MMA Pound-for-Pound Rankings
Following the events of UFC 135, Jon Jones' name has been thrown into the hat as a potential pound-for-pound kingpin.
Over the weekend, The 24-year-old light heavyweight champion impressed on all levels in his masterful dissection of Quinton "Rampage" Jackson.
As the youngest UFC champion ever, there has never been a talent like Jones in the history of the sport. An aura of greatness seems to ooze from the Rochester native every time he steps foot in the octagon, and fans can't help but be captivated by it.
While Jones' stock continues rise, former Strikeforce middleweight champion Jake Shields' plummets after his stunning UFC Fight Night 25 upset loss to Jake Ellenberger.
There are a plethora of reasons why Shields probably shouldn't have taken the fight with Ellenberger. The most obvious is the recent death of his father. As a true warrior and legend of the sport, Shields wanted to do what he loved and put on a show for fans, but sometimes you just have to take a step back and breathe.
This definitely shouldn't take away from Ellenberger, who has continued to fly under the radar as a serious welterweight contender.
With Jones' continued dominance and Shields' shocking loss, what shakeups await this month's version of the pound-for-pound rankings?
10) Gilbert Melendez
Coming off an impressive first round TKO stoppage of formally ranked lightweight contender Tatsuya Kawajiri, Gilbert Melendez is primed to achieve bigger and better things.
If he gets past Jorge Masvidal on the Dec. 17 Strikeforce card, Melendez could easily find himself in a champion versus champion showdown with either Frankie Edgar or Gray Maynard in a future UFC headliner.
9) Gray Maynard
Lightweight contender Gray Maynard met a tougher than expected Frankie Edgar at UFC 125.
After an incredible first round, Maynard suddenly found himself in a dog fight with the tenacious champion.
In the end, the bout was ruled a draw. Injuries to both fighters killed plans of an immediate rematch, which was set for UFC 130.
Maynard and Edgar are finally healthy, and the rubber match is set for UFC 136.
8) Cain Velasquez
Cain Velasquez's destruction of former heavyweight champion Brock Lesnar at UFC 121 was an eye opening experience for doubters.
Size isn't everything.
Velasquez's incredible conditioning, improved striking and dominant wrestling makes him a nightmare opponent for any man.
After being sidelined with a torn rotator cuff, he is finally set to make his return at UFC on Fox 1 against top contender Junior Dos Santos.
7) Dominick Cruz
If fans didn't know Dominick Cruz before UFC 132, they certainly know him now.
His bout with Urijah Faber was stuff of legends.
Faber fought valiantly, but Cruz was able to move around effectively and outland the former WEC featherweight champion on his feet.
In one night, Cruz avenged the only loss on his professional record and defended his newly acquired UFC title for the first time.
Despite a plethora of pleads from fans, part three of Cruz and Faber will have to wait.
The champ is set to defend his title against explosive 135 pound contender Demetrious "Mighty Mouse" Johnson.
6) Jon Fitch
Jon Fitch may not be the most exciting fighter in the world, according to some fans, but no one can deny his incredible work effort and accomplishments in the sport.
Since entering the UFC, Fitch has compiled a record of 13-1, with the one loss coming to welterweight champion Georges St-Pierre.
He recently drew even in a back and forth bout with former champion B.J. Penn.
The rematch was scheduled for UFC 132, but Fitch was forced to withdraw due to a serious shoulder injury.
In a recent post on Twitter, the former title contender said he was cleared by his doctor to resume fighting.
He is expected to face Johny Hendricks at UFC 141.
5) Frankie Edgar
Even though the bout ended in a draw, Frankie Edgar and Gray Maynard became stars at UFC 125.
After getting dropped several times in the opening round, Edgar showed an unbelievable amount of heart in battling back and going the distance with Maynard.
The immediate rematch was set for UFC 130, but injuries to both fighters pushed the anticipated rubber match back to UFC 136 on Oct. 8.
4) Jon Jones
Jon Jones may be the greatest talent the sport has ever seen.
Despite only three wins over ranked opposition, people are already acting like Jones has cleaned out his entire division, which speaks highly of his dominance and otherworldly talent.
People act like Jones is done with the 205 pound division because they don't realistically see anyone beating him.
With that said, there is still more for the young champion to prove before he overtakes those ahead of him.
3) Jose Aldo
Jose Aldo didn't put on his best performance at UFC 129 against Mark Hominick, but he did show the ability to deal with adversity against an upper-echelon opponent.
After tiring early, Aldo huffed and puffed his way to victory with surprising takedowns and great head movement.
A superfight with former lightweight contender Kenny Florian is set for UFC 136.
2) Georges St-Pierre
When forced to choose, it's pretty much impossible to pick a clear-cut No. 1 candidate between Georges St-Pierre and Anderson Silva.
Both fighters are deserving of the top spot. It's like choosing between Tom Brady and Peyton Manning in the NFL.
At UFC 129, St-Pierre may have finally lost a round, but he coasted to another workmanlike decision over former Strikeforce middleweight champion Jake Shields.
Some criticize St-Pierre for not finishing opponents, but it all comes down what a person considers as more dominant––netting a quick and nasty finish, or masterfully picking a world class opponent apart for 25 minutes?
1) Anderson Silva
Anderson Silva and Georges St-Pierre are basically playing tag with the top spot at this point.
Overlooking Yushin Okami's questionable game plan, Silva continued his dominant ways at UFC 134, picking up a second round TKO stoppage over the top middleweight contender.
With the win, "The Spider" extends his UFC records for most consecutive wins (14) and title defenses (9).
What's next for the champ?
There are ongoing talks about possible rematches with Chael Sonnen or Dan Henderson, but Silva has already stated that he would much rather face his clone.