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Tag: pound-for-pound

Jumping the Gun Alert: Dana White Says Renan Barao Will Become “Pound-for-Pound Best” With Win Over Faber

(White, seen here wearing the pound-for-pound best t-shirt from the pound-for-pound best Rocky film of all time. Pound-for-pound.)

I know, I know, we already agreed to stop letting this man do our thinking for us, but check this out.

During the Fight Night 35 post-fight media scrum, the topic of discussion quickly shifted from the event itself and to the recently booked bantamweight title fight between Renan Barao and Urijah Faber. Specifically, Dana White was asked what would be next for both fighters should Barao come out victorious (again). White’s response:

If Barao goes out and stops Faber, he’s probably the best pound-for-pound fighter in the world.

Well that was fast.

Barao, who is currently ranked #6 pound-for-pound on the UFC’s much-maligned rankings system, will catapult himself past the likes of Chris Weidman, Jon Jones, and Cain Velasquez should he defeat a guy he’s already beaten before. In what will officially be considered his first title win at 135 lbs. That’s the takeaway here.


Open Discussion: A Time of Chaos in the Land of Pound-for-Pound Rankings

(Gentlemen, please…you’re *both* wrong.)

The last time I put serious effort into crafting an MMA pound-for-pound list, Anderson Silva had just Jedi’d the shit out of Forrest Griffin at UFC 101, Georges St. Pierre was fresh off his domination of Thiago Alves — on a torn groin, no less — and Fedor Emelianenko had once again proven his invincibility earlier that year, knocking Andrei Arlovski out of mid-air at Day of Reckoning. Unable to rank one fighter over the other with anything close to objectivity, I wrote the following: "Whoever has the most recent awe-inspiring, damn-near-inhuman performance gets to be #1."

A lot has changed since then. In 2010, so far: BJ Penn lost his first match at lightweight in over eight years. Anderson Silva proved that he has no desire to finish fights at his natural weight class. GSP couldn’t put away Dan Hardy in five rounds on a healthy groin. Fedor Emelianenko hasn’t competed at all. Miguel Torres lost his second fight in a row. Lyoto Machida has been sidelined, still waiting for the rematch of a fight he probably should have lost on the scorecards, which effectively put a halt to his "Machida Era" hype.

Yes, I’ll update the very dusty CagePotato Power Rankings soon, you have my word. But coming up with a new set of P4P rankings is a hairy proposition, considering that all of the usual suspects haven’t had any awe-inspiring, damn-near-inhuman performances in a long time.


CagePotato Power Rankings Updated

Gegard Mousasi MMA Strikeforce
(How do you say "Don’t be scared, homey" in Armenian? Photo courtesy of Sherdog.)

Following recent action in the UFC, Strikeforce, and Sengoku, we’ve updated the lightweight, welterweight, light-heavyweight, heavyweight, and pound-for-pound lists in our Power Rankings section. First, a word about the P4P top ten

Can we all agree that Anderson Silva, Fedor Emelianenko, and Georges St. Pierre are the three best fighters in the world right now, and any attempt to rank them is completely subjective, and therefore meaningless? Instead of creating a three-way tie at the top (which I briefly considered), we’re going to do it like this until further notice: Whoever has the most recent awe-inspiring, damn-near-inhuman performance gets to be #1.


CagePotato Power Rankings Updated

Georges St. Pierre UFC MMA
(Photo courtesy of

In the wake of UFC 100 — and UFC 99, the TUF 9 finale, the Bellator finals, and the last Strikeforce show — we’ve updated the heavyweight, light-heavyweight, middleweight, welterweight, lightweight, and pound-for-pound lists in our Power Rankings section. Some notable changes:

— Due to recent accomplishments, Georges St. Pierre supplants Fedor Emelianenko as the #1 pound-for-pound fighter in the world. Over the last two years, GSP has taken out Josh Koscheck, Matt Hughes, Matt Serra, Jon Fitch, BJ Penn, and Thiago Alves. In the same time frame, Fedor has beaten Matt Lindland (middleweight), Hong Man Choi (freak), Tim Sylvia (fat slob), and Andrei Arlovski (glass chin).

