Pound for Pound MMA Fighter Rankings

By
Updated: February 16, 2009

Thanks for voting, the top three spots were decided by the reader poll from the site.  It seems like Fedor Emelianenko is the clear winner.  George St. Pierre and Anderson Silva round out the top three.  Only a few votes are separating GSP and Anderson Silva.

Unless there is a big change in the poll, this is what the readers voted for and what will represent the site.

fedor pimps white

Cage Today Pound 4 Pound Rankings (no limit)

  1. Fedor Emelianenko
  2. Georges St. Pierre
  3. Anderson Silva
  4. BJ Penn
  5. Miguel Torres
  6. Urijah Faber
  7. Lyoto Machida
  8. Rashad Evans
  9. Quinton Jackson
  10. Thiago Alves

37 Comments

  1. Alex

    February 16, 2009 at 8:28 am

    I think it should be

    GSP

    Anderson

    Fedor

  2. Fedor's gay

    February 16, 2009 at 10:25 am

    This is dumb…..Based on skill and not popularity –

    1)Anderson Silva – nobody even close to his skill

    2)GSP – Genetic freak

    3)BJ Penn – Dominant at Lightweight even with loss to GSP

    4 and 5) Cross between Lyoto and Rashad – Both have beat everyone put in front of them in the UFC

    5)Fedor – based on record alone….Only fights top ranked competition every once and a while…he would eventually get beat in the UFC…..not saying he wouldn't be good and even be champ but he would have to repeatedly fight top ranked competition and he would eventually lose.

  3. tom

    February 16, 2009 at 10:42 am

    alves wishes he was 10 in the world

  4. Ryan S

    February 16, 2009 at 11:56 am

    Alves is tearing up the welter wieghts, but yeah, I think it may be a little early to put him on this list.

  5. David

    February 16, 2009 at 12:20 pm

    mmamania.com is reporting that Fedor is gonna talk to Dana White for a possible superfight with Brock Lesnar after Fedor fights in his 3rd affliction card and if Brock can pull the W against Mir.

    But then again, we've all been here before but can't say you arent even a lil excited even if it's just a rumor

  6. Kash

    February 16, 2009 at 1:13 pm

    I'm not putting it past Brock to improve a whole lot technicall before the years out. But if he doesn't then Fedor is going to hand him a loss.

  7. Kash

    February 16, 2009 at 1:14 pm

    I say take Alves out of the top 10 because he pretty recently got busted for a banned substance and he didn't even officially make weight when he fought Hughes, so you have to dock him points for that.

  8. brs

    February 16, 2009 at 2:05 pm

    Pound for pound is based on how well you do against larger opponents, period. If you base it on how well you do against opponents of the same size, it's called weight classes. They already have those! GSP has never faced a larger stronger opponent. In fact It took him 3 rounds to beat a smaller Penn! Which means a 155 GSP would lose to a 155 Penn. His last fight actually moves him further from the top of the list. Putting Rampage in this list is just the worst, though!! The man walks around at 230, which is Fedor's weight. Until Quinton fights someone who is as big and strong as him he has no place on this list. He consistantly fights weaker, smaller opponents. Wanderlei should be on this list, he competed in the Pride open weight tournament and is the only person to KO Iron Head Fujita! Dan Henderon is another, but the king has to be Fedor. By UfC standards he would be a normal sized light-heavyweight. Don't even think of submitting Brock lessnar, until he fights a silverback, or a polar bear. Of course a skilled 300lb. man can beat a skilled 220lb. man. I didn't hesitate a second picking Brock over Couture. This seems more like a popularity contest! No mention of Shogun, another small light heavy. No mention of Henderson or the Axe Murderer! You might as well just put the champions of each weight class as the best p4p. The bottom line is you can't speculate how well a 230lb. GSP would do. You have to rate them on past performances and future intentions.

  9. dane drebin

    February 16, 2009 at 2:26 pm

    brs- chuck and especially forest walk around a lot heavier than rampage does. even jardien will have somewhat of a size advantage against rampage. and when Fitch faught Gsp to me he looked like the bigger man.

  10. Kash

    February 16, 2009 at 2:57 pm

    Thats a draw back of weight cutting. Some guys can do 20 lbs and others 10 or none at all. If you can't beat the bigger guys you need to drop.

    The reason why champions are on everyones p4p list is because they don't just win but they win top talent consistently. Wandi doesn't deserve to be on that list yet, Hendo probably should. I'm all for replacing Alves with Hendo.

  11. danny g

    February 16, 2009 at 2:59 pm

    fuck all the fedor-haters and ufc's nuthugers!!!!!!!

  12. Fedor's gay

    February 16, 2009 at 3:36 pm

    Fuck affliction and all the fedor nuthugers. Whats wrong with an organization that wants to have all the top ranked guys. UFC puts dream matches up. Way better fights than Affliction….I dont see whats wrong with the UFC

  13. Just another MMA dud

    February 16, 2009 at 10:41 pm

    Perfect point, BRS. It does look more like a popularity contest. And for the record, I am a fan of all of those fights…well maybe not Rashad because he's a tool! Fedor, Anderson, BJ, and Rashad are the only ones who should be on that list. Keep in mind, though, that this is a readers poll and has no basis in reality other than spelling the fighters names right.

