MMA: End of January Top 10 Pound for Pound Fighters

Sal DeRose@@TheSalDeRoseCorrespondent IJanuary 28, 2011

MMA: End of January Top 10 Pound for Pound Fighters

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    NEW YORK - MARCH 24:  Georges St-Pierre of Montreal, Quebec, Canada speaks at a press conference for UFC 111 at Radio City Music Hall on March 24, 2010 in New York City.  St-Pierre will face Dan Hardy of Nottingham UK in the Welterweight title bout.  (Pho
    Jeff Zelevansky/Getty Images

    It's almost the end of the January, and a new year of MMA is underway.

    With February about to be underway, the upcoming Strikeforce mega-tournament, UFC 126 and 127, and the Strikeforce card this weekend, there are numerous top fighters about to step foot into the cage and fight their way to the top.

    There a bunch of fighters who can call themselves the top of their respected affiliations. But who are the top 10 fighters overall?

10. Gray Maynard, UFC

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    Age- 31

    United States

    Height- 5'8"

    Lightweight

    10-0-1 (one NC)

    Eight by Decision

    Two by KO

    Last Five Fights

    Draw vs. Frankie Edgar- Fight of the Night

    Win vs. Kenny Florian via Unanimous Decision

    Win vs. Nate Diaz via Split Decision

    Win vs. Roger Huerta via Split Decision

    Win vs. Jim Miller via Unanimous Decision

    Next Fight- vs. Frankie Edgar- UFC 130- For Lightweight Championship

    Why- Gray Maynard has been a pretty solid fighter and has only become better. He re-faces Frankie Edgar at UFC 130 after an exciting draw at UFC 125 versus Edgar. Maynard barely makes this list over two other Lightweights, but he has a title fight and is so far undefeated. He looked great against Edgar and could have won that fight. He came very close, but close doesn't cut it. A win versus Edgar will see him shoot up the rankings.

9. Jake Shields, UFC

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    HOLLYWOOD - MARCH 17:  Legendary MMA Superstar and two time Olympic Wrestler Dan Henderson (L) and Strikeforce World Middleweight Champion Jake Shields (R)  attend the CBS' Strikeforce MMA Fighters Open Media Workout on March 17, 2010 in Hollywood, Califo
    Valerie Macon/Getty Images

    Age- 32

    United States

    Height- 6'0"

    Middleweight/Welterweight

    26-4-1

    13 by Decision

    10 by Submission

    Three by Knockout

    Last Five

    Win vs. Martin Kampmann via Split Decision (UFC debut, Welterweight Contender fight)

    Win vs. Dan Henderson via Unanimous Decision (Defended Middleweight title)

    Win vs. Jason Miller via Unanimous Decision (Won Strikeforce Middleweight Title)

    Win vs. Robbie Lawler via Submission (Strikeforce, 182 lb Catchweight fight)

    Win vs. Paul Daley via Submission (EliteXC)

    Next Fight- vs. Georges St. Pierre- UFC 129- Welterweight Championship

    Why- Shields has been pretty solid in his career and had an excellent showing against Kampmann. Not only that, but his fight against Henderson seriously helps him out here. He's faced some pretty stiff competition and was once the Strikeforce Middleweight Champion.

8. Dominick Cruz, UFC

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    Age- 25

    United States

    Height- 5'8"

    Bantamweight

    17-1-0

    10 by Decision

    Six by KO

    One by Submission

    Last Five

    Win vs. Scott Jorgenson via Unanimous Decision (Won UFC Bantamweight Title)

    Win vs. Joseph Benavidez via Split Decision

    Win vs. Brian Bowles via TKO (Doctor Stoppage Injury, Won WEC Bantamweight Title)

    Win vs. Joseph Benavidez via Unanimous Decision (Fight of the Night)

    Win vs. Ivan Lopez via Technical Decision (Unintentional knee by Cruz on the ground)

    Next Fight- Unknown

    Why- Cruz will have to wait to defend his UFC Bantamweight title due to hand surgery. He's on an eight-fight winning streak since he lost in his WEC debut to Urijah Faber at Featherweight. Cruz has been really dominant since his move to Bantamweight and due to his hand surgery, could have a little rust on him against whoever he fights next. He could be facing the winner of the Faber-Wineland fight at UFC 128. Interesting to see if he gets a rematch against Faber, this time at Bantamweight or against Wineland.

