UFC 129 Results: Power Ranking the Top 25 Pound-for-Pound Fighters in MMA

Sal DeRoseCorrespondent IMay 1, 2011

UFC 129 Results: Power Ranking the Top 25 Pound-for-Pound Fighters in MMA

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    UFC 129 is over and the rankings could be changing up after numerous fighters in the top 25 fought on last night's great card.

    Many fighters can make a claim that they're a top-25 caliber fighter but which ones make it? It was hard to place just 25 guys on this list, but here they are, the top 25 pound-for-pound fighters in the world.

25. Alistair Overeem

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    Age: 30 years old

    Weight Class: Heavyweight

    Record: 34-11, 1 NC

    Most Recent Fight: First-round KO vs. Todd Duffee, Dynamite!! 2010

    Next Fight: vs. Fabricio Werdum on June 18

    Most Recent Promotion: DREAM, fights for Strikeforce in June

     

    Reason

    Alistair Overeem has done a lot over his career. Many will argue that he hasn't faced top opposition and that he has been beaten by top opposition. Overeem has the chance to change the minds of doubters with a win over Fabricio Werdum on June 18. Overeem has great kickboxing skills and has been overall pretty good in all his bouts. 

24. Eddie Alvarez

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    Age: 27 years old

    Weight Class: Lightweight

    Record: 22-2

    Most Recent Fight: Unanimous decision victory over Pat Curran at Bellator 39

    Next Fight: N/A

    Most Recent Promotion: Bellator

     

    Reason

    Eddie Alvarez is 22-2 with his only losses coming against Nick Thompson and submission specialist, Shinya Aoki. Not only does he dominate the lightweight division in Bellator, he also has fought at weights other then 155.

    Pound-for-pound, Alvarez is really good and has great standup with 12 victories coming by knockout. Not to mention he has seven wins that come by submission.

23. Fabricio Werdum

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    Age: 33 years old

    Weight Class: Heavyweight

    Record: 14-4-1 

    Most Recent Fight: First-round submission victory over Fedor Emelianenko

    Next Fight: vs. Alistair Overeem on June 18

    Most Recent Promotion: Strikeforce

     

    Reason

    By the time Werdum enters the cage against Overeem on June 18, it will be 357 days since he last fought. Almost a year without an opponent and it will be against a top heavyweight.

    Admittedly, Werdum gets up here because of a win over Fedor and is one of the top heavyweights in the world because of the victory. Werdum also holds wins over Antonio Silva, Gabriel Gonzaga (twice), Alistair Overeem and Brandon Vera.

22. Chael Sonnen

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    Age: 34 years old

    Weight Class: Middleweight

    Record: 25-11-1 

    Most Recent Fight: Fifth-round submission loss against Anderson Silva

    Next Fight: N/A

    Most Recent Promotion: UFC

     

    Reason

    Many feel Chael Sonnen is the best middleweight in the world and could beat Silva in a rematch. That's a very distinct possibility for Uncle Chael.

    Money laundering and a suspension due to steroids have derailed Sonnen's career for almost a year now and could very well see himself inside the Octagon once more by the end of this year. Possibly a fight against Michael Bisping is on the horizon.

21. Joseph Benavidez

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    Age: 26 years old

    Weight Class: Bantamweight

    Record: 14-2

    Most Recent Fight: Unanimous decision victory against Ian Loveland, UFC 128

    Next Fight: N/A

    Most Recent Promotion: UFC

     

    Reason

    Despite being smaller then everyone he faces (he's 5'4" with a 65-inch reach), Benavidez has earned a record of 14-2. Benavidez, training partner of Urijah Faber, helped continue Miguel Torres' losing streak after Torres had an impressive 37-2 start to his career.

    Now Benavidez has beaten Wagnney Fabiano and Loveland in his last two bouts and looks to make a push for a shot at the bantamweight title later this year.

20. Shinya Aoki

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    Age: 27 years old

    Weight Class: Lightweight

    Record: 27-5, 1 NC

    Most Recent Fight: First-round submission victory against Lyle Beerbohm

    Next Fight: N/A

    Most Recent Promotion: Strikeforce

     

    Reason

    Shinya Aoki has been very impressive throughout his career earning 17 wins by submission. Aoki is one of only two people to beat Eddie Alvarez and has beaten fighters like Tatsuya Kawajiri, George Sotiropoulos, Caol Uno and most recently beat Lyle Beerbohm (Beerbohm was 16-1 going into the fight).

    Aoki has beaten a lot of Japanese fighters but still yet seems to struggle with competition outside of his home country. Still, Aoki has performed some pretty impressive submissions in his career, and has worn some awesome pants.