  14. STEVEO

    February 17, 2009 at 2:52 am

    oh god i dont know what i would do without a new pound for pound top ten list every twenty seconds. Who cares most of these guys will never fight… or at least again. Can we talk about something that may actually matter

  15. DanP

    February 17, 2009 at 7:04 am

    I tend to agree with STEVEO…. But, if Fedor came to the UFC it could be possible to see Anderson Silva v Fedor at 205… to me this is really interesting Match up.. more interesting than Fedor fighting Lesnar – Fedor is too small for the UFC HW Division… and there are better match ups at 205! Rampage/Chuck/Rashad/Machida/Griffin etc…

    For what it's worth Fedor is the P4P no 1 n my book

  16. brs

    February 17, 2009 at 10:52 am

    Dane, no light heavy weights walk around a LOT heavier than 230. Chuck weighs about the same as Rampage and carries 10+lbs. of belly fat alone. As for Forrest, yes he is taller and has a longer frame but is nowhere near as strong as rampage! Did you see UFC 86? At no point did Forrest overpower or even try to overpower Quinton. In fact his whole gameplan was to move away and attack at angles. He even said himself, Rampage hits MUCH harder than I do. Did you see Rampage's fight with Kevin Randleman? The Monster couldn't even take rampage down, and lost via 1st round TKO. Rampage is fortunate in being the perfect size for the LH division. Keep in mind I'm not bashing him, or any of them. In fact I picked Quinton to beat Chuck, and most recently Wanderlei. I also picked Griffin to beat Rampage! Only because I knew Rampage didn't take Forrest seriously, and came in, in the worst shape I have ever seen him in! Kash- How can you say Wanderlei isn't ready YET. The Axe murderer stood alone on Pride's Middleweight throne for SIX years! He replaced an injured Fedor in the open weight tournament, beating Fujita and suffering a brutal KO loss to Cro Cop. Take in mind that is the second time Wanderlei fought Mirko. He has brutally KO'd Jackson twice, and it took him all of 34 or 36 seconds to beat Jardine. He has lost 4 out of his last 5 fights and all of these losses were against champions or former champions. Cro Cop, Henderson, Liddell, and Rampage! What other LH, has even faced this kind of competition, let alone back to back to back. Wanderlei is an animal and always fights the best competition regardless of size. Also keep in mind his KO loss to quinton was from a counter punch. He was bringing it to a retreating Jackson, and yes it was a lucky punch. He had just finished covering and his eyes were closed and he threw a homerun punch. Rampage is a great counter puncher yes, and I'm a big fan of his. He will get the title back, and he can be the champ for as long as he wants. But just like his fight with Eastman, when he can't find a counter it will be a boring fight! I like Wanderlei because he would attack an ape just for the fight of it!!!

  17. dane drebin

    February 17, 2009 at 11:09 am

    brs u are confusing size with strength. yes rampage may be stronger than forest and chuck but he is not bigger. look at their stare downs at the weigh ins to those fights he is much smaller. nobody can deny how powerful rampage is just look at his slam of arona but saying " At no point did Forrest overpower or even try to overpower Quinton." is a really dumb thing to say. ya thats why forest manhandled rampage on the mat for the entire 2nd round so badly that he got a 10-8. forest isnt just lengthy he is thick too and is prolly one of if not the biggest 205'ers there is in the ufc.

  18. brs

    February 17, 2009 at 1:11 pm

    Dane- We both know that rampage was hurt by the leg kicks. Yes forest has the largest frame. You are confusing skeletal mass with usable strength and size. Rampage's neck, arms, shoulders, chest, legs and body have more muscle mass. But Forrest and Chuck would win in a tall contest!

  19. dane drebin

    February 17, 2009 at 5:29 pm

    ya ur right brs griffin must have super thick bones and rampage must have thin bones with huge muscles. how could anyone even know that? lol

    the fact is that forrest is naturaly bigger than rampage. ya hes taller but he's not skin and bones bro he is a thick dude himself. matt serras arms are bigger around than GSP's it doesnt mean he is bigger by any means. Griffin has a way bigger frame than quinton. and ya he overpowered rampage to a 10-8 second round with devastating leg kicks with his huge legs that are part of his huge body. just cuz forest cant hit as hard as rampage doesnt make him smaller. i bet you rampage cant kick nearly as hard as forest. Crocop is way smaller than bob sapp but he hits a lot harder.

