UFC: Anderson Silva Still No. 1 Pound for Pound

Michael EvansCorrespondent IIIMay 6, 2011

Following UFC 129, it is more apparent than ever to me that Anderson Silva is most definitely the top pound-for-pound fighter in the world.  Georges St-Pierre showed once again that he has no desire to give an all out effort to finish fights.  I know that I will be chastised because he had an eye injury for part of the fight but I still stand by my argument.  I will give three reasons why Anderson Silva is the top pound for pound fighter in the world.  To be No. 1 you have to be head and shoulders above your competition, not only in terms of winning but also how you win.

First of all, Silva is a finisher.  St-Pierre has rarely provided that lately.  He did have impressive finishes of Matt Serra and B.J. Penn, but those were not that recent.  And the Penn fight was mired in controversy and also was an accumulation of damage.  Yes, I am saying that Silva is a much sexier fighter because he is a flashy finisher.  That is just the way it is. 

Fans want to see the finish and see it in a spectacular way, especially in mixed martial arts.  Plus if you are in the UFC you are expected to put on the best performance because you are in the biggest organization that pays the best. 

Lately it just seems that GSP has very little interest in trying his best to finish his opponent.  The one fight where he strayed from his script was in the Dan Hardy fight.  He did attempt a few submissions.  But, I still would say that he could have done more in the later rounds. 

Silva knocked out highly-touted contender Vitor Belfort in the first round with a rare front kick.  That was something special.  In his title defense that preceded that he was beaten and battered for over four rounds and still was able to choke Sonnen off of his back in the final frame.  St-Pierre wins, but Silva finishes in spectacular fashion.

Reason No. 2 is the fact that Anderson Silva beats men at their own game or rather, he attacks their strengths.  Yes, I know that GSP is an amazing athlete and very smart.  I actually have no problem with the fact that Georges St-Pierre wins in the fashion that he does, but it is that fighting style that makes him second to Silva. 

Anderson will attack an opponents’ strength.  Against Sonnen he never was afraid to go to the ground and he ended up finishing him there.  In his fight with Belfort, Silva stood up and traded with him, eventually knocking him out.  Silva never tried to take Patrick Cote down even though he knew his right hand was powerful. 

GSP does the opposite.  If a guy can strike he drags them down and lays on them.  If his opponent is good on the ground he jabs them the whole fight.  St-Pierre may retain his title and win this way, but in my eyes he will never be the pound for pound king until he decides to be brave enough to attack the strength of his opposition rather than running away from it.

My third and final reason that Anderson Silva continues to be the pound for pound king is that he has unbelievable guts and tenacity.  In 2006, when GSP fought B.J. Penn the first time, Georges got battered a bit on the feet in the first round and then wrestled Penn down and hugged on him the last two rounds.  I understand the strategy, but I don’t want that in my “best fighter in the world.” 

Against Koscheck in December 2010, St-Pierre avoided the wrestling ability of the other man by landing jabs the whole fight but never trying to finish him.  On the other hand, Silva went head on at strikers like James Irvin, Patrick Cote and Vitor Belfort.  In the Chael Sonnen fight, Silva fought with badly hurt ribs, was battered for over four rounds and still managed to pull off a triangle choke in the fifth round.  Silva has the guts and determination that make him the best.  GSP is also tough but, in my opinion, he is not in the same realm as Silva.