Ranking the UFC Weight Classes: A Pound-for-Pound Comparison by the Bulldozer
The UFC Heavyweight division has the reputation of being weak.
Anderson Silva is supposed to be the only champion-caliber fighter in the Middleweight division despite some newly rising contenders as of late.
The Light-Heavyweight and Welterweight divisions are stacked, right?
Well, let's find out the truth.
I will be analyzing each weight category individually. I will look at 10-15 of the top fighters in each class and rank each fighter between 0-4 points.
Four will go to the elite, future Hall of Fame locks who can still perform at high levels. Three points will go to to each champion-caliber fighters, two to rising stars and occasional contenders, followed by one point for gate-keepers and also some rising stars once again. Anyone below that will not get any points. So lets start!
Randy Couture is the only elite fighter, as of now, in this class. He may not be at his peak any longer but he can still beat anyone in this division.
Brock Lesnar may one day become a future Hall of Famer but right now he lacks the experience to be considered elite.
Noguiera highlights the occasional contender, and Shane Carwin should be considered a rising star of the two point variety. Heath Herring and Cheick Kongo are both Gate Keepers.
Total Points : 22
This is a toughest division to rank. Everyone beats each other.
I am not comfortable rating Rashad Evans as elite though the argument can easily be made. After a title defense I would be more comfortable.
Chuck Liddell is also a notch below that. Despite his guaranteed spot in the Hall of Fame, two years ago he would have been considered elite. Then you have plenty of guys like Wanderlei, Rampage, and Griffin to give this division credibility.
Total Points: 27
Anderson Silva is elite, no need for discussion there. After that you have a whole bunch of contenders. Henderson and Maia are champion caliber though. I know lots of people will argue against Maia, but this guy has incredible takedowns and Jiu Jitsu. I call him the modern-day Royce Gracie.
The tough part of this division is distinguishing between gatekeepers and occasional contenders because there are more than a handful of both. This division is deeper with young rising stars and gatekeepers than both leagues I have gone through thus far.
Total Points: 27
GSP is elite. Alves and Fitch are champion-caliber.
After Kos lost to Paulo Thiago, I must take him one step down from Alves and Fitch. Hughes is way over the hill and I won't consider him as much more than an occasional contender right now and that is being generous.
This division is very deep with gatekeepers and rising stars, but not contenders and champions.
Total Points: 28
Penn, as a lightweight, is elite. There is significantly less vaseline in this lightweight than in welterweight (take that how you want).
KenFlo has the potential to be elite. Sherk will never be elite but he is very, very good and Sanchez is a step below Sherk. Clay Guida and Tyson Griffin are some young talents moving up.
Total Points: 26
Here we have it. Welterweight is the deepest and strongest division in the UFC. It was driven by a strong group up top and also by its many prospects. Strangely, besides Kos, it is hollowed out of regular contenders but newcomers such as Dan Hardy and Marcus Davis look to fill the void.
The Heavyweight division finished last due to a lack of depth but it does contain some great fighters. I think the biggest surprise is how deep the middleweight division is.
Despite this, no one has proven to be able to control Anderson Silva for more than a few seconds. I'm hoping Maia is the answer but he has to take Spider down to the ground first.
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