7. Fedor Emelianenko, Strikeforce or M-1

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    Age- 34

    Russia

    Height- 6'0"

    Heavyweight

    32-2-0 (1 NC)

    16 by Submission

    Nine by KO

    Seven by Decision

    Last Five

    Loss vs. Fabricio Werdum via Submission

    Win vs. Brett Rogers via TKO (Strikeforce)

    Win vs. Andrei Arlovski via KO

    Win vs. Tim Sylvia via Submission (Affliction, Won first ever WAMMA Heavyweight Championship)

    Win vs. Hong-Man Choi via Submission (Yarrennoka)

    Next Fight- vs. Antonio Silva- Strikeforce Heavyweight Grand Prix Quarterfinal

    Why- It's Fedor, and I might hear a lot about it but he's one of the most dominant fighters in MMA history, if not the most dominant. Fedor, before his loss to Werdum, hadn't lost a fight since 2000. Fedor is an excellent all-around fighter. He can take you out standing up and can take you out on the ground. As much of a non-believer I am, of him winning those "dream fights" versus UFC heavyweight fighters, I still think he's one of the top fighters in the world. His record doesn't prove otherwise.

6. Cain Velasquez, UFC

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    LOS ANGELES, CA - OCTOBER 24:  UFC fighter Cain Velasquez poses after his victory over UFC fighter Ben Rothwell (not pictured) in their Heavyweight bout at UFC 104: Machida vs. Shogun at Staples Center on October 24, 2009 in Los Angeles, California.  Vela
    Jon Kopaloff/Getty Images

    Age- 28

    United States

    Height- 6'1"

    Heavyweight

    9-0-0

    Eight by KO

    One by Decision

    Last Five

    Win vs. Brock Lesnar via TKO (Won UFC Heavyweight Title, Knockout of the Night)

    Win vs. Antonio Rodrigo Nogueira via KO (Knockout of the Night)

    Win vs. Ben Rothwell via TKO

    Win vs. Chieck Kongo via Unanimous Decision

    Win vs. Denis Stojnic via TKO (Knockout of the Night)

    Next Fight- Unknown

    Why- He tore his rotator cuff in his right shoulder. He's going to be out a while, but until he comes back, he is the UFC Heavyweight Champion. He fought some really good fighters on his way to this position. He's earned the sixth spot.

5. Frankie Edgar, UFC

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    NEW YORK, NY - JANUARY 13:  Frankie Edgar, UFC lightweight champion, poses during a press conference to announce commitment to bring UFC to Madison Square Garden and New York State at Madison Square Garden on January 13, 2011 in New York City.  (Photo by
    Michael Cohen/Getty Images

    Age- 29

    United States

    Height- 5'6"

    Lightweight

    13-1-1

    Eight by Decision

    Three by Submission

    Two by KO

    Last Five

    Draw vs. Gray Maynard (Fight of the Night)

    Win vs. B.J. Penn via Unanimous Decision

    Win vs. B.J. Penn via Unanimous Decision (Won UFC Lightweight Title)

    Win vs. Matt Veach via Submission (Fight of the Night)

    Win vs. Sean Sherk via Unanimous Decision

    Next Fight- vs. Gray Maynard- UFC 130- Lightweight Championship

    Why- His last three fights have been amazing to watch. He beat one of the best lightweights the UFC has ever seen in B.J. Penn, not once, but twice. He then had a thrilling fight that went to a draw versus Gray Maynard, one of the top fighters in the world. Edgar is the Lightweight Champion and deserves every amount of credit. It was a long road to become Champion and an even harder road to retain that title.

4. Jose Aldo, UFC

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    LAS VEGAS, NV - DECEMBER 01:  Mixed martial artist Jose Aldo (R) and his manager Ed Soares arrive at the third annual Fighters Only World Mixed Martial Arts Awards 2010 at the Palms Casino Resort December 1, 2010 in Las Vegas, Nevada.  (Photo by Ethan Mil
    Ethan Miller/Getty Images

    Age- 24

    Brazil

    Height- 5'7"

    Featherweight

    18-1-0

    12 by KO

    Four by Decision

    Two by Submission

    Last Five

    Win vs. Manvel Gamburyan via KO (Won UFC Featherweight Title)

    Win vs. Urijah Faber via Unanimous Decision

    Win vs. Mike Brown via KO (Won WEC Featherweight Title, Knockout of the Night)

    Win vs. Cub Swanson via KO (Knockout of the Night)

    Win vs. Chris Mickle via KO

    Next Fight- vs. Mark Hominick- UFC 129- UFC Debut- Featherweight Championship

    Why- Jose Aldo is an excellent fighter. He has devastating leg kicks something that helped decimate Urijah Faber on way to a unanimous decision. Aldo's next test will be against Mark Hominick, a hard test to defend his title. His 18-1 record is no joke, he can run over his opponents with his sharp, precise striking.


