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MMA's Top 50 Pound-for-Pound Following Anderson Silva's Shocking UFC 162 Loss

Jonathan SnowdenCombat Sports Senior WriterJuly 8, 2013

MMA's Top 50 Pound-for-Pound Following Anderson Silva's Shocking UFC 162 Loss

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    A lot changed in the blink of an eye at UFC 162. That's all the time it took Chris Weidman to turn out Anderson Silva's lights with a left hook and throw the entire MMA world into chaos.

    For years, Silva has reigned as the top pound-for-pound fighter in the entire sport. At 38, he suffered the first loss of his UFC career.

    Is he still the best in the world? If not, who? And why?

    In the wake of one of the most monumental upsets in UFC history, it's worth pressing reset and re-evaluating things.

    Who are the best of the best?

    I have 50 answers to that question.

    Disagree? Let me know in the comments.

50. Michelle Waterson

2 of 51

    Weight Class: Atomweight

    Record: 11-3

    Last Three: Penne (W-Sub),  Schuckman (W-Dec), Rael (W-Sub)

    Analysis:

    The "Karate Hottie" has come a long way since she was better known for her looks than her fighting prowess. She's currently the Invicta atomweight champion.

49. John Moraga

3 of 51

    Weight Class: Flyweight

    Record: 13-1

    Last Three: Cariaso (W-Sub), Gomez (W-KO), Carbajal (W-Dec)

    Analysis:

    A two-time All-American wrestler at Arizona State, Moraga has catapulted quickly to the top of a weak UFC flyweight class. He'll be put to the ultimate test against champion Demetrious Johnson later this year.

48. Cub Swanson

4 of 51

    Weight Class: Featherweight

    Record: 20-5

    Last Three: Siver (W-TKO), Poirier (W-Dec), Oliveira (W-KO)

    Analysis:

    Swanson has finally erased the memory of a 35-second defeat at the hands of Jens Pulver in 2007. Now a bona fide contender, the Greg Jackson product is on the verge of a second opportunity against Jose Aldo.

47. Jessica Aguilar

5 of 51

    Weight Class: Strawweight

    Record: 15-4

    Last Three: Vidonic (W-Dec), Fujii (W-Dec), Vidonic (W-Dec)

    Analysis:

    Bellator's top female fighter has spent a lot of time on the shelf as the promotion tries to figure out what to do with the women's divisions it only sporadically promotes.

46. Glover Teixeira

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    Weight Class: Light Heavyweight

    Record: 21-2

    Last Three: Te Huna (W-Sub), Jackson (W-Dec), Maldonado (W-TKO)

    Analysis:

    At 33, Texeira is a little late to the game. But a win over Quinton Jackson showed he's the real deal.

45. Miesha Tate

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    Weight Class: Bantamweight

    Record: 13-4

    Last Three: Zingano (L-TKO), Kedzie (W-Sub), Rousey (L-Sub)

    Analysis:

    Tate has lost two of her last three and taken major PR hits due to some questionable comments and rude behavior. A second loss to Rousey would likely see her plummet off the list.

44. Raphael Assuncao

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    Weight Class: Bantamweight

    Record: 20-4

    Last Three: Lee (W-Sub), Easton (W-Dec), Tamura (W-TKO)

    Analysis:

    It's now or never for the 30-year-old Brazilian, on the hottest streak of his career. He's one or two more victories away from a title shot.

43. Bibiano Fernandes

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    Weight Class: Bantamweight

    Record: 14-3

    Last Three: Okazaki (W-Dec), Maeda (W-Sub), Falciroli (W-Dec)

    Analysis:

    Fernandes has likely traveled as far up the pound-for-pound rankings as he possibly can without coming to the United States and facing top competition.

42. Fabricio Werdum

10 of 51

    Weight Class: Heavyweight

    Record: 17-5

    Last Three: Nogueira (W-Sub), Russow (W-TKO), Nelson (W-Dec)

    Analysis:

    It's been three years since his career-changing victory over Fedor Emelianenko. With recent UFC wins over Nogueira and Nelson, for Werdum it's heavyweight title or bust.

41. Michael Chandler

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    Weight Class: Lightweight

    Record: 11-0

    Last Three: Hawn (W-Sub), Gono (W-TKO), Alvarez (W-Sub)

    Analysis:

    Chandler may be the top fighter in all of Bellator. But without coming to the UFC, he'll be hard-pressed to prove he's one of the best in the world.

40. Alexis Davis

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    Weight Class: Bantamweight

    Record: 14-5

    Last Three: Sexton (W-Dec), Baszler (W-Sub), Akano (W-Sub)

    Analysis:

    Davis is being groomed for a potential shot at Ronda Rousey and the UFC's top bantamweights. She's shown that she can compete with the best already. Now it's time to take it to the next level.

