UFC 131 Results: Top 25 Pound-for-Pound Fighters in MMA

Tim McTiernanCorrespondent IJune 13, 2011

UFC 131 Results: Top 25 Pound-for-Pound Fighters in MMA

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    To paraphrase Joe Rogan..."Junior dos Santos is for real!"

    dos Santos absolutely decimated Carwin on Saturday night en route to a unanimous decision victory and was incredibly close to getting the stoppage in the first round.

    In addition to dos Santos' impressive showing over Carwin, he (once again) became the No. 1 contender to the heavyweight title.

    Just before that happened though, Kenny Florian announced his presence in the featherweight division with a unanimous decision victory over Diego Nunes.

    In addition to those fights, Mark Munoz proved that he is a contender in the middleweight division with a unanimous decision over Demian Maia, Dave Herman and Jon Olav Einemo put on a hell of a fight which ended with a TKO for Herman, and Donald Cerrone continued to show that the WEC lightweights can hold their own in the UFC with a unanimous decision over Vagner Rocha.

    Did Florian do enough to crack the top 25 pound-for-pound fighters in MMA?

    How much did dos Santos move up?

    Read on to find out.

25. Alistair Overeem

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    Age: 31

    Weight Class: Heavyweight

    Record: 34-11 [1 NC]

    Last Fight: KO win over Todd Duffee at Dynamite!! 2010

    Next Fight: Fabricio Werdum at Strikeforce: Overeem vs. Werdum

    The Strikeforce Heavyweight Champion kicks off this list at No. 25.

    Many will argue that he has not faced a quality opponent in years, but it cannot be argued that he has defeated everyone who's been put in front of him.

    Overeem gets a definite quality opponent when he takes on The Fedor Slayer, Fabricio Werdum on Saturday.

24. Fabricio Werdum

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    Age: 33

    Weight Class: Heavyweight

    Record: 14-4-1

    Last Fight: Submission victory over Fedor Emelianenko at Strikeforce: Fedor vs. Werdum

    Next Fight:  Alistair Overeem at Strikeforce: Overeem vs. Werdum

    And here is the Fedor Slayer himself.

    I give Werdum the nod over Overeem because he already holds a victory over him and because he was the first person to legitimately defeat Fedor.

    The Overeem-Werdum rematch happens on Saturday as part of the Strikeforce Heavyweight Grand Prix.

23. Ronaldo Souza

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    Age: 31

    Weight Class: Middleweight

    Record: 14-2 [1 NC]

    Last Fight: Submission victory over Robbie Lawler at Strikeforce: Diaz vs. Cyborg

    Next Fight: Luke Rockhold at Strikeforce 36

    Next up is the Strikeforce Middleweight Champion, Ronaldo Souza.

    Souza has some of the best jiu-jitsu in MMA, and he has used it to win 11 of his 14 fights.

    In his last fight, Robbie Lawler rocked him once or twice, but he was still able to submit him in the third round with a rear naked choke.

    He'll get a chance to add to his record when he takes on Luke Rockhold on September 10th.

22. Chael Sonnen

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    Age: 34

    Weight Class: Middleweight

    Record: 25-11-1

    Last Fight: Submission loss to Anderson Silvaat UFC 117

    Next Fight: TBD

    Chael Sonnen comes in at No. 22 on the list, and if not for his poor submission defense (and long list of legal troubles), he could be much much higher.

    Fans will know Sonnen for dominating Anderson Silva for the better part of five rounds, before getting caught in a submission and losing in the fight for the middleweight title.

    Here's hoping Sonnen gets back soon.

21. Shinya Aoki

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    Age: 28

    Weight Class: Lightweight

    Record: 28-5 [1 NC]

    Last Fight: Submission victory over Rich Clementi at DREAM 17

    Next Fight: TBD

    Shinya Aoki is the current DREAM Lightweight Champion and has earned that belt with his slick jiu-jitsu.