19. B.J. Penn

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    SYDNEY, AUSTRALIA - FEBRUARY 27:  BJ Penn of the USA attempts to choke Jon Fitch of the USA during their welterweight bout part of UFC 127 at Acer Arena on February 27, 2011 in Sydney, Australia.  (Photo by Mark Kolbe/Getty Images)
    Mark Kolbe/Getty Images

    Age: 32 years old

    Weight Class: Welterweight

    Record: 16-7-2

    Most Recent Fight: Draw against Jon Fitch, UFC 127

    Next Fight: N/A

    Most Recent Promotion: UFC

     

    Reason

    B.J. Penn is pretty self-explanatory. Penn has fought the best throughout his career and has earned the UFC lightweight belt, only to lose it to Frankie Edgar. Penn most recently fought Fitch to a draw at UFC 127 and was competing with Fitch until the last round when he was dominated by Fitch.

    Penn is still a really good fighter, and although calls for his retirement have been made, he still can perform against the best of the UFC's welterweight division.

18. Brock Lesnar

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    LAS VEGAS - JULY 11:  Brock Lesnar holds down Frank Mir during their heavyweight title bout during UFC 100 on July 11, 2009 in Las Vegas, Nevada.  (Photo by Jon Kopaloff/Getty Images)
    Jon Kopaloff/Getty Images

    Age: 33 years old

    Weight Class: Heavyweight

    Record: 5-2

    Most Recent Fight: First-round loss against Cain Velasquez at UFC 121 

    Next Fight: Against Junior dos Santos at UFC 131

    Most Recent Promotion: UFC

     

    Reason

    Brock Lesnar was once considered one of the top fighters in the world until his loss to Cain Velasquez last October. Even before that people questioned his ability against the likes of Shane Carwin.

    Lesnar, though, has a lot to regain when he fights Junior dos Santos in June at the end of his tenure as The Ultimate Fighter coach. If he beats JDS, a rematch with Velasquez will happen sometime in late fall of this year.

17. Lyoto Machida

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    LOS ANGELES, CA - OCTOBER 24:  UFC Light Heavyweight Champion Lyoto Machida (R) battles with UFC Light Heavyweight challenger Mauricio Rua (L) during their title fight at UFC 104 at Staples Center on October 24, 2009 in Los Angeles, California. (Photo by
    Jon Kopaloff/Getty Images

    Age: 32 years old

    Weight Class: Light Heavyweight

    Record: 17-2

    Most Recent Fight: Second-round knockout victory against Randy Couture, UFC 129

    Next Fight: N/A

    Most Recent Promotion: UFC

     

    Reason

    Lyoto Machida was considered the pinnacle of the light heavyweight division. Before there was Jon Jones, there was Machida. The Machida era began with a win over Rashad Evans and a career record of 15-0. No one could touch Machida.

    Then Mauricio "Shogun" Rua changed that and beat Machida and sent Machida on a two-fight losing skid. Now Machida redeemed himself against Couture with what could be the Knockout of the Year.

16. Dan Henderson

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    Age: 40 years old

    Weight Class: Light heavyweight

    Record: 27-8

    Most Recent Fight: Third-round knockout victory against Rafael Cavalcante

    Next Fight: N/A

    Most Recent Promotion: Strikeforce

     

    Reason

    Dan Henderson has been a good fighter even at the age of 40. In a fight against Cavalcante, Henderson proved he can still hang after being beaten by Jake Shields for Strikeforce's middleweight belt. No matter what, Henderson still has that powerful right hand that could end fights.

15. Junior Dos Santos

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    Age: 26

    Weight Class: Heavyweight

    Record: 12-1

    Most Recent Fight: Unanimous decision victory against Roy Nelson, UFC 117

    Next Fight: vs. Brock Lesnar, UFC 131

    Most Recent Promotion: UFC 

     

    Reason

    This arguably one of the toughest divisions to place. After Cain Velasquez, who becomes the No. 2 heavyweight? To me, JDS takes the spot. He's 12-1 with wins over Roy Nelson, Gabriel Gonzaga and Mirko Cro Cop.

    JDS is a great striker and could notch a huge win over Lesnar in June and then move on to face Velasquez. He could possibly be the next heavyweight champion.

14. Gray Maynard

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    Age: 31 

    Weight Class: Lightweight

    Record: 10-0-1, 1 NC

    Most Recent Fight: Draw against Frankie Edgar at UFC 125

    Next Fight: vs. Frankie Edgar at UFC 130

    Most Recent Promotion: UFC  

     

    Reason

    Maynard has shot out of the gate so far in his career and has notched a win against his next opponent, Edgar. But after fighting to a draw against Edgar on New Year's Day, Maynard got a rematch for the lightweight title. Now later this month Maynard could become the UFC's newest champion.

