UFC 152 Results: The Top 25 Pound-for-Pound Fighters in the UFC

Tim McTiernanCorrespondent ISeptember 23, 2012

UFC 152 Results: The Top 25 Pound-for-Pound Fighters in the UFC

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    On Saturday night, two titles were on the line, with Vitor Belfort challenging Jon Jones for the light heavyweight title and Joseph Benavidez and Demetrious Johnson battling for the inaugural flyweight title.

    Jones and Johnson both came out on top, and while Jones finished Belfort, Johnson had a very close battle with Benavidez.

    Jones, Johnson and Benavidez were all ranked in the top 25, which means they all could have moved in the rankings based on performance. Take a look at where everyone stands now.

No. 25: Chris Weidman

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    Chris Weidman can now be considered one of the top fighters in the UFC middleweight division—and the entire world.

    Weidman is 9-0, 5-0 in the UFC, with wins over Demian Maia, Mark Munoz, Tom Lawlor and more.

    Weidman is undoubtedly the No. 1 contender in the middleweight division.

No. 24: Chad Mendes

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    Chad Mendes was a big winner at UFC 148, as he earned a TKO victory over Cody McKenzie just seconds into the first round.

    Mendes has officially rebounded from his loss to Jose Aldo at UFC 142, and he put himself in line to earn another title fight, or at least a top-contender fight.

No. 23: Ian McCall

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    Ian McCall is almost universally considered the No. 3 flyweight in the world behind both Demetrious Johnson and Joseph Benavidez.

    The UFC flyweight division is still relatively small, so McCall shouldn't be too many fights away from a title shot.

No. 22: Urijah Faber

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    At UFC 149, Urijah Faber dropped a unanimous decision (50-45, 49-46, 49-46) to the new interim bantamweight champion—Renan Barao.

    Faber seemed to have no answer for anything Barao was doing, as his kicks were able to keep Faber on the outside and spending most of his time defending.

    Faber is undoubtedly the No. 3 bantamweight in the world, but with losses in his last five title fights, he just can't keep up with the best of the best in the division.

No. 21: Martin Kampmann

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    Martin Kampmann has proven to be a threat in the welterweight division as of late.

    His last two victories have been come-from-behind wins against both Thiago Alves and Jake Ellenberger—the first ending in a third-round submission and the second in a Round 2 TKO.

    Kampmann's next fight will be a No. 1 contender match against Johny Hendricks at UFC 154.

No. 20: Nate Diaz

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    In Nate Diaz's last fight, he was able to do something that no fighter before him had done—finish Jim Miller.

    Miller has lost four times in his career to Frankie Edgar, Gray Maynard, Benson Henderson and Diaz. Diaz was the only one to finish him.

    With three straight wins since returning to the lightweight division, Diaz earned the right to wait for the lightweight title fight at UFC 150 and will now face Henderson for the lightweight title at UFC on Fox 5.

No. 19: Johny Hendricks

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    Johny Hendricks has been the biggest mover in the welterweight division in the last 12 months, scoring two huge victories over former title challengers Jon Fitch and Josh Koscheck.

    He knocked out Fitch in just 12 seconds and earned a split decision over Koscheck.

    Hendricks was hoping to get a crack at the winner of Carlos Condit and Georges St-Pierre, but he will, instead, face Martin Kampmann for a No. 1 contender spot.

No. 18: Mauricio Rua

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    Mauricio Rua remains in the top 25, as he's still a top-five light heavyweight.

    Shogun was last seen at UFC on Fox 4, where he had a second straight outstanding fight and earned a fourth-round TKO over Brandon Vera.

    He didn't earn the title shot with the win, but he could end up in a No. 1 contender fight against Alexander Gustafsson next.

No. 17: Chael Sonnen

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    Chael Sonnen came into the fight at UFC 148 with everything to prove. He had a chance to dethrone the greatest fighter of all-time and back up all of his trash talk.

    For the first five minutes, he did just that, as he took down and controlled Anderson Silva. Then, in the second round, Silva did what he does best, as he used his pinpoint striking to finish Sonnen by TKO.

    Sonnen's next fight will be a light heavyweight rematch against Forrest Griffin.

No. 16: Renan Barao

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    Barao won the interim bantamweight title at UFC 149 with his five-round decision over Urijah Faber.

    Barao had said that he planned to wait for Dominick Cruz and unify the titles, and it appears Dana White believes the same thing.

    Barao vs. Cruz should be a very interesting fight.

No. 15: Gray Maynard

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    The former lightweight title challenger, Gray Maynard, is almost universally considered to be a top-three lightweight in the world.

    Maynard was last seen in action at UFC on FX 4, where he earned a unanimous decision over Clay Guida in a fight that saw Maynard, and not Guida, be the fan favorite.

    Maynard will face Joe Lauzon at UFC 155 for his next fight.

No. 14: Cain Velasquez

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    Cain Velasquez is the former UFC heavyweight champion, and he's on a mission to reclaim the belt from Junior dos Santos.

    If Velasquez's last fight against Antonio Silva is any indication, there may be no stopping Velasquez. He took Silva down in mere seconds and TKO'd him in the first round.