    Aoki fights at lightweight, but he is very tall at 5'11'', and he uses that to his advantage.

    He is known as the "master of flying submissions" and has won 18 fights with submissions.

20. Dan Henderson

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    Age: 40

    Weight Class: Light Heavyweight

    Record: 27-8

    Last Fight: TKO victory over Rafael Cavalcante at Strikeforce: Feijao vs. Henderson

    Next Fight: Fedor Emelianenko at Strikeforce: Fedor vs. Henderson

    "Dangerous" Dan Henderson is the current Strikeforce Light Heavyweight Champion and No. 20 on the list.

    Henderson won the belt by TKOing Rafael Cavalcante in the third round of their title fight.

    Henderson's next fight will be a heavyweight fight against the legend, Fedor Emelianenko.

19. BJ Penn

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    Age: 32

    Weight Class: Formerly lightweight; Currently welterweight

    Record: 16-7-2

    Last Fight: Majority draw against Jon Fitch at UFC 127

    Next Fight: TBD

    BJ Penn is next up at No. 19.

    Penn is the former UFC lightweight and former UFC welterweight champion and is quite possibly the most dominant lightweight in MMA history.

    Penn's last fight ended in a draw with Jon Fitch but look for him to come back gunning for a title shot.

18. Brock Lesnar

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    Age: 33

    Weight Class: Heavyweight

    Record: 5-2

    Last Fight: TKO loss to Cain Velasquez at UFC 121

    Next Fight: TBD

    The former UFC heavyweight champion is next.

    Brock Lesnar was last seen getting embarrassed at the hands of Cain Velasquez at UFC 121, where his poor striking defense was shown again.

    Lesnar ended up coaching on The Ultimate Fighter Season 13 against Junior dos Santos but was then forced to pull out of the fight due to a recurrence of diverticulitis.

    Let's hope for a speedy recovery so we can see him back in the cage.

17. Rampage Jackson

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    Age: 32

    Weight Class: Light Heavyweight

    Record: 32-8

    Last Fight: Unanimous decision victory over Matt Hamill at UFC 130

    Next Fight: Jon Jones at UFC 135

    Rampage Jackson is working his way back towards a title shot, even if he didn't look all that impressive last night.

    Jackson hurt Matt Hamill a few times but couldn't get the finish, although a hand injury probably had something to do with that.

    Jackson is most likely in line to get the next title shot against Jon Jones at UFC 135.

16. Shogun Rua

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    Age: 29

    Weight Class: Light Heavyweight

    Record: 19-5

    Last Fight: TKO loss to Jon Jones at UFC 128

    Next Fight: Forrest Griffin at UFC 134

    Shogun Rua could still be a dominant fighter in the UFC.

    In his last fight, he lost the LHW belt to Jon Jones via third round TKO.

    Shogun is only 3-3 in his UFC career, but I still think he has what it takes to make another run at the title; after all, he is only 29 years old.

    In his next fight, Shogun gets a chance to avenge a loss he suffered in his UFC debut when he takes on Forrest Griffin at home in Brazil.

15. Nick Diaz

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    Age: 27

    Weight Class: Welterweight

    Record: 25-7 [1 NC]

    Last Fight: TKO win over Paul Daley at Strikeforce: Diaz vs. Daley

    Next Fight: Georges St-Pierre at UFC 137

    The Strikeforce welterweight champion is next on this list, and if he had better competition, he could be higher.

    Diaz was originally going to take a boxing match against former IBF Champion Jeff Lacy, but after a meeting with Dana White, he decided to stick with MMA.

    He is now set to take on Georges St-Pierre in a superfight at UFC 137.

14. Junior Dos Santos

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    Age: 26

    Weight Class: Heavyweight

    Record: 12-1

    Last Fight: Unanimous decision victory over Shane Carwin at UFC 131

    Next Fight: Cain Velasquez at UFC 136

    What a performance from Junior.