39. Michael McDonald

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    Weight Class: Bantamweight

    Record: 15-2

    Last Three: Barao (L-Sub), Torres (W-KO), Soto (W-KO)

    Analysis:

    Still just 22, McDonald has plenty of time to come back from his loss to Barao. He's got legitimate knockout power, rare in the bantamweight class, which should keep him on this list for years to come.

38. Ben Askren

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    Weight Class: Welterweight

    Record: 11-0

    Last Three: Amoussou (W-TKO), Lima (W-Dec), Hieron (W-Dec)

    Analysis:

    "Funky" would be an intriguing matchup for UFC champion Georges St-Pierre. Unfortunately, it may be a match we never get to see.

37. Alistair Overeem

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    Weight Class: Heavyweight

    Record: 36-12

    Last Three: Silva (L-KO), Lesnar (W-TKO), Werdum (W-Dec)

    Analysis:

    The former Strikeforce champion looked good against Silva before overconfidence got the better of him. He'll look to get back in contention against Travis Browne in Boston.

36. Jake Ellenberger

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    Weight Class: Welterweight

    Record: 29-6

    Last Three: Marquardt (W-KO), Hieron (W-Dec), Kampmann (L-TKO)

    Analysis:

    Ellenberger will be the first real test for rising prospect Rory MacDonald. A win should vault him into a title fight with MacDonald's teammate Georges St-Pierre.

35. Daniel Cormier

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    Weight Class: Heavyweight

    Record: 12-0

    Last Three: Mir (W-Dec), Staring (W-TKO), Barnett (W-Dec)

    Analysis:

    Also known as "Black Fedor," the former Olympian will drop to 205 pounds to avoid a confrontation with teammate Cain Velasquez. Cormier has quietly added a competent boxing game to his superb wrestling and is a contender no matter which weight class he lands in.

34. Cat Zingano

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    Weight Class: Bantamweight

    Record: 8-0

    Last Three: Tate (W-TKO), Pennington (W-Sub), Hashi (W-KO)

    Analysis:

    Brought in to lose to Miesha Tate, Zingano shocked the fight world by pulling off a huge win to earn a shot at Ronda Rousey. An injury sidelined her instead, but when she returns to action, it should be at the top of the card.

33. Chan Sung Jung

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    Weight Class: Featherweight

    Record: 13-3

    Last Three: Poirier (W-Sub), Hominick (W-KO), Garcia (W-Sub)

    Analysis:

    Just a few years ago, Jung was on the losing end of a decision to Leonard Garcia. My, how far he's come!

32. Nick Diaz

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    Weight Class: Welterweight

    Record: 26-9

    Last Three: St-Pierre (L-Dec), Condit (L-Dec), Penn (W-Dec)

    Analysis:

    One of the sport's most charismatic and enigmatic competitors, Diaz appears to be winding down a stellar career that saw him come close to, but never quite achieve, world-class status.

31. Dan Henderson

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    Weight Class: Light Heavyweight

    Record: 29-10

    Last Three: Evans (L-Dec), Machida (L-Dec), Rua (W-Dec)

    Analysis:

    The 42-year-old poster boy for TRT, Henderson shows no signs of slowing down. Though he's lost his last two, both were controversial decisions to two of the best in the business.

30. Rashad Evans

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    Weight Class: Light Heavyweight

    Record: 18-3

    Last Three: Henderson (W-Dec), Nogueira (L-Dec), Jones (L-Dec)

    Analysis:

    A former The Ultimate Fighter winner, and former light heavyweight champion, Evans is still pondering a drop down to middleweight.

29. Sarah Kaufman

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    Weight Class: Bantamweight

    Record: 16-2

    Last Three: Smith (W-Dec), Rousey (L-Sub), Davis (W-Dec)

    Analysis:

    Kaufman, a former ballerina, will need to stay on her toes to get another shot at Rousey in a suddenly crowded UFC bantamweight division. She'll face wrestler Sara McMann in August.

28. Josh Thomson

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    Weight Class: Lightweight

    Record: 20-5

    Last Three: Diaz (W-TKO), Melendez (L-Dec), Noons (W-Dec)

    Analysis:

    When not fighting against gay marriage, the 34-year-old Thomson is fighting the best of the best in the cage. He took on Gilbert Melendez in one of the sport's all-time best trilogies, then proved he still belongs in the UFC with a huge win over Diaz the younger in April.

27. Vitor Belfort

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    Weight Class: Middleweight/Light Heavyweight

    Record: 23-10

    Last Three: Rockhold (W-Ko), Bisping (W-TKO), Jones (L-Sub)

    Analysis:

    Belfort believes he's earned a rematch against Anderson Silva. After huge wins over Rockhold and Bisping, I can't say I disagree with him.