    Junior had better make sure his takedown defense is as good as ever for the rematch at UFC 155.

No. 13: Joseph Benavidez

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    Joseph Benavidez was the favorite coming into the fight, but that didn't matter in the end, as he dropped a split decision and did not win the inaugural UFC flyweight title.

    It was a close, competitive fight, but in the end, the wrestling of Demetrious Johnson proved too much for Benavidez.

    He is sure to remain a top contender, and there will almost certainly be a rematch at some point.

No. 12: Rashad Evans

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    Rashad Evans fell short in his title-reclaiming effort against Jon Jones, but he'll certainly be back to fight for the title again.

    In the meantime, Evans is stuck in a Jon Fitch (pre-Johny Hendricks) type of situation, where he is one of the best fighters in the division but may have nothing to offer the champion.

No. 11: Dan Henderson

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    Dan Henderson just gets better with age.

    At 41 years old, Henderson is as good as ever and is being rumored for a fight with Lyoto Machida before year's end.

    Henderson has won six of his last seven fights, including knockouts at middleweight, light heavyweight and heavyweight. That's pretty impressive.

No. 10: Demetrious Johnson

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    Demetrious Johnson is a one-time bantamweight title challenger and soon-to-be flyweight title challenger.

    After earning a unanimous decision over Ian McCall, Johnson put himself in the finals of the tournament to crown the UFC's first ever flyweight champion.

    He then earned a split decision over Joseph Benavidez and earned the inaugural UFC flyweight title.

No. 9: Frankie Edgar

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    As a former lightweight champion and a man fighting at least one weight class higher than he possibly could, Frankie Edgar belongs this high on the pound-for-pound list.

    After suffering a second loss to Benson Henderson at UFC 150, Edgar's shots at regaining the title any time soon are slim, but he did answer the questions about fighting at lightweight.

    He was briefly scheduled to face Jose Aldo for the featherweight title, but an injury to Aldo forced the cancellation of the fight.

No. 8: Carlos Condit

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    Carlos Condit is the interim UFC welterweight champion, and he won the title back in February when he defeated Nick Diaz by a close unanimous decision.

    Condit, then, elected to sit out and wait for Georges St-Pierre to recover, and a title unification fight is scheduled for UFC 154.

No. 7: Benson Henderson

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    At UFC 150, Benson Henderson defended his lightweight title for the first time in a split decision over Frankie Edgar.

    It was a close fight, a fight that many are considering controversial, but a win is a win, and Henderson remains one of the best fighters in the world.

    He will face Nate Diaz in his next title defense at UFC on Fox 5.

No. 6: Junior Dos Santos

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    At UFC 146, Junior dos Santos scored a TKO victory over Frank Mir, just as everyone assumed that he would.

    Earlier, on the same card, Cain Velasquez earned a No. 1 contender spot when he defeated Antonio Silva.

    Dos Santos and Velasquez will face each other in a rematch at UFC 155 on December 29.

No. 5: Dominick Cruz

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    "The Dominator" is yet another fighter who was forced out of a fight due to injury.

    Dominick Cruz was set to face Urijah Faber for a third time in the co-main event of UFC 148, but a torn ACL forced him from the fight.

    When he returns, he will likely face UFC 149 winner and new interim bantamweight champion Renan Barao.

No. 4: Jose Aldo

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    Jose Aldo remains in the No. 4 spot in the pound-for-pound rankings.

    Aldo has decimated his competition at 145 pounds and was set to face Erik Koch at UFC 149, but an injury forced him from the card.

    He was once again set to face Koch at UFC 153, then Frankie Edgar, then he was pulled from the card altogether when he got injured.

    His next fight is yet to be announced, although it will likely be against Edgar.

No. 3: Georges St-Pierre

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    Georges St-Pierre's extended absence from the cage has cost him his spot as the No. 2 pound-for-pound fighter in the world.

    Jon Jones fought at UFC 128 and beat Mauricio Rua, St-Pierre fought at UFC 129 and beat Jake Shields. St-Pierre has not fought since then, while Jones has beaten Rampage Jackson, Lyoto Machida, Rashad Evans and Vitor Belfort.

    There's no viable argument to have St-Pierre at No. 2 anymore. He'll have a chance to reclaim the spot when he faces Carlos Condit at UFC 154.

No. 2: Jon Jones

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    Following another title defense at UFC 152, Jon Jones just continues to prove that he is one of the best fighters on the planet.

    Jones defeated Vitor Belfort by fourth-round submission, and while Belfort lasted longer than most expected, he fell just as the other four former champs had.

No. 1: Anderson Silva

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    Anderson Silva remains entrenched as the No. 1 pound-for-pound fighter on the planet, with 15 straight victories in the UFC, 10 title defenses and 13 finishes during that time.

    At UFC 148, Silva defeated Chael Sonnen by second-round TKO and cemented himself as the greatest fighter in MMA history.

    He will next face Stephan Bonnar in a short-notice light heavyweight matchup at UFC 153.

     

    Tim McTiernan is a Featured Columnist for Bleacher Report. For the latest news on everything MMA, follow him on Twitter @TimMcTiernan.