Dana White Declares Jon Jones Is the New Pound for Pound King of MMA

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Dana White Declares Jon Jones Is the New Pound for Pound King of MMA
Brad Penner-USA TODAY Sports

Anderson Silva's historic loss on Saturday night sent ripples through the MMA world that were far reaching beyond just the middleweight division, where he reigned as champion for seven years and 10 straight fights.

Silva's iconic run as champion was also elevated as he jumped up in weight on three different occasions earning him the status as the greatest fighter of all time, but he was also widely recognized as the best pound-for-pound fighter on the planet.

He no longer holds that distinction after being knocked out by Chris Weidman on Saturday night.

While the pound-for-pound list is completely subjective, it's still a topic that comes up often and holds weight with many fans, journalists and fighters in the industry.

So with Silva now relinquishing that spot for the first time in years, who takes over the slot as the best pound-for-pound fighter in the world?

"Jon Jones," UFC president Dana White answered when asked that very question after the end of the UFC 162 post-fight press conference.

Jones is currently the top-ranked UFC light heavyweight champion, standing alone at the top of one of the toughest divisions in the history of the promotion.

With an 18-1 record overall (his one loss was by disqualification in a fight he was winning), Jones is almost the picture of perfection, thus far, in his UFC and entire MMA career.

He won the title by beating a former Pride legend and UFC champion in Mauricio "Shogun" Rua and has gone on to defeat four more former champions as well during his reign. He's also been devastating with nine finishes in his 12 UFC wins.

Brad Penner-USA TODAY Sports

Jones will next face Alexander Gustafsson in the main event of UFC 165 headed to Toronto on September 21. If Jones is victorious, he will stand alone as the greatest UFC light heavyweight champion with six consecutive title defenses in a row. 

The current record is five title defenses held by Jones and former UFC champion Tito Ortiz.

As for Silva, one loss doesn't completely take him out of the discussion as one of the top pound-for-pound fighters in the sport.

White believes that the former middleweight champion earned his spot at the top long enough that he shouldn't fall very far—even after being knocked out by Weidman. As a matter of fact, in his rankings, Silva would still sit higher than the man who just beat him.

"Anderson's still on the list," White stated.  "I'd still put him above Weidman."

 

Damon Martin is a Featured Columnist for Bleacher Report, and all quotes were obtained firsthand unless otherwise noted.

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