The following is a listing of the best pound-for-pound mixed martial arts fighters in the world as of January 2010:
1) Fedor Emelianenko (Strikeforce) – (31 – 1, 1 NC)
The man. The myth. The legend. After roughly a decade in the fight game “The Last Emperor” still reigns supreme. Had it not been for a controversial stoppage due to a cut early in his career his record would still remain unblemished. He has simply done it better and longer than anyone else on the list.
2) Anderson Silva (UFC) – (25 – 4)
After what many called lackluster performances against Patrick Cote and Thales Leites he reminded everyone why he is still the most dangerous striker in the world with a thorough dismantling of Forrest Griffin at UFC 101. He still has yet to lose a fight in the UFC.
3) Georges St. Pierre (UFC) – (19 – 2)
“Rush” has been making it look easy for some time now in one of the deepest divisions in the UFC. He now has three consecutive welterweight title defenses under his belt and will be looking to make it an even four when he takes on British striker Dan Hardy at UFC 111 on March 27.
4) BJ Penn (UFC) – (15 – 5 – 1)
Penn is considered by many to be the top lightweight fighter in the history of the sport. After back-to-back victories over top contenders Kenny Florian and Diego Sanchez this veteran continues to impose his dominance time in and time out. He has not lost at 155-pounds since November 2001.
5) Lyoto Machida (UFC) – (16 – 0)
The undefeated Machida is coming off an unimpressive and controversial unanimous decision victory over a very game Mauricio “Shogun” Rua at UFC 104 in what was undoubtedly his toughest fight in his UFC career. This karate specialist, known to many simply as “The Dragon,” should be better prepared for the rematch that is likely to take place sometime during the first half of 2010.
6) Jose Aldo (WEC) – (16 – 1)
Aldo is coming off the biggest win of his career defeating long time WEC featherweight champion Mike Brown in dominant fashion to become the new title holder. He is (6 – 0) since joining the WEC and has won all of his fights by knockout. At the ripe old age of 23 he is fast becoming one of the best all-around fighters in the world.
7) Gegard Mousasi (Strikeforce/DREAM) – (28 – 2 – 1)
This Fedor Emelianenko disciple is a superstar in the making. After storming on the scene and winning the 2008 DREAM middleweight tournament he made a seamless transition to the United States and the Strikeforce light heavyweight division, capturing the 205-pound title in his debut. What is scary is that he has yet to reach his full potential at the age of 26.
8) Shinya Aoki (DREAM) – (23 – 4, 1 NC)
Aoki is arguably the best 155-pound fighter in the world not named BJ Penn. After conquering his Japanese homeland this submission specialist is currently flirting with the idea of coming to the United States to take on current Strikeforce lightweight champion Gilbert Melendez in a potential unification bout.
9) Jon Fitch (UFC) – (21 – 3, 1 NC)
Fitch’s handy work is not always pretty, but it is certainly effective. He is one of just four fighters ever who have won eight or more consecutive fights in the UFC along with Anderson Silva, Royce Gracie, and Lyoto Machida. Overall, he has won eleven of his twelve fights in the UFC losing only to Georges St. Pierre at UFC 87.
10) Jake Shields (Strikeforce) – (24 – 4 – 1)
This former EliteXC welterweight champion, and natural welterweight, recently added another belt to his collection defeating Jason “Mayhem” Miller to win the vacant Strikeforce middleweight championship. Look for him to return to the cage for his first title defense against the newly acquired free agent Dan Henderson.
Others considered (in no particular order):
Brock Lesnar (UFC), Dan Henderson (Strikeforce), Mauricio Rua (UFC),
Thiago Alves (UFC), Brian Bowles (WEC), Eddie Alvarez (Bellator/DREAM)
Mike Brown (WEC), Rashad Evans (UFC), Miguel Torres (WEC)
Tags: anderson silva, B.J. Penn, Bellator, Brian Bowles, Brock Lesnar, dan henderson, DREAM, Eddie Alvarez, Fedor Emelianenko, Gegard Mousasi, Georges St. Pierre, Jake Shields, jon fitch, Jose Aldo, Lyoto Machida, Mauricio "Shogun" Rua, miguel torres, Mixed Martial Arts, MMA, MMA Rankings, Rashad Evans, Shinya Aoki, Strikeforce, Thiago Alves, UFC