The following is a listing of the best pound-for-pound mixed martial arts fighters in the world as of March 2010:
1. Anderson Silva (UFC) – (25-4)
“The Spider” is MMA’s most precise striker and as evidenced in his submission victories over Dan Henderson and Travis Lutter, the Brazilian is also dangerous on the ground. Last year Silva fought twice, a lackluster decision win over Thales Leites and a devastating knockout over former light-heavyweight champion Forrest Griffin. In his first title defense of the year, Silva will meet Demian Maia at UFC 112 in a bout that is being billed as “MMA’s best striker vs. MMA’s best grappler”.
2. Georges St. Pierre (UFC) – (19-2)
St. Pierre is becoming way too much for any welterweight to handle. Since his stunning loss to Matt Serra in 2007, St. Pierre has transformed into an unstoppable machine with absolutely no visible weaknesses in his game. The welterweight champion defended his belt twice in 2009 with overwhelming wins over Penn and Thiago Alves. Prior to those wins he dominated Josh Koscheck, Matt Hughes, Serra, and Fitch. “Rush” will look to continue his supremacy in 2010 as he faces Dan “The Outlaw” Hardy at UFC 111 in Newark, New Jersey.
3. Fedor Emelianenko (Strikeforce) – (31-1, 1 NC)
“The Last Emperor” has reigned over the heavyweight division for nearly a decade. In his Strikeforce debut the big Russian was matched up with the monstrous Brett “The Grim” Rogers on Strikeforce’s first foray onto CBS. Rogers’ power gave Emelianenko some problems early on but “The Last Emperor” was able to connect with a thunderous right hand that put Rogers’ lights out. Now Emelianenko will face Fabricio Werdum in May but one can’t help but ponder how long it will be before we see the WAMMA champ competing in the UFC. After all he is going to run out of legitimate competition in Strikeforce very shortly.
4. B.J Penn (UFC) – (15-5-1)
“The Prodigy” has turned the UFC’s lightweight division into a dead zone. Penn has slashed through his foes like a machete with ruthless intentions. His only recent defeat came at the hands of welterweight champ St. Pierre but in the lightweight division Penn is untouchable. Kenny Florian and Diego Sanchez were thought to be stiff challenges for the Hilo, Hawaii native but Penn brutally disposed of both of them with a relative amount of ease. Penn truly is a Hawaiian nightmare for UFC lightweights and Frankie Edgar may be the next to experience this firsthand at UFC 112 in Abu Dhabi.
5. Lyoto Machida (UFC) – (16-0)
An effective Shotokan karate base mixed in with a well-rounded MMA arsenal has led “The Dragon” to the UFC light-heavyweight championship. However, some dispute whether the belt truly belongs to Machida or not. In his first title defense he squared off with PRIDE sensation Mauricio “Shogun” Rua and many believe “Shogun” won the fight. The decision was very controversial and scored unanimously for Machida. The rematch is now set for UFC 113 in Montreal and for Machida’s sake he must win this fight convincingly if he wants to be known as the greatest fighter in the 205-lbs division.
6. Jose Aldo (WEC) – (16-1)
The WEC featherweight champion is on a nine fight win-streak and does not appear to be slowing down anytime soon. In November, Aldo destroyed Mike Brown to claim the featherweight crown with a vicious second round stoppage. Now Aldo will meet former champion Urijah Faber in the main event of the WEC’s first Pay-Per-View at WEC 48 in Faber’s backyard of Sacramento, California.
7. Brock Lesnar (UFC) – (4-1)
The UFC heavyweight champion is certainly a polarizing figure in the sport of MMA. But whether you love him or hate him you cannot deny Lesnar’s rapid progression. Since coming up short in his UFC debut to Frank Mir two years ago, Lesnar has imposed his will on every opponent that has dared to step into the Octagon with him. After what was thought to be a career ending illness, Lesnar has announced a full recovery and is slated to fight at UFC 116 in July; his opponent is yet to be determined.
8. Jon Fitch (UFC) – (21-3)
The former Purdue wrestling team captain is not exactly the most aesthetically pleasing fighter to watch but more often than not he gets the job done. His only loss in the Octagon was to the division’s champion, Georges St. Pierre and even in that fight he showed tremendous resiliency by constantly moving forward like a modern-day terminator. Since then Fitch has grinded out decisions over Akihiro Gono, Paulo Thiago and Mike Pierce. If he is victorious over Thiago Alves (whom he has defeated previously at UFC Fight Night 5) at UFC 111 then fans can expect to see Fitch competing for the title again in his next fight.
9. Shinya Aoki (DREAM/Strikeforce) – (23-4)
This grappling wizard is in all probability the best lightweight that is not currently under contract with the UFC. Aoki has visible holes in his striking ability but his ground game more than makes up for it. The DREAM lightweight champion will look to make a huge name for himself in the States as he meets Strikeforce champion Gilbert Melendez in April on CBS in what will be his first fight in North America.
10. Dominick Cruz (WEC) – (15-1)
The only blemish on Cruz’ record is a loss at featherweight to former champion Urijah Faber. Since dropping down to the 135-lbs division, Cruz has handled everyone thrown his way including victories over Joseph Benavidez and Brian Bowles. His win over Bowles earned Cruz the coveted WEC bantamweight championship and a spot among the top ten fighters in the sport today.
Tags: anderson silva, B.J. Penn, Brock Lesnar, Dominick Cruz, Fedor Emelianenko, Georges St. Pierre, jon fitch, Jose Aldo, Lyoto Machida, Mixed Martial Arts, MMA Rankings, Shinya Aoki