Mixed Martial Arts is one of the fastest growing sports in pop culture. Not only has this affected the United States, but it seems to have captured the world. In the UFC and other MMA promotions we have seen competitors come from all around the globe to compete.
Now we will take a look at the best fighters pound-for-pound by continent. In fantasy match-ups we will see what continent’s fighters dominate the world spectrum.
Let’s get started—and don’t put your money on Team Antarctica.
North America: BJ “The Prodigy” Penn, U.S.A, 13-5-1
South America: Hermes Franca, Brazil, 19-7-0
Europe: Joachim "Hellboy" Hansen, Norway, 19-7-1
Asia: Hayato "Mach" Sakurai, Japan, 35-8-2
Judging by the group of contenders in this weight class, it is apparent that North America, specifically the United States dominates the Lightweight contenders.
Kenny Florian, Sean Sherk, Frank Edgar, and Diego Sanchez all hail from the that area. BJ Penn still remains top of that group until somebody upends him.
Franca has wins over WEC's Mike Brown, Spencer Fisher, and Nate Diaz, but has been upended by the tops of the weight class like Frankie Edgar and Sean Sherk.
Hansen and Sakurai are both now fighting in Dream, with Sakurai beating another country favorite, Shinya Aoki, in his last fight. He also has wins over Frank Trigg, Mac Danzig, and Jens Pulver.
Penn still out-matches these guys on the ground and on the feet. Penn has proven himself against some of the best in the world.
Second best is what will drive the rest of the combatants as Penn gets the nod.
Penn is the best in the world at his weight class; and even if he falls off, it's another North American who will take that honor. Now on to the weight class where "The Prodigy" failed at in his last fight...
Winner: BJ Penn, North America
Runner Up: Hermes Franca, South America
Third: Hayato Sakurai, Asia
Fourth: Joachim Hansen, Europe
North America: Georges "Rush" St. Pierre, Canada, 18-2
South America: Thiago "The Pitbull" Alves, Brazil, 16-3
Europe: Martin "Hitman" Kampmann, Denmark, 15-2
Asia: Yoshiyuki "Zenko" Yoshida, Japan, 11-3
When the average losses of opponents is two and one half, you know you are in a tough weight class. Unfortunately, it looks as is St. Pierre dominates the Welterweight Division.
St. Pierre has losses to Matt Serra and Matt Hughes, both of which he has avenged. After dismantling a tough opponent in Jon Fitch and beating UFC Lightweight Champion BJ Penn, St. Pierre is the standard for the Welterweight Division.
His biggest competition lies in Thiago Alves, who he will face at UFC 100. Alves has beaten Matt Hughes and Josh Koscheck to prove he can give St. Pierre a run at the title.
Kampmmann has an impressive 15-win and two-loss record and has tremendous potential to do big things in this division. Unfortunatly, I don't think a win over Carlos Condit is impressing anybody just yet. He will have to prove himself against the likes of a Jon Fitch or Ben Saunders.
Yoshida was flat-out knocked silly by Koscheck, and although he only has three losses, I believe him to be the weakest of the group.
Alves has the opportunity to prove me wrong, but St. Pierre is so good at everything he does. Not only may he be the best in his weight in the world. He may be the best pound-for-pound fighter in the world.
Winner: George St. Pierre, North America
Runner Up: Thiago Alves,South America
Third: Martin Kampmann, Europe
Fourth: Yoshiyuki Yoshida, Asia
North America: Dan "Hollywood" Henderson, U.S.A, 24-7
South America: Anderson "The Spider" Silva, Brazil, 24-4
Europe: Michael "The Count" Bisping, England, 17-1
Asia: Yushin "Thunder" Okami, Japan, 23-4
This is a stacked card, with most of these fighters having faced each other. The only clean one without a fight of someone in the field is Bisping. He will have his match at UFC 100 against Henderson.
The most dominant in this field is Anderson Silva. The funny thing is, Silva has a disqualification loss to Okami. He also has a win over Dan Henderson. With two dominating wins over Rich Franklin, who beat Okami, and that submission win over "Hollywood," I think the Brazilian is the toughest out of this group.
Bisping is the dark horse in the group. We will find out the better of him and Henderson when they collide in the octagon. Right now, I think he is the favorite to knock Silva off his throne, but he needs to defeat Hendo first.
Silva has yet to be touched in the UFC. We may see him square off for the light heavyweight belt depending on the result of his fight with Forrest Griffin. As of right now though, he is a contender in the Middle and Light Heavy weights.
