Top Ten Pound-for-Pound MMA Fighters
Well I think the title is basically self explanatory.
I go through my top ten fighters and why I think they get the number they do. I am no expert this is my opinion which I think is pretty much on point.
Before the list begins, if you don’t like my list I don’t care, it’s an opinion, not fact.
Seriously, don’t be one of those guys who lives with his mom at 47 and comments on the bottom of this being a stupid troll.
Also, don’t be a UFC fanboy who only watches the UFC and doesn’t know MMA itself, complaining that Brock Lesnar isn’t No. 1 on the list.
He’s ONLY had five fights, the same amount as Kimbo, and they both have the same record, 'nuff said.
Look, I don’t have a problem if people disagree with this list; I really don’t.
Just comment give me your list and explain why you don’t agree with it. I’m totally up for a friendly disagreement; again, I’m not an expert.
I just don’t want people being dumb internet trolls with their comments. So now begins the top ten list of MMA’s pound-for-pound best. Enjoy.
1. Fedor Emelianenko (31-1-1)
Fedor “The Last Emperor” Emelianenko an unstoppable Russian fighting machine, the best pound-for-pound fighter in MMA and on the entire planet Earth.
We shall begin with why Fedor is the No. 1 pound-for-pound fighter in the world and possibly the best of all time.
We will start with history, Fedor hasn’t lost a match (not including sambo) since 2000 and honestly most don’t even consider this a loss.
However on his record it’s a loss, the records are the records, even if it is a loss it wasn’t a decisive victory by Tsuyoshi Kohsaka.
He won via cut and a Japanese rule technicality not by way of knockout, T.K.O, submission, or even decision.
So with that said the only loss on his record wasn’t dominant or truly a defeat, which can’t be said about the rest of the fighters on this list’s losses (barring Machida being undefeated).
The man has never been knocked out or submitted by ANYONE in MMA. Many people like to bring up the argument that because he is not in the UFC, he’s never fought any real competition.
I will now list the so called “nobodies” he has fought and defeated from the beginning: Ricardo Arona-Decision (Unanimous), Renato "Babalu" Sobral-Decision (Unanimous), Heath Herring-TKO (Doctor Stoppage), Antonio Rodrigo Nogueira-Decision (Unanimous), Mark Coleman-Submission (Arm bar), Kevin Randleman-Submission (Kimura), 2nd time Antonio Rodrigo Nogueira-Decision (Unanimous), Mirko "Cro Cop" Filipovic)- Decision (Unanimous), 2nd time Mark Coleman-Submission (Arm bar), Matt Lindland- Submission (Arm bar), Tim Sylvia- Submission (Rear Naked Choke), Andrei Arlovski- KO (Punch). Now we will get to some info on the PRIDE itself and who his victories were over:
• Fact 1: All of the above fighters have fought for the UFC at one point other than Arona.
• Fact 2: 5 of these fighters are former UFC Heavyweight champions. (Arlovski, Sylvia, Nogueira, Randleman, and Coleman)
• Fact 3: His victories over Big Nog, Cro Cop, and Babalu in PRIDE were in their fighting primes.
• Fact 4: When he was fighting in Pride it was the top MMA fighting league by far, boasting fighters such as Dan Henderson, Wanderlei Silva, Antonio Nogueira, Mauricio Rua, Mirko Filipovic (CroCop), Quinton Jackson, and Anderson Silva.
PRIDE was clearly stacked during this time, no argument. So the whole Fedor “never being in a legitimate fighting league” is thrown right out the window after that.
Fedor himself is the best around MMA fighter; he has excellent takedowns with his sambo. And he can obviously submit fighters (most of his victories come from tap outs). The dude has 16 wins by submission.
He can strike and finish quite well. Don’t forget, he did knock out the best heavyweight striker in Arlovski, and his best quality has to be the man doesn’t know how to quit.
He just keeps going through cuts, bruises, spine breaking slams, and even fights through being knocked out.
Many people refer to him as “The Terminator” because Fedor just doesn’t stop ever in his fights or his training.
The best quote I ever heard about Fedor was when he was fighting Brett Rodgers. It was from my friend Ted, who had never saw a Fedor fight, not even a YouTube video of him.
The statement he made after the fight pretty much sums up how Emelianenko’s fights go:
“Man if Fedor was at the ATM machine and it denied him getting money that crazy Russian Mother F***ER would beat the machine until it gave him some money.”
Yeah, that’s basically how “The Last Emperor” rolls. But back to his credentials: he has fought wrestlers, jiu-jitsu black belts, strong kickers, strong strikers, every type of fighters over the years.
To even add to that, he’s fought guys much larger than him in weight and size, giving up almost 100 hundred pounds to Hong-man Choi.
Besides the fact the Choi is like a skyscraper among men. One must remember he’s also probably one of the lightest heavyweights in the game today.
