Jayne Kamin-Oncea-USA TODAY Spor
At UFC 168, Anderson Silva had a chance to reclaim his spot atop the pound-for-pound rankings. Instead, he might never see the top five again.
Chris Weidman broke the Brazilian's leg by checking a leg kick in the second round. At 38 years old, Silva will have a rough time returning to the Octagon from such a significant injury, and he is already dropping quickly in the pound-for-pound rankings following consecutive losses.
While Weidman received a bump in the rankings as a result of his win on Saturday, women's bantamweight champion Ronda Rousey dropped one position despite defending her title for a second time.
No top-15 pound-for-pound fighters will compete at UFC Fight Night 34, a fight card that instead features many Asian prospects.
Official UFC Pound-for-Pound Rankings
- Jon Jones
- Jose Aldo
- Cain Velasquez (+1)
Demetrious Johnson (+1)
- Chris Weidman (+3)
- Anderson Silva (-4)
- Anthony Pettis (-1)
- Benson Henderson
- Johny Hendricks (NR)
- Ronda Rousey (-1)
Vitor Belfort (NR)
- Dominick Cruz (NR)
Urijah Faber (NR)
- Gilbert Melendez (NR)
Although Weidman has only defended his belt one time, he deserves his spot among the top five pound-for-pound UFC fighters. In addition to Silva, Weidman surpassed Renan Barao and Anthony Pettis to take his current position in the rankings.
While Barao has two title defenses, he's not an undisputed champion. Should he beat Dominick Cruz in February, he'll have a much stronger case to be ranked above Weidman. Pettis, meanwhile, has not defended his belt and didn't earn it by beating the best fighter in UFC history.
If Johny Hendricks' resume is strong enough to be ranked above Rousey's, then Urijah Faber's and Gilbert Melendez's should be as well. Like Hendricks, Faber and Melendez are not far removed from controversial title-fight losses and are still considered elite contenders in their respective divisions.
The women's bantamweight division is either strong enough for its champion to be considered higher in the pound-for-pound rankings than top contenders in all-male divisions or none of them. I'll leave that decision up to the rankings panel, but it needs to make up its mind next time around.
Results and Upcoming Fights
UFC 168 Pound-for-Pound Fights
- No. 5 Chris Weidman defeated No. 7 Anderson Silva by (T)KO in the second round.
- No. 11 Ronda Rousey defeated Miesha Tate by submission in the third round.
UFC Fight Night 34 Pound-for-Pound Fights