Urijah Faber and Thiago Alves fall out of the P4P top ten, while Jake Shields and Dan Henderson come in. I’d still give the #11 spot to Faber, with Gegard Mousasi directly behind him.

Diego Sanchez, Rich Franklin, Hector Lombard, Yoshihiro Akiyama, and Nick Diaz enter the rankings, either for the first time or in new weight-classes. You’re welcome, guys.

Give ‘em a look and let us know what you think.


P4P In-Depth: MMA’s Top Ten Greatest Fighters

Fedor Emelianenko Andrei Arlovski MMA Affliction Day of Reckoning
(When in doubt, knock him out: Fedor Emelianenko proved his status as the best in the world with his KO of Andrei Arlovski at Affliction’s "Day of Reckoning" event last month.

Ah, the pound-for-pound list — one of the most infuriating traditions in MMA punditry. Our sport has a wealth of dominant champions and brilliant contenders, but who would win an epic, all-inclusive grand prix, if every fighter (somehow, theoretically) were the same size? To put it as simply as possible, who is the most talented mixed martial artist in the world? And by what combination of win streaks, titles, victories over top-ranked opponents, and ability to finish fights does one measure "talent"? All good questions, dear reader. The list below is our effort to define MMA’s absolute top ten list, as things stand now in February 2009. Read on, and let us know how you feel in the comments section…


1: Fedor Emelianenko (29-1, 1 no contest)
Some might argue that naming a heavyweight as the best pound-for-pound fighter in the world sort of misses the point of the exercise. But at an even six feet tall (and a somewhat doughy 230 pounds), Emelianenko has never relied on size to win fights, and has beaten considerably larger opponents his entire career. Between his devastating punches and virtually undefendable armlocks, the Last Emperor can end a fight anywhere, at any time. And since the only loss on his record was due to a technicality — a cut stoppage due to an illegal elbow 17 seconds into a fight against Tsuyoshi Kohsaka, which he later avenged — Fedor has developed an aura of invincibility that has psyched out opponents before they even step into the ring with him.

But hey, maybe he really is invincible. Even when a fighter manages to briefly put Emelianenko in a bad spot (see esp. Kazuyuki Fujita in 2003, Mark Coleman in 2004, Andrei Arlovski in 2009), his tremendous instincts always rescue him from danger; Fedor on auto-pilot is better than most fighters on their best night. If he can put away a couple more top-ten heavyweights before he retires (while avoiding losses), his status as the greatest fighter of all time will be non-debatable.

2: Georges St. Pierre (18-2)
Georges St. Pierre MMA UFC
GSP’s demolition of BJ Penn at UFC 94 proved that when two extremely talented fighters face off, the big guy will usually beat the shit out of the little guy. That’s just reality — and it’s why we create pound-for-pound rankings in the first place. But the size and strength advantages that St. Pierre enjoyed in his most recent welterweight title defense shouldn’t take away from his inspiring performance. Easily one of the most athletic mixed martial artists in the world, GSP is also one of the most cerebral; his win over Penn was largely the result of a meticulous game-plan executed perfectly. Though we believe he’ll rule the UFC’s welterweight division for a long time, St. Pierre’s April 2007 upset loss to Matt Serra raised some questions about his chin and mental fortitude. With a little luck — and some more of his unstoppable wrestling — St. Pierre will continue to answer those questions in 2009.
Why he’s below Fedor: It’s possible that GSP is merely human. If he can have a bad day against Matt Serra, he can certainly have another one against an even better fighter in the future.