To finish with the argument, he’s got 31 wins with one controversial loss. Come on, how cant he be the best pound for pound fighter, even GSP said he’s the best.
Fedor has been dominating MMA for years now and will most likely continue to do so for years to come.
“The Last Emperor” should go down in the history books as the greatest MMA fighter of all time.
2. Anderson “The Spider” Silva (25-4)
Has been dominating the MMA striking game for quite some time now and not only the striking game but the UFC’s entire middle weight division.
Anderson has completely cleared the division out. There is nobody that can touch him at 185 (Maybe Vitor Belfort but well have to wait and see on that one).
He’s amassed 7 KO and 8 TKO over his career; these are 60% of this man’s wins a total of 15 (T) KO’s for those who can’t count.
But don’t count out his ground game; he’s a jiu-jitsu black belt with 4 submissions to his credit.
I think most would agree that “The Spider” hit his stride when he entered the UFC, not that he was bad before, but I would say his total domination of middle weights began in the UFC.
Not only is Silva dominating the UFC’s middleweight division, he has now started on the light heavyweights.
With his flawless knockout over Irvin and his just total and utter disrespecting of Griffin, (I was at the Philly fight and Silva made Forrest look like a complete jerk, sorry Griffin).
Sadly this will only go so far as long as Machida is the champ. Both refuse to fight one another because of their strong friendship. So we will all have to see how Silva’s participation at light heavyweight will be.
Anderson Silva takes place No. 2 because as dominant as he is, he has 4 losses. He has 3 actual losses, 2 via submission and 1 via decision. The fourth loss he illegally kicked his opponent so you can say he was never actually beaten in that fight.
“The Spider” has to be one of the most accurate strikers in MMA today; he almost has a targeting like system with his strikes. His hitting is so precise he rarely misses or wastes a hit which is such a rarity in the MMA world.
To make things worse for his opponents, he is so extremely elusive. Just watch his highlights against Franklin and Griffin. He put on a dip and dodge clinic against those two that mirrored a professional boxer shadow boxing. Why yes, there is a reason why a MMA guy can look so much like a boxer; he’s got a 1-1 professional boxing record. No it’s not an outstanding record to say the least but how many other guys in MMA are even able to transition to boxing, let alone back and forth between the two sports. But that’s not all; Silva I would say has the best and cleanest Muay Thai in the sport. If you watch his training or his fights, his Muay Thai resembles the more traditional and old school Muay Thai you see in Asia. A lot of guys in MMA claim to be doing “Muay Thai” but it more or less resembles kick boxing with crappy elbows and knees. He really is such a great technically sound striker in boxing and his Muay Thai. Not that his ground game is bad it’s just rarely ever seen. He does have a black belt in BJJ and trains out of Big Nog’s camp so his ground game is by no means average. My own personal opinion is if Fedor goes down as the best fighter of all time Silva is definitely second. As good as G.S.P is, he just isn’t able to challenge “The Spiders” spot at number two. I’m looking forward to how good Silva will be once he’s all healed up from elbow surgery, one can only imagine how much better he’ll be fighting at 100%. Also in the near future maybe a St. Pierre vs. Silva fight to really decide whose number 2.
3. Georges St. Pierre (19-2)
Georges “Rush” St. Pierre the UFC’s welterweight champion and one of my personal hero’s and all time favorite fighters. As of right now he probably has the best take downs in MMA and is one of the best all around fighters in the game. He is the best Welterweight in the world hands down followed by probably Finch or Koscheck, who he has beaten both of. He’s got quite the mixed martial arts background with black belts in BJJ and karate. He also trains his wrestling with the Canadian National team, is training Muay Thai, and is coached by the best coach in MMA with Greg Jackson. G.S.P. has a lot going for him in the realm of boosting his skills besides his obvious natural talent, and to add to that he’s only 28. Dude’s still in his prime and will be for a few years. Some would argue that G.S.P could challenge Silva number two spot but if you all remember his first fight versus Serra he verbally tapped due to strikes. Which if you lose to Serra by verbal tapout it’s hard to argue for being the number two pound for pound fighter. Although he did avenge that loss and he apparently had family issues before the first fight which I won’t exclude from affecting him. However as a fighter it’s something you have to learn to fight through and still win. It can’t even be seen as an “early in the career” loss. He won 13 fights previous to his loss to Sera. Unlike his loss to Matt Hughes, which was 7 fights into his career. Of course this was loss to a future hall of famer and Hughes being at the end of his reign welterweights. So this is a more acceptable loss than the Sera loss, I do think eventually the loss to Sera will be forgotten after awhile, if Georges keeps up with his domination. Anyway we’ll go back to Georges positives because he has quite a lot. He is great at creating combinations and then taking the fight to the ground. I don’t know any other fighter who can quite create combos to a takedown as G.S.P. can. Adding to this is him being in tremendous shape. Great cardio with great skill is quite deadly and he uses it to just pound his opponents. A great example of this was his last fight with BJ. To start with he took BJ down at will, then simply passed a great BJJ guy in Penn’s guard and just settled in a semi crucifix position. He then started landing bombs and vicious elbows. The fight was just lopsided with G.S.P’s ability to take him down and overpower him. Of course it can be argued that he did this because BJ’s a natural 155er. Well let’s look at the Thiago Silva fight. Thiago a big strong striker, much larger than BJ and more natural at 170, well Georges still overpowered and dominated him. St. Pierre even fought through a messed up groin, so he’s not even at 100% and he’s still dominating possible one of the few people who even had a chance at beating G.S.P. The fight was just a showcase of one of St. Pierre best qualities is throwing great combination then taking his opponent down. Dude I swear I saw G.S.P throw the same combination like four or five times in a row and Thiago still could do nothing about it. Possibly one day I think Georges could take that number two spot and maybe the number one spot will be his when Fedor and Silva retire. But until then we’ll just have to see how the Canadian does. And if he beats Hardy in his next fight he’ll just be continuing the fact nobody at 170 can touch him.