26. Pat Curran

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    Weight Class: Featherweight

    Record: 19-4

    Last Three: Shamkhalaev (W-Sub), Freire (W-Dec), Warren (W-KO)

    Analysis:

    Arguably the best fighter in the world outside the UFC, Curran has found a home at featherweight.

25. Carlos Condit

27 of 51

    Weight Class: Welterweight

    Record: 28-7

    Last Three: Hendricks (L-Dec), St-Pierre (L-Dec), Diaz (W-Dec)

    Analysis:

    Condit is better than ever, yet has lost consecutive fights. That's what happens when you step up to the top of the division.

24. Anthony Pettis

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    Weight Class: Lightweight

    Record: 16-2

    Last Three: Cerrone (W-KO), Lauzon (W-KO), Stephens (W-Dec)

    Analysis:

    The 26-year-old Pettis has rebounded nicely after a loss to Clay Guida derailed his title dreams. He seems destined for UFC gold, and who wouldn't want to see a rematch with former WEC rival Benson Henderson?

23. Ricardo Lamas

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    Weight Class: Featherweight

    Record: 13-2

    Last Three: Koch (W-TKO), Hioki (W-Dec), Swanson (W-Sub)

    Analysis:

    Four wins in a row put Lamas in line for a featherweight title shot. Or should. The UFC had other ideas and went for a more marketable Chan Sung Jung instead.

22. T.J. Grant

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    Weight Class: Lightweight

    Record: 21-5

    Last Three: Maynard (W-TKO), Wiman (W-KO), Dunham (W-Dec)

    Analysis:

    Grant has looked nigh but unstoppable since dropping down to lightweight. But champion Benson Henderson presents a unique challenge for the Canadian slugger this August.

21. Gilbert Melendez

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    Weight Class: Lightweight

    Record: 21-3

    Last Three: Henderson (L-Dec), Thomson (W-Dec), Masvidal (W-Dec)

    Analysis:

    "E Nino" roared into the UFC with an immediate title shot. But lightweight champion Benson Henderson weathered the storm to win a split decision and walk away with all the gold.

20. Junior Dos Santos

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    Weight Class: Heavyweight

    Record: 16-2

    Last Three: Hunt (W-KO), Velasquez (L-Dec), Mir (W-TKO)

    Analysis:

    Dos Santos will complete a trilogy of fights with UFC champion Cain Velasquez this October in Houston. I get the feeling the two will meet again regardless of the result.

19. John Dodson

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    Weight Class: Flyweight

    Record: 14-6

    Last Three: Johnson (L-Dec), da Silva (W-TKO), Elliott (W-Dec)

    Analysis:

    Dodson, The Ultimate Fighter 14 winner, is a brilliant fighter. I hope to see him in a rematch with Johnson soon.

18. Chad Mendes

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    Weight Class: Featherweight

    Record: 14-1

    Last Three: Elkins (W-KO), Meza (W-KO), McKenzie (W-KO)

    Analysis:

    The wrestler has taken a tour of the division's dregs since falling to Aldo at UFC 142. He's won each bout with a highlight-reel knockout. Now, against Clay Guida, he will again have to prove he's the second-best fighter in his weight class.

17. Lyoto Machida

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    Weight Class: Light Heavyweight

    Record: 19-3

    Last Three: Henderson (W-Dec), Bader (W-KO), Jones (L-Sub)

    Analysis:

    The 35-year-old former champion proved there is still life left in his career with consecutive wins. Now he's set to face yet another prospect in Phil Davis. Will fans buy a rematch with Jon Jones? With a few more wins, there may be no choice.

16. Chris Weidman

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    Weight Class: Middleweight

    Record: 10-0

    Last Three: Silva (W-KO), Munoz (W-KO), Maia (W-Dec)

    Analysis:

    Wow. Ten fights, 10 wins. It doesn't get much better than that. Weidman dethroned the pound-for-pound king. But I haven't seen enough from him to vault all the way into the top 10. But it's coming soon, I bet.

15. Frankie Edgar

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    Weight Class: Featherweight

    Record: 16-4

    Last Three: Oliviera (W-Dec), Aldo (L-Dec), Henderson (L-Dec)

    Analysis:

    Edgar is finally back on the right track after losing three straight. Many still have Edgar in their top 10. I just don't think that's appropriate after he's lost so often, no matter how tough the competition.

14. Cris Cyborg

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    Weight Class: Featherweight

    Record: 11-1

    Last Three: Muxlow (W-TKO), Yamanaka (NC), Finney (W-KO)

    Analysis:

    Marloes Coenen will be Cyborg's first real test since returning from a drug suspension. It's a fight that will tell us a lot about where a presumably drug-free Cyborg really belongs in the sport.