13. Nick Diaz

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    Age: 27 years old 

    Weight Class: Welterweight

    Record: 25-7, 1 NC

    Most Recent Fight: First-round knockout against Paul Daley

    Next Fight: N/A

    Most Recent Promotion: Strikeforce 

     

    Reason

    Diaz has lately become the only answer anyone has to who GSP should fight next in the welterweight division. His great standup mixed with a solid ground game has brought Diaz to the forefront of the welterweight division.

    Diaz is coming off of an impressive first-round knockout victory over Daley and is now mulling the idea of becoming a full-time boxer. 

12. Mauricio "Shogun" Rua

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    MONTREAL- MAY 8: Mauricio 'Shogun' Rua (L) looks at Lyoto Machida in their light heavyweight bout at UFC 113 at Bell Centre on May 8, 2010 in Montreal, Quebec, Canada.  (Photo by Richard Wolowicz/Getty Images)
    Richard Wolowicz/Getty Images

    Age: 29 years old 

    Weight Class: Light heavyweight

    Record: 19-5

    Most Recent Fight: Third-round knockout loss against Jon Jones, UFC 128

    Next Fight: vs. Forrest Griffin at UFC 134

    Most Recent Promotion: UFC  

     

    Reason

    This one was tough. Does Shogun deserve this slot, is it too high, should he be higher? A lot of questions can be raised.

    Shogun is coming off a poor performance against Jones at UFC 128 and losing his light heavyweight belt. Shogun is now slated for a rematch against Forrest Griffin at UFC in Rio. A win there could bump Shogun back into contender status and another fight closer to regaining his belt.


11. Jake Shields

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    Age: 32 years old

    Weight Class: Welterweight

    Record: 26-5-1

    Most Recent Fight: Unanimous decision loss against GSP

    Next Fight: N/A

    Most Recent Promotion: UFC  

     

    Reason

    Shields is coming off of a tough loss in the welterweight title bout against GSP where he actually had pretty good striking. Some may say he out-struck GSP, whatever they say, it was better than we all expected. Shields didn't lose a fight in six years up until last night and now slips just barely outside of the top 10.


10. Rashad Evans

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    Age: 31 years old 

    Weight Class: Light heavyweight

    Record: 15-1-1

    Most Recent Fight: Unanimous decision victory against Quinton "Rampage" Jackson, UFC 114

    Next Fight: vs. Phil Davis, UFC 133

    Most Recent Promotion: UFC

     

    Reason

    Evans is the No. 1 contender in the light heavyweight division and is now slated to face Phil Davis. Evans was expected to face light heavyweight Jon Jones sometime in the fall, but due to injury, Jones pulled.

    Now this time around instead of waiting for the champion to heal and taking more criticism, Evans has decided to put his contender status on the line and fight before getting a title shot.


9. Jon Fitch

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    SYDNEY, AUSTRALIA - FEBRUARY 27:  Jon Fitch of the USA looks at the big screen after the first round in his fight against BJ Penn of the USA during their welterweight bout part of  UFC 127 at Acer Arena on February 27, 2011 in Sydney, Australia.  (Photo b
    Mark Kolbe/Getty Images

    Age: 33 years old 

    Weight Class: Welterweight

    Record: 23-3-1, 1 NC

    Most Recent Fight: Draw against B.J. Penn at UFC 127

    Next Fight: N/A

    Most Recent Promotion: UFC  

     

    Reason

    Some may say he's boring, but fact is he gets the job done. Fitch has had a great career and recently took UFC veteran, B.J. Penn, the distance and ended up with a draw. Now due to injury Fitch vs. Penn II will have to wait and Fitch's next opponent is unknown.


8. Dominick Cruz

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    Age: 25 years old

    Weight Class: Bantamweight

    Record: 17-1

    Most Recent Fight: Unanimous decision victory against Scott Jorgensen 

    Next Fight: vs. Urijah Faber at UFC 132 

    Most Recent Promotion: UFC  

     

    Reason

    Now we start breaking into the top champions in the world. Cruz is set to have a rematch with the only man who beat him, Urijah Faber, at UFC 132 in July.

    Cruz will look to capitalize on his past mistakes and out-strike Faber and keep the fight off of the ground to avoid a similar fate from his last go with Faber.