4. Lyoto “The Dragon” Machida(16-0)
Lyoto Machida the karate master, one of the most elusive fighters in MMA, and of course the UFC’s light heavyweight champion. He has just come off an extremely controversial win of Shogun. Yes, Shogun probably won that fight but I say it was a fairly close fight. So I’m going off that the fight never happened. He’s still at 15-0 and Shoguns at 18-3. I think after their second fight it will really determine Machida’s place on the pound for pound list, and the same goes for Rua. He did get a win and still has the belt, as controversial as his win was. So from the Rashad fight and the fact he knocked Rashad’s head into the stands, we’ll go from there. So Machida, in my opinion the best counter striker in MMA and Rashad is now the second best after the loss to Machida. “The Dragon” has fought and dominated some of the best lightheavys in Rashad Evans, Thiago Silva, Rich Franklin, Tito Ortiz, and Stephan Bonnar. Before the Shogun fight it was next to impossible for anyone to land a clean hit on Machida. Although, even in the Shogun, fight nobody can really take Lyoto down. If you remember his fight against Tito Ortiz he was basically throwing Tito off him. Now Tito is a strong guy who has pretty good take downs, yet he still couldn’t take down Machida. Apparently Machida use to train with some sumo wrestlers. So if you’re constantly grappling with large men who are extremely strong and trained to take guys down, Tito or anybody at 205 trying to take you down is going to be like nothing.
5. BJ Penn(15-5-1)
Well all I want to say about “The Prodigy” is he wrecked Diego Sanchez; he just completely controlled that entire fight. I will give props to Sanchez for hanging in there but he looked like a high school basketball player on the court with Kobe (You know Kobe Bryant, plays for the L.A. Lakers, one of the highest scorers in NBA history. Ya that guy for those of you locked in a closet). BJ has the best boxing and the best BJJ at 155. And to all those who questioned his cardio his last two fights with Ken-Flo and Diego well you saw the results, the man cardio is top notch right now. The only reason Machida and G.S.P are ranked higher than Penn is because he has lost to both men. So how can he be ranked higher than both of them if he lost to em. If he hadn’t lost to Machida (even though Machida weighed 30 lbs heavier, however they fought BJ lost) I would definitely have him at four. I would even say Machida would probably beat BJ if they were at the same weight class (Georges also beats BJ) but that’s just an opinion not based in fact. Nobody in the UFC can even challenge BJ right now. He’s just way too far ahead of his division. The only person in the world who could possible challenge him would be Shinya Aoki. Sadly Aoki has said he will not fight for the UFC but he is willing to fight BJ. So will we never see this fight as of right now, but hypothetically if they do and BJ wins he would go down as the best 155 ever. BJ is one of the few fighters to have basically fought at every weight class and the first UFC fighter to have won two titles in different weight classes. He’s got an impressive resume and I think after this Diego win, he’s just increased it by showing nobody at 155 can touch him.
6. Miguel Torres (37-2)
Is by no question one of the best fighters in the world, even with his recent loss to Bryan Bowles. Before his loss he was on a 17 fight win streak and before that a 20 fight win streak which is absolutely ridiculous. Seriously he’s 37-2, how impressive is that? Dude is just rawesome (shout out to middleeasy) that’s the only way he can be explained. Although he recently lost, if his history tells us anything if you beat him he will come back and beat you. He however only has one previous loss before losing to Bowles, but when he only had the one loss he did avenge it. So I’m going to go with he will probably beat Bowles in the future. However I’m not a fortune teller (be cool if I was) so I can’t say for sure. Besides that, Torres is a devastating striker and even deadlier on the ground. He’s got 22 wins by submission, which is 59% of all his total wins. But that’s not all he’s got 9 (T) KO’s to add to his record. Torres was and probably still is considered the Fedor of the Bantamweights. He is the WEC’s former Bantamweight champion and defended his title for a total of 3 fights. Now this may not seem impressive but in his second WEC fight it was for the Bantamweight championship. Which might I add he won by submission. He’s seriously a great on the ground, which I would guess comes from him holding a black belt in BJJ, just saying. Not only is he a BJJ expert but he’s also a Muay Thai expert. As a fan of the sport cannot wait to see his next fight and his rematch for the Bantamweight title. Besides being a great fighter, his fights are always very exciting and fun to watch.
