FiveOuncesOfPain.com has updated its rankings. With three major events held over the weekend (UFN 14, Affliction: Banned, and DREAM.5), there was cause for significant movement in almost every weight class.
Below is our new top-ten pound-for-pound list. And after Anderson Silva’s dominant win in a new weight class, I felt compelled to move him to the top of my list.
After the top-ten list, you will find a summary of changes made to the top-ten rankings in each individual weight class. To see the rankings in their entirety, just click here.
5 Oz. Top 10 Pound-for-Pound:
- Anderson Silva - I’ve been impressed with Anderson Silva before he ever set foot in the UFC. However, I didn’t have him ranked as my top pound-for-pound fighter until now. He’s dominated the middle class and showed at UFC Fight Night 14 that he’s also a threat at light heavyweight as well. He not only beat James Irvin, he did it with one punch in 61 seconds. While his wrestling game might not be the best, aside from Travis Lutter, who has been able to expose it?
- Fedor Emelianenko - Based on pure fighting ability, a case could be made that Fedor belongs at number one. Is there a human being a live that can take him? The complaint against Fedor was that he wasn’t fighting top contenders. Well, he makes a huge jump in the 5 Oz. pound-for-pound rankings because he posted a dominant victory at Affliction: Banned against a top ten heavyweight in Tim Sylvia in just 36 seconds.
- Georges St. Pierre – Due to no fault of his own, he drops. I just couldn’t find a reason to keep him ranked ahead of Fedor and Silva following their outstanding performances. If St. Pierre can up the stakes and defeat Jon Fitch in dominant fashion, it could provide reason to move him back up the rankings.
- B.J. Penn – He is an amazing pure fighter and he’s fighting frequently again and dominating the way he’s supposed to. Wins over Jens Pulver, Joe Stevenson, and Sean Sherk are all considered quality victories. He has the ability and he once again has the credentials.
- Urijah Faber - The complaint that Faber wasn’t beating the top fighters in his class is no longer valid following back-to-back wins over Jeff Curran and Jens Pulver. Pulver took Faber the distance, but that’s more a testament to Pulver’s ability than a knock against Faber. Faber looked great in that fight and showed his striking prowess is beginning to rival his ability on the ground.
- Miguel Torres - Torres is the most underrated fighter in MMA and made a huge jump in my top 10 following his amazing win over Yoshiro Maeda. Torres’ grappling ability is world class but his striking also is world class as well. How do you gameplan for a fighter that is world class in every possible area a fight can go? I don’t think there is anyone at 135 pounds that can touch this guy right now.
- Randy Couture - I had no choice but to move him down. Yes, he’s much better than the seventh-ranked best fighter in the world, but it’s almost been a year since his last fight. The longer he stays away, the harder it becomes to justify a top ten ranking.
- Forrest Griffin - This may seem like an awkward spot for Griffin considering he doesn’t have the dynamic abilities normally reserved for top ten pound-for-pound fighters. He’s not a jiu-jitsu savant; not a world class striker; nor is he an accomplished wrestler. Griffin is simply good at fighting. He is world class when it comes to intangibles; few fighters work harder in the gym and few fighters can absorb the punishment that he absorbs. Critics can snicker at this ranking all they want, but the bottom line is that Griffin is in sole possession of the most prestigious title in all of MMA and that alone should account for something.
- Lyoto Machida - Moving him into the top-ten became a no-brainer after his decisive win over Tito Ortiz at UFC 84. His resume is impressive, as he is undefeated and has wins over top ten fighters in my 185 lbs. and 205 lbs. rankings. From a pure fighting standpoint, Machida’s standup skills are strong and his ground skills are underrated. You may not like his fighting style, but you can’t deny the fact that he is without question one of the top fighters in the world.
