The featherweight king is 13-0 under the Zuffa banner including wins over the likes of Chad Mendes, Chan Sung Jung, Urijah Faber, Cub Swanson, Kenny Florian, and Frankie Edgar. He’s fast, powerful, and has solid stand-up. With a move to 155 pounds likely on the horizon, Aldo could end up in the #1 spot before long depending on the type of success he finds in a division populated with larger competitors. After winning 31 straight fights including eight in the UFC/WEC it’s hard to argue against White’s decision to include Barao in the bunch. The interim bantamweight champ is coming off an impressive finish of Eddie Wineland, blasting the top contender with a spinning kick to the face before sealing the deal with some follow-up fists on the ground. However, while the 26-year old’s striking is among the best out there, he’s arguably a bit better on the ground and has submitted game adversaries like Brad Pickett/Michael McDonald inside the Octagon. If St-Pierre was able to finish foes with consistency he’d undoubtedly hold the top spot on White’s list. Still, despite St-Pierre’s penchant for putting opponents on the mat and keeping them there while attacking en route to a decision, “Rush” has ruled the welterweight division for nearly a decade. He’s also the longest tenured UFC champion, holding the belt for more than five years while racking up wins over opponents including Josh Koscheck, Jon Fitch, B.J. Penn, Jake Shields, Carlos Condit, and Nick Diaz. Silva held the top slot on most pound-for-pound lists for a long time and would still be there today most likely were it not for his stumble against Chris Weidman in July. Regardless, Silva’s knockout loss is the only blemish on the Brazilian’s brilliant run in the Octagon and far from an indictment on his overall ability. “The Spider” had won sixteen straight scraps in the infamous eight-sided cage prior to the defeat, laying claim to two of the company’s most prestigious records along the way (most consecutive wins in the UFC, most consecutive title-defenses). “Bones” could easily be 20-0 had his bout with Matt Hamill been refereed a bit differently. While the disqualification loss he suffered in the scrap may be sketchy, there’s no question surrounding Jones’ status as the top 205er on the roster and arguably the greatest champion the division has ever seen. He’s sliced through Top 10 competition like a samurai sword through butter, is almost impossible to take down, and has the ability to beat an opponent in almost any position. Like the rest of the fighters making White’s cut, Jones is a one-in-a-generation talent with a spot in the Hall of Fame all but guaranteed despite his run in the ring being far from over.
Everyone has their own opinions when it comes to rankings, especially when it comes producing a rundown of the best pound-for-pound pugilists in Mixed Martial Arts. After all, there is no real way to prove P4P status, making the category far more subjective than might be the case when determining the Top 5 of a particular division.
recently offered up his take on the matter, offering up a list filled with some of the sport’s elite athletes albeit not in the order many might expect. (Photos by USA Today Sports Images) UFC President Dana White