    He had a title shot in front of him, didn't want to sit around and wait for Cain, and he decided to coach The Ultimate Fighter and take a fight against Brock Lesnar. Brock was forced to pull out of the fight, Shane Carwin stepped up, and Junior just took him down.

    In a one-sided fight, Junior dismantled Carwin, and almost TKO'd him in the first round.

    Junior will now get the title shot against Cain Velasquez at UFC 136 on October 6th.

13. Rashad Evans

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    Age: 31

    Weight Class: Light Heavyweight

    Record: 15-1-1

    Last Fight: Unanimous decision victory over Rampage Jackson at UFC 114

    Next Fight: Phil Davis at UFC 133

    Rashad Evans is the former LHW champion and is probably the unluckiest fighter on the entire UFC roster.

    He beat Rampage Jackson for the No. 1 contender's spot and decided to wait for the title shot.

    Once it was all set, he got hurt and lost his chance.

    Then the timetable was off for a shot against Jones, so now he's going to fight Phil Davis.

    We all want to see the Jones-Evans grudge match, so let's hope it can happen at some point in the future.

12. Lyoto Machida

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    Age: 33

    Weight Class: Light Heavyweight

    Record: 17-2

    Last Fight: KO win over Randy Couture at UFC 129

    Next Fight: -

    Lyoto Machida is another former LHW champion, and he may be next in line for a title shot based on the severity of Rampage's hand injury.

    Machida was last seen knocking out Randy Couture in highlight reel fashion with a front jump kick or a flying jump front kick or a flying front kick or whatever you want to call it.

    If Rampage is unable to fight Jones when Jones is ready, then Machida will probably get the nod.

11. Jake Shields

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    Age: 32

    Weight Class: Welterweight

    Record: 26-5-1

    Last Fight: Unanimous decision loss to Georges St-Pierre at UFC 129

    Next Fight: TBD

    Jake Shields is the former Strikeforce middleweight champion and a current UFC welterweight.

    Shields may have lost to GSP, but he became the first person in almost four years to win a round from St-Pierre.

    Shields may look to make another run at the welterweight belt, or he may try to move back up to middleweight and make a run there.

10. Jon Fitch

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    Age: 33

    Weight Class: Welterweight

    Record: 23-3-1 [1 NC]

    Last Fight: Majority draw against BJ Penn at UFC 127

    Next Fight: TBD

    Jon Fitch is easily the second best welterweight in the world today.

    Fitch's only loss in the UFC came to GSP, and he has been on a tear since then.

    He has been lobbying for a second shot at GSP, and if he gets one more big win, it can no longer be denied by Dana White that he deserves it.

9. Gray Maynard

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    Age: 32

    Weight Class: Lightweight

    Record: 10-0-1 [1 NC]

    Last Fight: Split draw against Frankie Edgar at UFC 125

    Next Fight: TBD

    Had the fight gods done this a little differently, Gray Maynard could have been the UFC lightweight champion.

    Maynard holds a win over the current champ, and in their rematch, they fought to a split draw.

    They were supposed to fight a third time this past Saturday, but Maynard and Edgar each suffered an injury that forced them to withdraw.

    Look for the third fight between these two to happen as soon as possible; there's a lot of people who are in line after them.

8. Gilbert Melendez

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    Age: 29

    Weight Class: Lightweight

    Record: 19-2

    Last Fight: TKO over Tatsuya Kawajiri at Strikeforce: Diaz vs. Daley

    Next Fight: TBD

    Gilbert Melendez is the current Strikeforce lightweight champion, and according to some sites, the No. 1 lightweight in the world.

    I'm going to have to disagree with them, but I will call him the best fighter outside of the UFC.

    Melendez was last seen beating Tatsuya Kawajiri in the first round of their fight for Melendez' title.

    For Gilbert's sake, they really should combine UFC and Strikeforce, cause there's no real challenges left for Melendez.

