jake Ellenberger

1 of 10

    Jake "The Juggernaut" Ellenberger takes the 10th spot on this list by turning in an 11-1 record in his last 12 fights.

    The lone loss was a very controversial split decision to current Interim Welterweight Champion, Carlos Condit.

    Ellenberger himself is an extremely strong fighter that possesses top-notch wrestling ability and superior knockout power in the welterweight division. Traits that lead me to believe that he is the only true threat to upset Georges St. Pierre.

No. 9: Benson Henderson

2 of 10

    The former WEC and current UFC Lightweight champion earned himself a spot on this list by defeating a top-five pound-for-pound Frankie Edgar in a closely contested bout.

    Henderson has gone 14-1 in his last 15 contests with wins over Jaime Varner, Donald Cerrone x2, Mark Bocek, Jim Miller, Clay Guida and Frankie Edgar.

    Henderson possesses a great wrestling base and a wide array of striking ability to go along with excellent speed, strength and cardio.

No. 8: Dan Henderson

3 of 10

    There isn't a lot of fighters that can compete and win at three different weight classes, but Dan Henderson has proven, even at age 41, that size doesn't always matter.

    Henderson had a Hall of Fame career by winning the UFC 17 tournament, simultaneously holding the Pride Middleweight and Welterweight Championships, and also earning himself the Strikeforce Light-Heavyweight Championship. He also competed against and defeated former No.1 world-ranked pound-for-pound Fedor Emelianenko in a heavyweight bout.

    Henderson is 7-1 in his last eight fights with wins over Rousimar Palhares, Rich Franklin, Michael Bisping, Renato "Babalu" Sobral, Rafael Cavalcante, Fedor Emelianenko and Mauricio "Shogun" Rua.

No. 7: Junior Dos Santos

4 of 10

    Junior dos Santos is the current UFC Heavyweight Champion and is one of the finest strikers in the sport of mixed martial arts today.

    What keeps JdS from going any higher on this list is that he really hasn't displayed an overall game and has been strictly a stand-up fighter. Do not discount that aspect though. He is 14-1 in his career with 10 knockouts.

    He has knocked off some of the best heavyweights in the world including Gabriel Gonzaga, Mirko Cro Cop, Fabricio Werdum, Stefan Struve, Gilbert Yvel, Roy Nelson, Shane Carwin and Cain Velasquez.

    We might not have even seen the best version of Junior dos Santos yet at he's still 27 years old.

No. 6: Frankie Edgar

5 of 10

    I can already hear the complaints with this selection, "Why is Frankie Edgar ranked higher than Benson Henderson?"

    Frankie Edgar is one of the few fighters that fights a full weight class above where he should probably be at.

    Edgar has gone 14-2 in his career and has knocked off fighters such as Jim Miller, Tyson Griffin, Mark Bocek, Sean Sherk, BJ Penn x2 and Gray Maynard.

    Edgar is full of heart and determination which goes well with his amazing takedown ability and solid boxing. Expect Edgar to do the impossible.

No. 5: Dominick Cruz

6 of 10

    Cruz has earned his status as one of the world's best fighters. Cruz is 19-1 in his career,  redeemed his only loss against Uriah Faber and currently has four successful title defenses.

    Cruz has great speed and movement inside of the Octagon which has earned himself victories over the best bantamweights in the world as well as the distinction of being the only UFC Bantamweight Champion to date.

    Anyone who doesn't know who Dominick Cruz is yet will get to know him better as he coached the 15th season of The Ultimate Fighter.

No. 4: Jon Jones

7 of 10

    The current UFC Light-Heavyweight Champion has accomplished a lot is a very shot time span.

    Defeating legends such as Mauricio Rua, Rampage Jackson and solid contenders such as Lyoto Machida and Ryan Bader, has people wondering how great this 24-year-old man will be at the end of his career.

    Jon Jones does have some attributes that help him dominate his matches, one of which include an 84.5-inch reach. Jones is also a very strong wrestler and had a wide array of strikes that keep opponents off guard.

    Jones will look to make his third title defense at UFC 145 against another former champion, Rashad Evans.

No. 3: Jose Aldo Jr.

8 of 10

    Jose Aldo has almost been invincible going 21-1 in his career. He is the last WEC and current UFC Featherweight Champion totaling five title defenses (three in the UFC).

    Aldo's only drawback is that the featherweight division has been cleaned out due to its lack of top competition, but it is also a testament to his dominance.

    Aldo is a fabulous striker who has tremendous speed and power for a small division, collecting 13 wins by form of knockout.

No. 2: Anderson Silva

9 of 10

    At age 36 and soon to be 37, Anderson Silva has accomplished a lot in his time as a mixed martial artist. He has dominated the UFC middleweight division and even ventured into the light-heavyweight division on occasion.  

    Silva is 31-4 in his career and has been the most dominant striker in the history of MMA, totaling 18 knockouts.

    Silva has had nine consecutive UFC middleweight-title defenses but other than his wins over Rich Franklin and Dan Henderson, his title defenses and overall competition have been mediocre at best.

    I also have trouble with Anderson being unwilling to fight other top fighters, especially in the light-heavyweight division such as Lyoto Machida and Jon Jones. Even more so since he cut his weight down from approximately 220-230 pounds.

    Take nothing away though, Anderson Silva is one of the most dangerous men on the planet.

No. 1: Georges St. Pierre

10 of 10

    Georges St. Pierre has been the most dominant fighter in the world, making his opponents look like they don't even belong in the ring with him.

    GSP has a career record of 22-2 and has redeemed both of his losses in dominant fashion. He fights in the talent-rich welterweight division and has defeated a laundry list of top pound-for-pound fighters including Frank Trigg, BJ Penn x2, Matt Hughes x2, Josh Koscheck x2, Matt Serra, Jon Fitch, Thiago Alves and Jake Shields, all while defending the UFC Welterweight Championship six times.

    GSP is one of the most naturally gifted pure athletes in mixed martial arts and is always attempting to find ways of improving himself.