Pound for Pound King – GSP
Total Pro Sports – In the sport of MMA, there is an ongoing debate as to who the worlds “best” fighter is. This seems to be a very subjective question because there are many different weight classes, with many different fighting styles. Pound for pound is a way to describe a fighter’s value without the need for weight classes. But weight classes govern the amount of muscle and sheer size of a fighter.
Some fighter’s skills don’t translate well in other weight classes. Some people interpret the definition of “pound for pound” champ as the fighter whose skills would be the best regardless of weight-class. Because this would entail cloning fighters at bigger sizes then they are as of now, this method is not valid. In my opinion the best way to rank fighters pound for pound is to simply see who they have beaten. A pound for pound king needs to dispatch of those fighters in his weight-class, that are widely considered as the divisions best.
With this in mind my pound for pound top 3 is as follows:
1. George St. Pierre
2. Fedor Emelianenko
3. Anderson Silva
Many fans will have a problem with this ranking, as much of the MMA world is transfixed with Fedor and Anderson Silva. Much of this is led by hype trains from the UFC(for Silva) and Affliction(for Fedor). Fedor, clearly the best heavyweight in the world, receives much attention as the pound for pound champ for having a near perfect record, his only loss coming the way of a cut. While I agree with his supremacy as a heavyweight fighter, I am not willing to crown him the pound for pound champ.
If you take a deeper look into all 3 fighters records, you’ll see the logic behind my ranking. Since his debut in the UFC, GSP has notable wins over Karo Parisyan, Jason Miller, Frank Trigg, Sean Sherk, BJ Penn, Matt Hughes(x2), Josh Koshchek, Matt Serra, and Jon Fitch. That is a total of 10 wins on his record against opponents widely considered to be in the top 10 of the welterweight division at the time of their fights. In the cases of Trigg, Sherk, Penn, Hughes, and Fitch, GSP was matched against a clear number 1 contender to the title, or was fighting for the title itself. Some will point to the fact that GSP holds losses against Matt Serra and Matt Hughes. In the Case of Hughes, GSP has dominanted him on two seperate occasions since their first fight, and has proven that he is the new age of fighter. In Matt Serra you have a fighter that knocked out GSP coming off a TV show. GSP has shown this fight is behind him, and looks rejuvenated since his loss to Serra, and has since demolished him in a rematch.
Fedor boasts notable wins over Heath Herring, Antonio Rodrigo Nogueira(x2), Kevin Randleman, Mirko Crocop, Tim Sylvia, and Andrei Arlovski. Once you remove all the freak fights against giants that were staged in PRIDE, you begin to see that Fedor’s record, although perfect, leaves many questions up in the air. How would Fedor fare against Josh Barnety, Randy Couture or Brock Lesnar?
This leaves Anderson Silva. (Yes, we know Dana White, Anderson Silva is the pound for pound king who will never be beaten.) I beg to differ. Although Silva possess some of the best striking in MMA, and has a slick ground game to boot, I feel he really hasn’t been tested. Merit should be given for the way that he has walked through all of his opponents in the UFC, but i think this lends itself to favorable matchmaking heavily. Since his UFC debut, Silva holds notable wins over Rich Franklin(x2), Nate Marquardt, and Dan Henderson. That’s a total of THREE wins over top 10 middleweights. In Silva’s defence many of the worlds best middleweights do not call the UFC home. But for the sake of this argument, this is why he is 3rd on this list.
So in conclusion, the landscape of MMA makes it impossible to “truly” see who the pound for pound best is simple because of logistics. Therefore, I feel the secondary means of ranking is strictly through wins and losses. Could GSP beat Anderson Silva at middleweight? Could Anderson Silva beat GSP at middleweight? All intriguing questions that will forever be open to discussion, but the fact remains that the judging of a fighter’s greatness can only be based on actual, tangible, accomplishments.