Yes, I am ripping this idea off from Steve Sievert’s blog on the Houston Chronicle’s web site. Since I’m also a pollster on Yahoo! Sports’ pound-for-pound top ten it doesn’t make sense for me not to post my votes.
Here’s the official 5 Oz. of Pain top 10 pound-for-pound fighters in the world (with comments):
1) Fedor Emelianenko – Inactivity is a concern a this point but his last win against Matt Lindland on a BodogFIGHT card in April is strong enough to last another month or so.
2) Dan Henderson – Henderson’s reputation before his win over Wanderlei was nowhere near what it is now but how can you not be high on a guy who holds world titles in two different weight classes?
3) Randy Couture – His last two wins have been against top contenders and both have been dominant performances.
4) Georges St. Pierre – Being in this poll isn’t just about stature, it’s also about pure fighting skill, which GSP has on loan from God. Yes, I’m officially back on the bandwagon.
5) Mauricio Rua – Doesn’t hold a title yet but put him in there with Chuck Liddell, Quinton “Rampage” Jackson, or Dan Henderson and I’d install him as the favorite.
6) Anderson Silva – His pure Jiu-Jitsu is strong but his MMA Jit-Jitsu is suspect. However, a fighter hasn’t exposed his lack of wrestling in quite some time. His recent wins have all been impressive with the exception of his performance against Travis Lutter in February.
7) B.J. Penn – His recent win list doesn’t measure up in comparison to other fighters on this list but I think pure ability should account for something.
8 ) Antonio Rodrigo Nogueira – Is lacking a big recent win against an impressive opponent but few heavyweights are a total package like he is.
9) Matt Hughes – The win over Lytle was not overly impressive and there’s the loss against GSP but I can’t ignore his entire body of work over the course of the past several years.
10. Quinton Jackson – I’m not sure what Rampage we’ll see at UFC 75 but a win over Chuck Liddell and the UFC light heavyweight title around his waist speak volumes.
The two names omitted from my ballot that I’m sure will cause the biggest complaints are Chuck Liddell and Takanori Gomi.
In regard to Gomi, I can’t put him in my top ten due to inactivity. In the eyes of NSAC his match against Nick Daiz might be a win. But my eyes saw what they saw. Gomi lost. At the very least, he shouldn’t be credited with a win.
Liddell was a tough call and some will ask why I have Hughes ranked on his overall body of work and not Liddell. When it came down to it, I don’t think the competition Liddell fought during his reign was top-notch. It was due to no fault of his own but I’m not overly impressed with wins over Tito Ortiz and Jeremy Horn. Losing to Rampage in under two minutes was a big negative.