MMA's Top 10 Pound-4-Pound Rankings

Sal DeRose@@TheSalDeRoseCorrespondent IJune 3, 2011

MMA's Top 10 Pound-4-Pound Rankings

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    Here is the first installment of the Bleacher Report MMA Pound-for-pound Rankings.

    Each month, on the first of the month we will publish the pound-for-pound rankings.

    The rankings were voted on by numerous writers on Bleacher Report and do not reflect any of their rankings personally.

    The rankings are an average of each writer's vote for each weight class.

    So without further ado, after the conclusion of UFC 130 and before the start of The Ultimate Fighter 13 Finale, the official Bleacher Report P4P rankings.

    These DO NOT reflect my personal rankings.

    Special thanks to those who contributed:

    Nick Caron

    Jason Schielke

    Vince Carey

    JP Smith

    Brian Oswald

    Andrew Mahlmann

    Blake Dresibach

    Nick Colon

    Sal DeRose

Honorable Mentions

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    Alistair Overeem

    Record: 34-11 (one no contest)

    Promotion: Strikeforce

    Age: 31-years old


    Nick Diaz

    Record: 25-7 (one no contest)

    Promotion: Strikeforce

    Age: 27-years old


    Jake Shields

    Record: 26-5-1

    Promotion: UFC

    Age: 32-years old

10. Jon Fitch

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    Record: 23-3-1 (one no contest)

    Promotion: UFC

    Age: 33 years old


    Some may have a problem with the fighting style of Jon Fitch, but there is one clear cut thing about him—he wins. Yes his fighting style may be boring, but if he wins then why bother to fix it?

    Fitch is coming off of a draw with former UFC welterweight and lightweight champion, B.J. Penn and was set to face him again UFC 132. Unfortunately for Fitch, he injured himself and had to have surgery. Needless to say he pulled out of the fight and now is opponent-less.

    Fitch is the clear-cut No. 2 welterweight in some minds and some fans think he deserves a shot at Georges St-Pierre again. Well, Fitch may need one more fight to get that shot.

9. Gilbert Melendez

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    Record: 19-2

    Promotion: Strikeforce

    Age: 29 years old



    After his beatdown of Tatsuya Kawajiri in April, GIlbert Melendez quickly jumped to the forefront of a lot of people's minds. Calls for him to face either Gray Maynard or Frankie Edgar began, and we might see those calls answered one day.

    Melendez's only losses have came against Josh Thomson and Mitsuhiro Ishida, both of which he avenged later on.

    Melendez is the current Strikeforce kingpin and has defended his belt a total of four times. He is also the first person to hold the WEC lightweight belt.

8. Gray Maynard

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    Record: 10-0-1 (one no contest)

    Promotion: UFC

    Age: 32 years old



    Gray Maynard is seen by some as the next UFC lightweight champion when he meets Frankie Edgar again sometime by the end of the summer or in the early fall. 

    Maynard holds a lot of great career victories including Edgar, Kenny Florian, Dennis Siver, Nate Diaz and Jim Miller.

    Maynard is a former contestant on The Ultimate Fighter and has had a great career since that point.

    The only problem is, the last time he won by any sort of finish was in 2007. Maynard is known as a great wrestler who can control you any which way on the ground. Maynard also has very good striking skills as well, so don't let him fool you.

7. Dominick Cruz

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    Record: 17-1

    Promotion: UFC

    Age: 25 years old



    Dominick Cruz is the last WEC bantamweight champion and is the first UFC bantamweight champion. He has yet to appear inside the Octagon, but is slated to face former WEC featherweight champion, Urijah Faber, at UFC 132.

    Faber is Cruz's only career loss to date and in came in the form of a first-round submission. Cruz will look to avenge that loss and move up the rankings come July 2nd. 

    With that win, Cruz could become the UFC's bantamweight champion for a while and could prove just how good of a fighter he is to the casual MMA fan.

6. Cain Velasquez

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    Record: 9-0

    Promotion: UFC

    Age: 28 years old



    Cain Velasquez is currently the UFC's heavyweight champion and is set to face either Junior dos Sanots or Shane Carwin in the fall after he returns from surgery.

    Up until this point though, Velasquez has been a dominant heavyweight in the UFC. Only one of Cain's nine fights have gone to a decision. Only three total have gone past the first round.

    Velasquez is coming off of a decimation of Brock Lesnar at UFC 121 in October.

    Cain is the exact opposite you would expect from a Division I All-American wrestler. Whoever faces Cain in the fall, JDS or Carwin, they will have their skills heavily tested.

5. Frankie Edgar

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    Record: 13-1-1

    Promotion: UFC

    Age: 29 years old



    The New Jersey native, Frankie Edgar, captured the UFC lightweight title with back-to-back wins over B.J. Penn.

    Edgar earned "Fight of the Night" honors in his last fight against Gray Maynard, and again, is set to face him sometime in the very late summer or early fall.

    Whenever the third installment of the Maynard/Edgar series begins, expect Edgar to be more then read to defend his belt after his lackluster beginning at UFC 125 against Maynard.

4. Jon Jones

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    Record: 13-1

    Promotion: UFC

    Age: 23 years old



    Jon Jones captured the UFC light heavyweight belt at UFC 128 in March with an impressive beatdown of Mauricio "Shogun" Rua.

    Jones' only loss is a disqualification loss to Matt Hamill in a fight where Jones was beating Hamill into the mat.

    So far the Jones hype train has taken a full head of steam with impressive win, after impressive win.

    Jones is seen as the future of MMA, and the perfect hybrid of wrestler and striker. His creativity and athleticism has brought him to this point and will soon defend his belt against either Lyoto Machida, or Quinton "Rampage" Jackson.

    Very unfortunate for Rashad Evans

3. Jose Aldo

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    Record: 19-1

    Promotion: UFC

    Age: 24 years old



    Jose Aldo is another one of the UFC's young champions. At the age of 24, Aldo has been a very dominant featherweight champion.

    In his last bout though at UFC 129, Aldo seemed very beatable in the final round by Mark Hominick who kicked it into high gear.

    Aldo is still a force to be reckoned with and is definitely more then deserving of the third spot here. His striking is very, very scary for a guy who is only 24. Its amazing to think how good he will be in a few years and how dominant he could be.

2. Georges St-Pierre

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    Record: 22-2

    Promotion: UFC

    Age: 30 years old



    Georges St-Pierre has been one of the most dominant UFC champions in its history.

    Of course, that comes at a price. Many people believe he is boring, and can't finish a fight. Fact is—like Jon Fitch—he wins. Plain and simple.

    Now GSP is set to face Nick Diaz at UFC 137 in the fall, a man many believe will push GSP to finally finish a fight and keep the fight standing. But will GSP go after the win and risk everything?

    Guess we'll have to wait until UFC 137.

1. Anderson Silva

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    Record: 28-4

    Promotion: UFC

    Age: 36 years old



    Anderson Silva claims the top spot here in the official Bleacher Report rankings.

    Why? Well, not only has he dominated the middleweight division, but he has also notched wins in the light heavyweight division. The win that would jump out to anyone is over former UFC light heavyweight champion Forrest Griffin by first-round KO.

    Silva has beaten almost all of the talent in the middleweight division and is set to face the last man to beat him, Yushin Okami, at UFC 134 in Rio in August.

    With a win there the calls for Silva to face GSP will begin. But GSP has to get past Nick Diaz first.

    Only time will tell how much longer the 36-year-old Silva will be fighting.