13. Urijah Faber

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    Weight Class: Bantamweight

    Record: 28-6

    Last Three: Jorgenson (W-Sub), Menjivar (W-Sub), Barao (L-Dec)

    Analysis:

    Faber looks for his third win in a row against Iuri Alcantara in August. It should be enough for yet another title shot as the UFC looks to put its most marketable 135-pound fighter on top of the bantamweight division.

12. Johny Hendricks

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    Weight Class: Welterweight

    Record: 15-1

    Last Three: Condit (W-Dec), Kampmann (W-KO), Koscheck (W-Dec)

    Analysis:

    With six consecutive wins, there was no way for GSP to avoid the hard-hitting former wrestling champ. Hendricks has beaten almost every top contender. Only the champion remains.

11. Joseph Benavidez

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    Weight Class: Flyweight

    Record: 18-3

    Last Three: Uyenoyama (W-Ko), McCall (W-Dec), Johnson (L-Dec)

    Analysis:

    Poor Benavidez. For years he was the second-best bantamweight in the world. Now it looks like he might fill the same role at 125 pounds.

10. Ronda Rousey

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    Weight Class: Bantamweight

    Record: 7-0

    Last Three: Carmouche (W-Sub), Kaufman (W-Sub), Tate (W-Sub)

    Analysis:

    Rousey has won every fight by first-round armbar. Is there anything more remarkable than a champion telling you exactly what she plans to do to you—and then executing it? Amazing.

9. Dominick Cruz

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    Weight Class: Bantamweight

    Record: 19-1

    Last Three: Johnson (W-Dec), Faber (W-Dec), Jorgensen (W-Dec)

    Analysis:

    Cruz hasn't fought since October, 2011. His placement here constitutes me holding out hope he'll be able to return soon.

8. Demetrious Johnson

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    Weight Class: Flyweight

    Record: 17-2

    Last Three: Dodson (W-Dec), Benavidez (W-Dec), McCall (W-Dec)

    Analysis:

    Johnson hasn't finished a fight since 2010. He's beaten all comers at flyweight, but the bouts have been decided by razor-slim margins.

7. Renan Barao

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    Weight Class: Bantamweight

    Record: 30-1

    Last Three: McDonald (W-Sub), Faber (W-Dec), Jorgensen (W-Dec)

    Analysis:

    Barao lost his first fight in 2005. Since then? Thirty wins in a row. He'll be favored over Cruz should the "Dominator" ever make it back to the cage.

6. Cain Velasquez

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    Weight Class: Heavyweight

    Record: 12-1

    Last Three: Silva (W-TKO), dos Santos (W-Dec), Silva  (W-TKO)

    Analysis:

    Velasquez is no typical plodding heavyweight. He has a multi-faceted game and is a legitimate talent.

5. Benson Henderson

47 of 51

    Weight Class: Lightweight

    Record: 19-2

    Last Three: Melendez (W-Dec), Diaz (W-Dec), Edgar (W-Dec)

    Analysis:

    The UFC lightweight champion has won all seven of his contests in the promotion after losing his WEC swansong to Anthony Pettis.

4. Jose Aldo

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    Weight Class: Featherweight

    Record: 22-1

    Last Three: Edgar (W-Dec), Mendes (W-KO), Florian (W-Dec)

    Analysis:

    The 26-year-old Brazilian buzzsaw is only now entering the prime of his career. That has to be a scary thought for opponents.

3. Anderson Silva

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    Weight Class: Middleweight

    Record: 33-4

    Last Three: Weidman (L-KO), Bonnar (W-TKO), Sonnen (W-TKO)

    Analysis:

    Silva is the best fighter of all time. But after his UFC 162 loss, it's clear he's no longer the best fighter in the world. At 38, his best days have passed him by.

2. Georges St-Pierre

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    Weight Class: Welterweight

    Record: 24-2

    Last Three: Diaz (W-Dec), Condit (W-Dec), Shields (W-Dec)

    Analysis:

    The welterweight champion has a well-earned reputation for caution. He's only finished one fight in the last five years and seems content to coast to decision wins.

    This is, admittedly, nit picking. GSP is one of the five best fighters of all time. But when you are battling for the top spot, the little things matter.

1. Jon Jones

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    Weight Class: Light Heavyweight

    Record: 18-1

    Last Three: Sonnen  (W-TKO), Belfort (W-Sub), Evans (W-Dec)

    Analysis:

    Jones and GSP have both dispatched all comers. But while St-Pierre wins with a predictable efficiency, "Bones" is busy changing the game every time he gets in the cage. Jones is so good that he's cleared out all the challengers at 205 pounds. Two fights against middleweight stars bought the UFC time to build new contenders for him to continue building a legacy as the heir apparent to Silva's crown as the best ever.

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