Winner: Anderson Silva, South America
Runner Up: Michael Bisping, Europe
Third: Dan Henderson, North America
Fourth: Yushin Okami, Asia
North America: Rashad "Suga" Evans, U.S.A, 13-1-1
South America: Lyoto "The Dragon", Machida, 15-0
Europe: Krzystof "The Polish Experiment" Soszynski, 19-8-1
Asia: Kazuhiro Nakamura, Japan, 13-9
This is yet another weight that is top-heavy with North American and South American fighters. Machida proved he is the best in the world after he devastated Evans in their title bout at UFC 98.
Evans still gets the nod because he does have wins over Liddell and Forrest. His biggest competition Quinton "Rampage" Jackson has wins over Liddell, but has a loss to Forrest.
The good part is Kryzystof is the third best fighter, but the bad part is that he beats out the Keith Jardine of PRIDE. "The Polish Experiment" is a good fighter, but has much to prove to be in the same league as Machida or Evans
Machida is dangerous with submissions, he is maniacal on his feet, and he has focus un-matched by anyone in the UFC or the world. He frightened the always confident Evans, worked over Tito Ortiz, and has shown many versatile ways to beat opponents, including an arm triangle choke to beat Sokoudjou at UFC 79.
Winner: Lyoto Machida, South America
Runner Up: Rashad Evans, North America
Third: Krzystof Soszynski, Europe
Fourth: Kazuhiro Nakamura, Asia
North America: Brock Lesnar, U.S.A, 3-1
South America: Antonio Rodrigo "Minotauro" Nogueria, Brazil, 31-5-1 with 1 No Contest
Europe: Cheick Kongo, France, 14-4-1
Asia: Fedor "The Last Emperor" Emelianko, Russia, 30-1 with 1 No Contest
I had to have my fun with this. Fedor is from Russia and Russia is also part of Asia, so I decided to give him the nod for Asia, so we can have a better field.
This is probably the most competitive field put out by all continents. You have Lesnar who has a win over Randy Couture; Fedor who is regarded as the best in the world Nogueria who has gave Fedor battles throughout their careers; and Cheick Kongo, who aside from a loss to Heath Herring, has been on a roll in the UFC.
Lesnar is a freak, something Fedor has never seen before. Fedor may have knocked out big men, but Brock is different. He is explosive and knows what he is doing.
His one loss showed his lack of maturity in the octagon, but he has shown improvement since. Nogueria is a tough fighter who got beaten by Frank Mir in his last fight and is going towards the end of his MMA career. The guy is still a tough old bastard and can put on a fight with any of these guys.
I think Kongo is just now hitting his stride. His fight Saturday against Cain Velasquez will determine his name being with these top contenders. All things included, I believe Kongo could still give the other three competitors a good fight.
Fedor is regarded as the best in the world, but in the past couple years he has not stepped into the ring with serious competition. His best fights are Arlovski, who after the Strikeforce Pay Per View we know is about finished, and Tim Sylvia, who was Heavyweight Champion because Frank Mir had a motorcycle accident.
UFC's heavyweight division is deep and Brock, Nogueria, and Kongo stand at the top of it alongside Frank Mir and Randy Couture.
Simply put, Fedor is being built up by the brand he fights for well, but has not faced a serious competitor since Mirko Cro Cop in 2005. Lesnar would not be fazed by glory surrounding Fedor. An over-powering take-down and ground-and-pound game would win it for Lesnar.
Winner: Brock Lesnar, North America
Runner Up: Fedor Emelianko, Asia
Third: Cheick Kongo, Europe
Fourth: Antonio Nogueria, South America
These results are based on the rankings above. If you get first you get four points, second gets three points, third gets two points, and last gets one point.
North America-17 points
South America- 15 points
Europe- 10 points
Asia- 8 points
Led by Penn, St. Pierre, and Brock Lesnar it looks like the North American squad seemed to pull out the victory. Although the likes of Anderson Silva and Lyoto Machida weren't enough, the Americas would dominate in this competition.
Eurasia has some work to do.
The close finish could be seen as a turning point in the Heavyweight Division. This is where the fighters were very close to call.
Could this mean the Heavyweight Division is the world's division or are we just not getting a taste of other countries?
Time will soon tell as this pop-culture frenzy of mixed martial arts is sky-rocketing in popularity at all depths of the globe.