7. Dominick Cruz

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    Age: 25

    Weight Class: Bantamweight

    Record: 17-1

    Last Fight: Unanimous decision over Scott Jorgensen at WEC 53: Henderson vs. Pettis

    Next Fight: Urijah Faber at UFC 132

    Dominick Cruz is the former WEC bantamweight champion and the current UFC bantamweight champion.

    Cruz is one of the best young fighters in the sport and has only one loss on his record.

    He gets a chance to avenge that loss when he defends his title against Urijah Faber at UFC 132.

6. Frankie Edgar

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    Age: 29

    Weight Class: Lightweight

    Record: 13-1-1

    Last Fight: Split draw against Gray Maynard at UFC 125

    Next Fight: TBD

    Frankie Edgar is the current UFC lightweight champion and another great young fighter.

    Edgar was last seen putting on one of the gutsiest performances in UFC history, when he was knocked down three times in the first round and was able to come back and fight to a draw with Gray Maynard.

    Whenever the third fight between these two happens, it is sure to produce fireworks.

5. Cain Velasquez

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    Age: 28

    Weight Class: Heavyweight

    Record: 9-0

    Last Fight: TKO win over Brock Lesnar at UFC 121

    Next Fight: Junior dos Santos at UFC 136

    Cain Velasquez is the current UFC heavyweight champion.

    Velasquez is the complete package in the heavyweight division. He's a great wrestler who Brock Lesnar couldn't keep down.

    He has endless cardio, which is sure to help if he ever has to go all five rounds. He has insane striking, which could help him keep up with a guy like dos Santos, and he is a strong wrestler in his own regard.

    But if there's anyone who can stop him, it's Junior.

4. Jon Jones

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    Age: 23

    Weight Class: Light Heavyweight

    Record: 13-1

    Last Fight: TKO win over Shogun Rua at UFC 128

    Next Fight: Rampage Jackson at UFC 135

    Jon Jones is the current UFC light heavyweight champion and has all the tools to become one of the greatest of all time.

    Jones' last fight saw him outclass a legend, Mauricio "Shogun" Rua, and win the light heavyweight belt and become the youngest UFC champion of all time.

    Jones' next fight will be against Rampage Jackson.

3. Jose Aldo

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    Age: 24

    Weight Class: Featherweight

    Record: 19-1

    Last Fight: Unanimous decision victory over Mark Hominick at UFC 129

    Next Fight: TBD

    Jose Aldo is one of the most explosive fighters in MMA, but you wouldn't know it from watching his last fight.

    In his last fight, he looked slow and just unlike himself. It was later revealed that Aldo was sick and on antibiotics prior to the fight.

    Look for Aldo's next fight (possibly against Kenny Florian) to showcase what an explosive fighter Aldo really is.

2. Georges St-Pierre

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    Age: 30

    Weight Class: Welterweight

    Record: 22-2

    Last Fight: Unanimous decision victory over Jake Shields at UFC 129

    Next Fight: Nick Diaz at UFC 137

    Ah yes. Let the debate begin. Who really is No. 1? Georges St-Pierre or Anderson Silva?

    Until one of them loses, or they fight, this is going to be a question that cannot be answered.

    Georges St-Pierre is the current welterweight champion and was last seen winning a unanimous decision over Jake Shields at the largest MMA event in North American history.

    His next fight is set to be against Nick Diaz, and this one will hopefully end in a finish, one way or the other.

1. Anderson Silva

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    Age: 36

    Weight Class: Middleweight

    Record: 28-4

    Last Fight: KO win over Vitor Belfort at UFC 126

    Next Fight: Yushin Okami at UFC 134

    Anderson Silva is the current UFC middleweight champion, and Silva gets the nod as the No. 1 pound-for-pound fighter on the planet.

    Silva's last fight saw him knock out a fantastic striker, Vitor Belfort, with a front kick and punches.

    Silva's next fight is going to be against the last man to defeat him (albeit by disqualification) Yushin Okami.

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