7. Shinya Aoki (22-4)
I actually think the best explanation I’ve heard to explain the man that is Shinya Aoki, is he is a monster born from a marriage of Judo and Jiu-Jitsu. Aoki holds a black belt in both Judo and Jiu-Jitsu, which I would say is a pretty impressive combination. He’s the Japanese version of BJ Penn, in that he’s ridiculously flexible, an excellent submission expert, and he’s dominating his respective lightweight division. He even lost to Dreams welterweight champion in a welterweight championship bout in Sakurai. Just like BJ Penn lost to the UFC’s welterweight champ G.S.P in a welterweight bout. I just think that’s a funny coincidence. But anyway back to "Tobikan Judan" or “the flying submission expert” in English. He not only has held a lightweight belt, he once held the Shooto middleweight championship once held by Anderson Silva, Jake Shields, and Sakurai. Aoki is Dreams current lightweight champ and WAMMA lightweight champ. Aoki’s got his first title defense of his Dream belt December 31st, which he’ll be expected to hold, but we’ll have to see how he does. I think in the world of MMA Lightweights Shinya is number 2 behind BJ and the only person who would give BJ a decent fight. Whether Aoki could win or not honestly I don’t know. It would be a very interesting fight ether way. I think BJ wins the striking category, Aoki gets the takedown category (although Penn is like next to impossible to take down), and the ground game is up in the air. I think whoever has the best Jiu-Jitsu wins the fight. Sadly however we may never be able to see this fight because Aoki says he would like to fight Penn. But he will not fight in the UFC, so BJ would have to go to Japan or Strikeforce. Now maybe if Dana White really wants BJ to fight competition he will try to sign Aoki but I highly doubt it. I guess we may never truly know who the best Lightweight is. So we can only guess and speculate.
8. Gegard Mousasi (27-2-1)
The current Strikeforce Light heavyweight champion and former Dream Middleweight champion, and in my opinion is going to be a big name in the upcoming years as a light heavyweight. He is currently training out of the Red Devils Sports Club, the same team that trains Fedor. Yes, Gegard is fighting with the best fighting in the world so he’s getting some legit training right now. “The Dreamcatcher” is quite the punishing finisher too, he has 16 (T) KO’s and 9 submissions wins. And guess what he’s only 24, meaning he hasn’t even hit his prime yet. One can only imagine at the rate he’s going how good he could possibly become training with Fedor and being so young in the sport. His recent fight with Sokoudjou may not have been his most impressive win, but it was a pretty intense TKO I’d say. We will just have to wait and see who Strikeforce pulls out for him to fight next. Dan Henderson maybe (after fighting Shields of course) or maybe King Mo who knows.
9. Mike Brown(22-5)
The former WEC featherweight champion, Absolute Fighting Featherweight Champion and Fightzone Featherweight Champion. The man is quite the submission expert, with 54% of his wins coming from tapouts. Although 80% of his 5 losses also have been by tapout. He’s one of WEC’s top fighters and top 5 featherweights in the world. He’s ranked specifically number 2 behind current WEC featherweight champ Jose Aldo, who Brown lost his title to in November. I think Mike Brown has a pretty good chance of taking his belt back in the near future; he’s a top fighter training out of a top camp in American Top Team. Hopefully we will get to see him rematch Aldo soon.
10. Mauricio “Shogun” Rua (18-4)
Is coming off his loss to Machida. As stated earlier though, I think that fight should be considered null and void, but on the books it’s an official loss. “Shogun” had alittle bit of a shaky start coming into the UFC, losing to Griffin. But bounced back with two wins against Liddell and Coleman, and looked a lot more like the PRIDE “Shogun” in the Lyoto fight. Some notable accomplishments of his are PRIDE Grand Prix Middleweight Tournament winner in 2005, Sherdog Fighter of the year 2005, and previously ranked as the number 1 light heavyweight in the world. He also holds a black belt in BJJ and has won a couple BJJ tournaments and even some Muay Thai tournaments also. Even with his recent loss, Rua still is one of the best in the world and could possible do some serious damage in the future to the UFC’s light heavyweight division if he finally gets back into his PRIDE form.