Quick: Name the top five pound-for-pound fighters in the world. GO!
But did any of you come up with Jake Shields?
While it's possible, it's probably unlikely, if, for no other reason, than the manner in which the former Strikeforce champion performed in his last bout. He won, sure, but he didn't look like a pound-for-pound great in the process.
That isn't stopping him, however, from throwing his name in the hat for one of the top-five fighters on the planet.
"Pound for Pound rankings are so difficult to do because it's so subjective," Shields told Luke Thomas of SBNation MMA. "But I've done quite a bit going up and down between two different weights. That seems to make a difference so I'd probably put myself in the top five but again, those things are tough to do cause they're so subjective."
Every rankings system is inherently flawed due to the subjective nature of the entire construct. Opinions are not facts and each individual viewing a fight will see it differently.
However, statistics are stone cold and there's no arguing with Shields incredible resume. He hasn't lost a fight since 2004 and, despite bouncing around in weight, has found success in the form of multiple world titles.
The only championship that has eluded him to date is a UFC belt ... the same strap he's going after on April 30 in Toronto at UFC 129 when he takes on Georges St. Pierre.
Would a victory cement him in that top-five? Possibly.
But can he actually dethrone the 170-pound king? He thinks so.
"He doesn't have a lot of weaknesses but I have a lot of strengths too and I just plan on bringing the pressure to him and taking him out and submitting him. He's never faced a real top Jiu Jitsu guy and I plan on showing people that he does have weaknesses."
We shall see.