Yes, I'm doing it again: A top 10 rankings list of the pound-for-pound best fighters in the world today.
It's a daunting undertaking. After all, what good can come of this? Spirited discussion, I hope, at the very least. That and a better appreciation for the elite fighters in the sport we know and love.
A comprehensive listing of the USA Today/SB Nation consensus rankings can be found here. Comprised of some of the top MMA sites on the Internet, it's a rather informative rankings list of the top seven weight classes in MMA today.
But it doesn't venture into the dreaded "pound-for-pound" waters.
That's what I'll do here. I haven't ventured into these waters since all the way back on May 7 and a whole lot has happened since then. Click here to check out how my list looked five months ago.
Of course, any rankings list is highly subjective and up for debate. You know the drill; don't hold back one bit if you disagree.
In we go.
10. Alistair Overeem
That's right. This is my list and I can do what I want with it, even if that means being a mark for "The Demolition Man." His credentials are solid if unspectacular. Hasn't lost since 2007 and is the current Strikeforce heavyweight champion (hey, that's still good for something). Has he been running through a who's who of the heavyweight division? Admittedly enough, the answer is no, but his accomplishments over the past few years are good enough to get him here. When he beats Brock Lesnar at UFC 141 on Dec. 30, it will only solidify his placement.
9. Rashad Evans
If there's an argument against Evans making the list it's that people just hate his guts. Here's the thing, though -- that line of thinking is stupid. "Suga" Rashad has all the right skills to go along with a brilliant mind for fighting to make up one tough Blackzilian. It is my firm belief that there is no light heavyweight in the UFC right now that he could not beat ... including his arch nemesis and the man that will show up later in this list, Jon Jones.
We're slowly starting to see his name pop up more and more often now that UFC President Dana White has stated his intention of bringing him to the UFC at all cost but Melendez is still somewhat of a forgotten man. He's looked all but unbeatable since 2008 and, much like Georges St. Pierre, has avenged both of his career defeats. The lightweight division is loaded, so we'll know a lot more about exactly how good he is once he finally does jump into the shark tank in the UFC but he looks like he could be at the top of the weight class already.
His body of work is stellar, although short like his stature. He's undefeated in his career, which includes winning the heavyweight championship in spectacular fashion late last year, but he has yet to cross the double digit fight threshold. Yet, he gives off a sort of aura of invincibility. Crisp, technical striking to go along with champion wrestling makes for a complete package that the best of the best will have trouble dealing with. Junior dos Santos will take his crack at UFC on FOX 1 on Nov. 12.
6. Jose Aldo
This man is a bit of an oddity. We know he's a killer, an absolute destroyer of men. Yet, in his first two title defenses inside the Octagon, he's looked distinctly human. Sure, the competition has gone up but and it's nothing less than unfair to ask "Scarface" to murder everyone, all the time. Despite his inability to finish either of his UFC fights, he's inching closer and closer to cleaning out the featherweight division, which is the mark of a truly dominant champion. Next up: Chad Mendes and his relentless wrestling.
Cruz is in a similar position to Aldo right now; he's so damn good it looks pedestrian but he's faced increasingly difficult competition, so his cloak of invincibility looks damaged and fragile. This is simply not the case, though. Each of the men vying for a shot at his bantamweight championship have all already had their chance and are coming back for seconds because they couldn't get it done upon their first helpings. And none of them looked particularly proficient, save for Urijah Faber. If "The California Kid" defeats Brian Bowles at UFC 139 on Nov. 19, a third and final fight between he and Cruz will basically determine who will rule the roost at 135-pounds for now and into the foreseeable future. There's no reason to think that man won't be "The Dominator."
Because of his size, fighting style and personality type, Edgar will likely never get the credit he deserves. Indeed, Dana White has taken it upon himself to start screaming hyperbole just to sell his lightweight champion as the dominant force he actually is. The problem is that it's still not taking. We're talking about a guy who beat B.J. Penn twice ... in a row, the second time more dominant than the first. It's odd, too, because the transfer of power never seemed to take place. Even after two straight wins, many in the mixed martial arts community refused to acknowledge the accomplishment, instead lamenting the fall of "The Prodigy." But, after squashing "The Bully" at UFC 136, the doubts are slowly but surely trickling away. A title defense over Gilbert Melendez might make them disappear altogether.
3. Jon Jones
I don't want to say that I ever doubted Jon Jones and his so obvious otherworldly abilities. But he certainly evokes a sort of cold curiosity. He's an unbelievable physical specimen, as long as he is large, as fast as he is quick. But there have been more than a few times that he's shown every bit of his age, just 24-years-old. While that may seem like an odd factor when considering a fighters aptitude, it certainly plays a huge factor in any martial artists rate of success. Essentially what I'm saying is he's too easily rattled, too quick to get defensive at verbal confrontation. However, as long as he can handle himself as well as he has so far in physical confrontations, he'll be a mainstay on this list for years to come.
There isn't much to say about "GSP" that hasn't already been discussed at great length. He is, quite simply, the greatest welterweight to ever lace up a pair of four-ounce gloves. There are many reasons for this, none more prevalent than his wrestling, which he has adapted to mixed martial arts better than anyone in the history of the fight game. He may not be the best striker nor the best jiu-jitsu player but he's figured out a way to blend each one of his skill sets to make himself into possibly the greatest all-around fighter in the world. His track record speaks for itself, as he's defeated every man he has ever gone up against. There isn't much to add outside of that.
This position was his the last time I made this list and it will remain his until someone takes it from him, which doesn't look likely to happen anytime soon. His credentials are unheard of. This man has won 14 consecutive fights inside the Octagon. Think about that for a second. Silva has never lost a fight in the UFC. What really puts it over the top is not that he's winning; it's how he's winning. The knock against St. Pierre will always be his penchant for choosing the path of least resistance. "The Spider," on the other hand, is steady knocking fools out with front kicks to the face. You're not supposed to be able to pull off feats like that at this high a level. Yet Silva makes it look ordinary. That's usually the mark of true greatness. When a man can make the impossible look downright routine.
That's my list, Maniacs. What's yours?