3. Mauricio

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    MONTREAL- MAY 8: Mauricio 'Shogun' Rua (top) punches 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

    Brazilian

    Height- 6'1"

    Light Heavyweight

    19-4-0

    16 by KO

    Two by Decision

    One by Submission

    Last Five

    Win vs. Lyoto Machida via KO (Won Light Heavyweight Title, Knockout of the Night)

    Loss vs. Lyoto Machida via Unanimous Decision

    Win vs. Chuck Liddell via TKO (Knockout of the Night)

    Win vs. Mark Coleman via TKO (Fight of the Night)

    Loss vs. Forrest Griffin via Submission (UFC Debut)

    Next Fight- vs. Rashad Evans- UFC 128- Light Heavyweight Championship

    Why- Shogun is an excellent fighter. Like I've said many times before, his loss to Machida shouldn't have happened. But what are you going to do? That's what happens when you leave it to the judges. His next time out, he went out and finished Machida off in the first round. Rua is an exciting fighter and should retain his title next time around versus Rashad.

2. Anderson Silva, UFC

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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- 35

    Brazil

    Height- 6'2

    Middleweight/Light Heavyweight

    27-4-0

    15 by KO

    7 by Decision

    5 by Submission

    Last Five

    Win vs. Chael Sonnen via Submission (Fight of the Night, Submission of the Night and Fight of the Year)

    Win vs. Demian Maia via Unanimous Decision

    Win vs. Forrest Griffin via KO (Fought at Light Heavyweight, Fight of the Night, Knockout of the Night)

    Win vs. Thales Leites via Unanimous Decision

    Win vs. Patrick Cote via TKO (Knee Injury to Cote)

    Next Fight- vs. Vitor Belfort- UFC 126- Middleweight Championship

    Why- Anderson hasn't lost a fight since 2006. He is on a 13-fight win streak—the longest in UFC history. He also has won seven consecutive title defenses—again a UFC record. His age is getting up there and could very well retire at the end of his contract. But, as of right now his next fight against Vitor Belfort should be exciting. Up until his fight with Chael Sonnen, Silva really hadn't fought anyone since his fight with Cote. He dismissed all of his opponents with relative ease.

1. Georges St-Pierre, UFC

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    TORONTO - FEBRUARY 5:  Ultimate Fighter Georges St-Pierre attends the Toronto Maple Leafs game against the Florida Panthers during a fight during their NHL game at the Air Canada Centre February 5, 2008 in Toronto, Ontario, Canada. (Photo By Dave Sandford
    Dave Sandford/Getty Images

    Age- 29

    Canada

    Height- 5'10

    Welterweight

    21-2-0

    8 by KO

    8 by Decision

    5 by Submission

    Last Five

    Win vs. Josh Koscheck via Unanimous Decision (Fight of the Night)

    Win vs. Dan Hardy via Unanimous Decision

    Win vs. Thiago Alves via Unanimous Decision

    Win vs. B.J. Penn via TKO (Corner Stoppage)

    Win vs. Jon Fitch via Unanimous Decision (Fight of the Night)

    Next Fight- vs. Jake Shields- UFC 129- Welterweight Championship

    Why- St-Pierre is one of the best fighters of all-time. He is an all-around fighter. No matter where the fight goes, GSP is still able to win. Four of his last five fights have gone to a decision. But, he has fought almost everyone in the Welterweight division and is about to run through the entire division, again. His next fight against Shields will be tough and show the greatness of GSP.

Other Information

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    PHILADELPHIA - AUGUST 08:  (L-R) Lightweight champion BJ Penn battles Kenny Florian during their lightweight championship title bout at UFC 101: Declaration at the Wachovia Center on August 8, 2009 in Philadelphia, Pennsylvania.  (Photo by Jon Kopaloff/Ge
    Jon Kopaloff/Getty Images

    The Next Five Fighters

    1. Jon Fitch, Welterweight, UFC

    2. B.J. Penn, Lightweight, UFC

    3. Gilbert Melendez, Lightweight, Strikeforce

    4. Jon Jones, Light Heavyweight, UFC

    5. Rashad Evans, Light Heavyweight, UFC

    Upcoming Top Ten P4P Fights

    UFC 126- Anderson Silva vs. Vitor Belfort on February 5th

    Strikeforce- Fedor Emelianenko vs. Antonio Silva on February 12th