Ever since last night, the question has become who the best fighter in the world is. Pound for pound, who is the king? Is it still Anderson Silva after his demolition of James Irvin at a higher weight class? Is it Fedor Emelianenko after his 36 second abusal of Tim Sylvia, a former two time UFC heavyweight champion?
To some, it’s clear as day who the best pound for pound fighter is and has been for awhile now: Anderson Silva. To others, Fedor reclaimed his pound for pound spot last night by demolishing a man that took Randy Couture a full five rounds to beat. After last night, the two are definitely #1 and #2 on the list. They are both head and shoulders above the competition at their weight class. This much is clear. But who is #1? And who is #2?
For me, the picture isn’t as clear. Silva’s victory over Irvin, while convincing, doesn’t seem to mean much in the long run. Silva cuts a lot of weight to get to 185 lbs. and could technically compete at 205 lbs. all the time if he wanted to. That coupled with the fact that James Irvin probably isn’t event top twenty in the light heavyweight class make me skeptical to crown him the undisputed pound for pound king. Had Silva beat someone in the top ten or the top fifteen, then I would be more likely to call him the best pound for pound fighter in the world regardless of what Emelianenko did last night.
The only reason Fedor has fallen so far in people’s minds and rankings is his relative inactivity and lack of quality opponents. Now that Fedor has definitively destroyed one of the UFC’s more dominant former champions in less than a minute, it’s clear that he seems to be back on track to reclaim his crown at the top. If nothing else, he’s clearly vaulted himself back up to the #2 spot on many peoples’ lists.
For now, Anderson Silva remains on top. If he hadn’t fought on last night’s card in a different weight class, I believe a lot of people would be singing a different tune. If Fedor was the only one of the two to have a fight last night and he demolished Sylvia like he did, I think people would be clamoring to put him at the top. Silva’s win last night over Irvin allowed him to tread water at the top. But he has to be looking over his shoulder, as the Last Emperor seems to be on track to take back his throne.