- Norifumi “Kid” Yamamoto - As an overall fighter, Yamamoto is amazing. If we did a top ten pound-for-pound best fighters list that only looked at ability and technique, he’d be top ten without question. However, his recent injury is not going to help his stock considering he just recently came back from a long layoff. If someone on the cusp of the P4P top ten makes a strong run, they could debut at Yamamoto’s expense.
— Fedor Emelianenko has supplanted Randy Couture as our number one ranked heavyweight. Couture hasn’t fought in almost a year, while Emelianenko fought this past January and then defeated a strong opponent in impressive fashion this past weekend.
— Couture falls to five due to inactivity.
— Andrei Arlovski moves up to number three. An impressive win against a top ten opponent counts for a lot.
— Josh Barnett is now our fourth ranked heavyweight. No, Pedro Rizzo isn’t top-ten anymore but Barnett has been more active and Rizzo and Jeff Monson are hardly tomato cans.
— Tim Sylvia and Ben Rothwell both drop. I still consider them top-ten caliber, but they have to be penalized in the rankings for their losses.
— Alistair Overeem debuts in the top-ten at nine. Pure fighting ability counts for a lot in my rankings and Overeem has plenty of natural talent. A fighter also needs the credentials to earn a spot in the top-ten and I think being the Strikeforce heavyweight champion and having a recent dominant win over Mark Hunt definitely counts for something.
Light Heavyweight Changes:
— Vladimir Matyushenko falls out of the top-ten. If you aren’t facing top-ten opponents on a regular basis, you need to be active. Matyushenko hasn’t fought since April and with others nipping on his heels behind him, it was time to make a change.
— Antonio Rogerio Nogueira returns to the top-ten at nine. He has the pure fighting ability but inactivity has been his downfall. But he looked great against Edwin Dewees and as long as he’s active, I don’t see how he can’t be viewed as one of the top light heavyweights in the world.
— Shinya Aoki may have lost in the DREAM lightweight GP finals, but his win in the semifinals over Caol Uno counts for something and earns him a spot at three.
— Eddie Alvarez moves up to five. No, he didn’t win the lightweight GP, but he didn’t lose it either. He went undefeated in the GP against top fighters and won this past weekend in the semifinals against a top-ten opponent in Tatsuya Kawajiri. A lot of people aren’t giving Alvarez the credit he deserves.
— Joachim Hansen fell out of the top-ten after losing to Alvarez but moves back in at six following two wins in one night, as well as the DREAM lightweight GP. Kultar Gill is a respectable opponent and a win over Aoki is just huge.
— Tatsuya Kawajiri falls to seven. There’s nothing to be ashamed of in losing to Alvarez, but in order for others to move up, he needs to move down.
— Gilbert Melendez falls out of the top ten because he has two consecutive losses and others ranked behind him have earned the right to move up.
— On second thought, I realized I wasn’t giving Mike Brown the credit he deserved. A win over Jeff Curran, a top-ten caliber opponent, means a lot. Brown is without question one of the best 145 lbs. fighters in the world and belongs at four.
— Antonio Carvalho falls out of the top-ten. He’s a tremendous talent, but it’s hard to keep a guy in the top-ten when he’s lost three out of his last four fights — no matter how good he is.
— Sean Sherk is not ranked in my top ten lightweights because it’s been since October 14, 2006 since he posted an undisputed victory. Yes, he beat Hermes Franca at UFC 73 in July of 2007, but the win is tainted and should have been ruled a no contest since both fighters tested positive for performance enhancers.
— Matt Serra is not ranked in my top ten welterweights because it’s one of the deepest weight classes in the world. And prior to UFC 53, he was almost exclusively a lightweight fighter. As a welterweight, he has just two wins in the last four years. In fact, he has just two total wins in the last four years. A win over Georges St. Pierre earns you a lot of points, but a fighter can’t live off one big win. Now that he’s no longer the UFC welterweight champion, I see no reason to continue ranking Serra in the top-ten until he starts putting up some victories.
Remember, you can view our complete rankings by weight class by clicking here.