7. Gilbert Melendez

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    Age: 29 

    Weight Class: Lightweight

    Record: 19-2

    Most Recent Fight: First-round TKO against Tatsuya Kawajiri

    Next Fight: N/A

    Most Recent Promotion: Strikeforce

     

    Reason

    Here's a none-UFC champion, Melendez. Melendez has been a dominant lightweight in Strikeforce and his last fight against Tatsuya Kawajiri was an utterly convincing performance that he deserves to be in the talks as one of the top lightweights in the world.


6. Cain Velasquez

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    LOS ANGELES, CA - OCTOBER 24:  UFC fighter Cain Velasquez (top) battles with UFC fighter Ben Rothwell (bottom) during their Heavyweight bout at UFC 104: Machida vs. Shogun at Staples Center on October 24, 2009 in Los Angeles, California.  (Photo by Jon Ko
    Jon Kopaloff/Getty Images

    Age: 28 years old

    Weight Class: Heavyweight

    Record: 9-0

    Most Recent Fight: First-round TKO against Brock Lesnar, UFC 121

    Next Fight: N/A

    Most Recent Promotion: UFC  

     

    Reason

    Cain Velasquez hasn't fought since last October, but has the record and scary skill set to assert himself at this position. Velasquez's great wrestling mixed with his scary standup has given him a 9-0 start to his MMA career on top of becoming the newest UFC heavyweight champion.

    Next up either a rematch with Brock Lesnar or a fight with Junior dos Santos, late this year.


5. Jon Jones

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    Age: 23 years old 

    Weight Class: Light heavyweight

    Record: 13-1

    Most Recent Fight: Third-round TKO against Mauricio "Shogun" Rua, UFC 128

    Next Fight: N/A

    Most Recent Promotion: UFC 

     

    Reason

    Jon Jones has taken the MMA world by storm and become the youngest champion in the promotion's history. Now Jones is the subject of numerous super-fights and is considered one of the best examples of the future MMA fighter.

    Jones has an uncontrollable hype train because of his creativity with his striking and the fact that he has dominated everyone he has faced.


4. Frankie Edgar

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    Age: 29 years old 

    Weight Class: Lightweight

    Record: 13-1-1 

    Most Recent Fight: Draw against Gray Maynard at UFC 125

    Next Fight: vs. Gray Maynard at UFC 130

    Most Recent Promotion: UFC 

     

    Reason

    Edgar puts his title on the line this month at UFC 130 when he faces Maynard for the third time in his career. Edgar has been able to mix good standup with his wrestling and has been able to defend his title against the likes of B.J. Penn.

    If Edgar can beat Maynard this time around, next up could be the calls to unify both the Strikeforce lightweight title and the UFC lightweight title. That all depends on Gilbert Melendez getting past his next opponent though.


3. Jose Aldo

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    Age: 24 years old 

    Weight Class: Featherweight

    Record: 19-1

    Most Recent Fight: Unanimous decision victory against Mark Hominick, UFC 129

    Next Fight: N/A

    Most Recent Promotion: UFC  

     

    Reason

    I don't know how to explain how dominant Aldo was up until last night, even last night was a great performance by the featherweight champion. Aldo was proven mortal last night by Mark Hominick yet, it could be one of his most impressive victories to date.

    Aldo survived a late rally by Hominick, and multiple injuries he probably sustained. Aldo remained champ and is now possibly facing Chad Mendes in his next go around.


2. Georges St-Pierre

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    Age: 29 years old

    Weight Class: Welterweight

    Record: 22-2

    Most Recent Fight: Unanimous decision victory against Jake Shields, UFC 129

    Next Fight: N/A

    Most Recent Promotion: UFC  

     

    Reason

    GSP is one of the most dominant champions in UFC and has become an image of success. GSP yet again added another quality win to his resume with a win over Shields and has many wondering what his next move will be.

    GSP has cleared out an entire division and there's only one option left, and that option comes from outside of the UFC promotion.


1. Anderson Silva

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    PHILADELPHIA - AUGUST 08:  Anderson Silva celebrates after defeating Forrest Griffin during their light heavyweight bout at UFC 101: Declaration at the Wachovia Center on August 8, 2009 in Philadelphia, Pennsylvania.  (Photo by Jon Kopaloff/Getty Images)
    Jon Kopaloff/Getty Images

    Age: 36

    Weight Class: Middleweight

    Record: 28-4

    Most Recent Fight:

    Next Fight: vs. Yushin Okami, UFC 134

    Most Recent Promotion: UFC

     

    Reason

    Do I really have to explain Anderson Silva? 13-0 inside the UFC with two wins at light heavyweight, including one against former light heavyweight champion, Forrest Griffin. Enough said.