Matt Hughes Drops Some Logic

As we told you earlier this week, Matt Hughes was not at all impressed with Georges St. Pierre at UFC 87. His blog post about how boring he found the GSP-Fitch fight seemed laced with no small amount of jealousy. That’s somewhat understandable. A guy beats your ass twice, you may have some ill feelings towards him. But now Hughes is trying to claim that after GSP’s fight with Fitch (which Hughes walked out of halfway through) he does not deserve to be mentioned in the pound-for-pound debate. Has anyone told Hughes yet that GSP actually won that fight?

The hilarious thing is that Hughes also says B.J. Penn deserves to be considered among the best pound-for-pound. As in, the same B.J. Penn who Hughes (and GSP) beat. But GSP, who beat Hughes twice, convincingly, gets knocked out of the running for beating a guy who is ranked above Hughes in just about every welterweight top ten list in existence. You following this?

If only Hughes could bring himself to admit that, while he is a legend of the sport who was great in his time, that time is now over and St. Pierre is on top. Is that so hard? Probably, yeah. Especially for a guy like Hughes, whose stubborn unwillingness to believe that anyone could possibly be better than him has served him well in the past. Still, he’s got to let it go. Watching a former champ snipe at the guy who supplanted him is just sad. If Hughes really thought that GSP wasn’t any good, you know what he’d probably do? Beat him. I guess when that’s out of the question you settle for insults.

(Props: Yahoo’s Steve Cofield)


CagePotato Power Rankings Updated

Miguel Torres WEC MMA
(Miguel Torres: The snub is over. Photo courtesy of MMA Weekly.)

In light of the recent DREAM and EliteXC shows, we tidied up the middleweight, welterweight, lightweight, and pound-for-pound lists on our Power Rankings page. Some things to keep in mind…

— Partly because we don’t have a bantamweight rankings page (yet?), I’d simply forgotten to include Miguel Torres on the pound-for-pound list. That insult stops today.
— Deep down, I believe that Fedor Emelianenko is the best fighter on Earth. But based on recent activity, I have to keep Anderson Silva as the pound-for-pound #1. If Fedor can smash another top-ten heavyweight this year, he’ll move into the top spot. Then again, if Silva can smash a top-ten light-heavyweight by the end of the year, he’ll comfortably stay where he is.
— Matt Lindland becomes the first fighter to leave the rankings after winning a fight. In my opinion, anybody who still thinks he’s a top-ten middleweight is living in the past. It’s been about six years since he’s beaten anybody even close to the top ten, and his less-than-thrilling decision win against the under-experienced Fabio Negao at Affliction: Banned suggests that he’d get smoked against anyone in the top 15. Just my $0.02.

Anyway, head on over and leave some comments on the individual weight class pages to let us know how you feel. And make sure to re-check ‘em in about ten days, as UFC 87 may have some serious impact on the 155- and 170-pound lists. Good day to you.



CagePotato Power Rankings Updated!

(They…can’t…touch…him. Photo credit: MMAWeekly)

In the wake of UFC 82, Cage Rage 25, WEC 32, Sengoku 1 and DREAM 1, we’ve put together a long-overdue update to our Power Rankings page. Check it out, and be sure to click on each individual weight division to read our comments and leave your own. Some notable developments since last time:

— Yes, Anderson Silva is the best fighter in the world right now.
— Our middleweight list underwent a complete deck-reshuffling, with Henderson, Lawler, and Lindland sinking in the rankings due to losses, injuries, and inactivity.
— Masakazu Imanari’s recent performance (and title grab) at Cage Rage moves him up to the third-ranked featherweight in the world, after Urijah and “Kid.”
— The top half of the heavyweight rankings list remains in stalemate, and there were virtually no changes to the light-heavyweight top ten; expect chaos to ensue beginning in May.
— Sokoudjou is off our light-heavy list. We just couldn’t justify including a guy with only six pro fights, two of which he actually lost.
— We’ve included a two-person tie for the first time, at the #10 slot of the welterweight list. The decision was too difficult to make; let us know how you feel.