Urijah Faber, B.J. Penn, Anderson Silva, GSP, & Fedor: The Apex Predators
There are six major mountains in MMA. A king sits atop each of them, surveying his territory and occasionally casting an envious glance to his northern neighbor, coveting his mountain as well.
Urijah Faber sits comfortably atop the smallest of these mountains (not counting 135, which I don't consider a major division, YET). He rules his land with an iron fist, most recently beating back Jens Pulver, a nobleman recently exiled from 155. Though the fight was fantastic, Faber was never in danger of losing a round.
B.J. Penn is the Napoleanic head of 155, bitterly unafraid of anyone. He has no qualms about attempting an attack on ANYONE'S territory, even fighting Lyoto Machida at 205. He is probably the last MMA fighter you'd want to play against in Risk or Monopoly because he wants simply EVERYTHING. He is one of only two fighters to have reached the summit of two hills in the UFC.
Georges the Good (Saint is in his NAME for goodness sake) is all smiles and diplomacy until the bell rings and commences his relentless attempts to dent the skulls of anyone in his path. He, like his royal kinsman, is not simply a striker or a wrestler or a crafty submission artist. He and his elite contemporaries are the creme de la creme of all three.
Anderson Silva, like Penn, is feeling antsy on his throne and wants to take a stab at elevating his legacy to "Legendary" before his prime has passed. Seeing that the current 205 division is without an apex predator, he is certainly beginning to wonder why he couldn't stand astride the two divisions like a great MMA Colossus.
Fedor... What do you say about "The Last Emperor?" He's the only one on this list to remain virtually undefeated (stopping a fight because of a cut caused by an illegal blow should have resulted in a No Contest).
He coldly dismantles the opposition with the surgical precision that makes all five of these men the envy of their peers. If Rocky had been about MMA instead of boxing, Fedor would have been Ivan Drago. And he would have beaten Rocky silly.
So, is it a good thing that these titans exist, or does it make the rest of the division seem boring and second-rate?
As I watched GSP beat the daylights out of Jon Fitch for 25 minutes, I couldn't help but think, "Who is going to beat this guy?" Fitch was fresh from a 15-fight win streak and he was helpless. He couldn't box with Georges, he couldn't wrestle with Georges: He couldn't do anything.
Silva actually forced Franklin to move UP a weight-class in order to face a challenge he could potentially win.
Barring a Serra-esque upset, Randy Couture can't beat Fedor. Sorry. It ain't happening. He's a day late and a dollar short. So who could? Uh...Hmmm...Well...
Faber...I don't know. I won't pretend to be that familiar with the featherweights. I'd love to see him come to the UFC and fight Tyson Griffin again, though.
205 is the most exciting division right now because there is so much talent, yet there is no clear shark in the pool.
So what do you do? Do you pit them against each other? Do you see who can win the most consecutive fights? How do you keep it fresh when nobody is able to put these guys in danger?
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