  20. brs

    February 17, 2009 at 7:07 pm

    Dane- Okay now you're just being silly. You're obviously an intelligent person, maybe I didn't explain it properly. Chuck and Forest are naturally a little bigger. If the fights were at heavyweight then we could see how much. What I'm saying is the fights are at 205. And at 205, because of a smaller frame, Rampage carries more muscle into the fight. At 205 he will never face a bigger(muscle wise) fighter. The closest would have to be Eastman or Randleman( both were too muscle bound though). When Forrest and Rampage were doing the Ultimate fighter, Rampage was quoted as saying he weighed 235. If Forrest walks around at 280! he still has to make 205, and as I said, at 205 he still carries less muscle. As far as the Biggest Light Heavyweight, that would go to Alistair Overeem. He is 6'5'' and now fights at 240 because cutting to 205 takes too much out of bigger fighters. Thats why he got tired so quickly in Pride. I'm a Griffin fan as well, but at 205 he will always be lanky and cumbersome. If he moved to heavyweight he would make a great 250lb fighter, though! He simply can't add muscle mass with that frame and make 205.

  21. dane drebin

    February 17, 2009 at 8:06 pm

    i agree with you that rampage is stronger for sure and has a lot more muscles. the only reason i even said anything is u said he shouldnt be on the pound for pound list because he consistently fights weaker and smaller opponents. i just disagree its no bigee. i dont think the people he has faught lately are much smaller than him. the point im trying to get across is some people are naturally bigger than others like some people who dont work out at all and are a lean 180 and then there are people who bulk up to become 180. the person who is a natural 180 is the bigger person in my view because he has the ability to always be bigger if he wanted. Alls im saying is im pretty sure forrest and chuck both on fight day WEIGHED MORE and were Taller than rampage. if that's not bigger then what the hell is? There for rampage does not continuously fight smaller fighters. maybe he fights fighters who arent as physically chiseled but thats not his fault. i think pound for pound lists are retarded tho aswell. they mean nothing.

  22. bo

    February 17, 2009 at 8:26 pm

    great stuff luke

  23. steve

    February 17, 2009 at 10:20 pm

    Why argue about whos bigger? It doesnt matter lol. They are built in diffrent ways. Rampage weighs that much because of muscle and Forrest is just naturally that big. Forrest cuts a lot of weight to get to 205 and Rampage can fight at 185. And Dane the only reason Forrest controlled Rampage on the ground was b/c rampage was still fucked up from the leg kicks that damn near cut him down like a tree. he was resting it that round.

  24. Ryan S

    February 18, 2009 at 10:54 am

    A taller frame means longer and possibly thicker bones. The longer and/or thicker they are, the more they weigh. I wouldn't base it off any of that though like Steve said.

  25. Ryan S

    February 18, 2009 at 10:55 am

    At the same time, I am positive Griffin doesn't have as much muscle mass and functional strength as Rampage.

  26. brs

    February 18, 2009 at 2:49 pm

    Dane- As for the Jardine fight, Rampage is a great counter puncher, and he will be the stronger man. If Jardine can keep away and land form the outside he could win a decision. Most likely Rampage will finish him in 2, though. All I was saying is Rampage is tailor-made for 205. He is in the top 5 hardest hitters, and top 5, if not no.1, best chins in the division. He has a head like an Ape, with an enormous jaw. He is very difficult to hurt. Since moving to the UFC, he has become even more difficult to hit. He never keeps his hands low like Chuck does. My favorite fighter is still Wanderlei, but I have so much respect for Rampage. He is the first and only person to unify the light heavyweight divison. He should have been given a rematch immediately with Griffin. You must decisively beat the champion to take his crown. Forrest clearly won 2 rounds, but in the other 3 did he do enough to decisively take the undisputed crown? I don't think so. In my mind even without the title he is the #.1. 205er in the world. If he keeps his head straight and stays on track, he will be the champion again by the close of this year! By the way it is fun talking on this site! I've never posted comments before and you all are a good crowd! It is interesting to disagree, and I look forward to more topics! Thanks, guys!

  27. brs

    February 18, 2009 at 2:58 pm

    By the way Dane you make great points, good talking with you!!

  28. dane drebin

    February 18, 2009 at 3:01 pm

    brs- u dont have to lecture me on why rampage would beat jardine are u serious? lol i have never said jardine will have an advantage in anything against rampage. rampage is the favorite for a reason. my bet is rampage is going to give jardine a real beating ive been saying that since this fight was announced.

  29. dane drebin

    February 18, 2009 at 3:03 pm

    and you make great points too man good talkin with you aswell i agree with you on basically everything the only thing i disagreed with you on was when u said quinton shouldnt be in the pound for pound rankings.

  30. Morey

    February 18, 2009 at 3:09 pm

    Rampage's performance against Henderson sold me on his P4P status. And the fact that he's still improving is crazy. As much as I respect Jardine at times, I think he's going to have to take some big risks for a chance at winning this fight.

  31. brs

    February 18, 2009 at 4:42 pm

    Dane- The only reason I brought up Jardine is, you said jardine would have a size advantage. In my book a size advantage isn't ten pounds. Tim Sylvia had a size advantage against fedor, over 30lbs! Lessnar had a size advantage over Randy! Thats a size advantage. These guys are huge and can gain 5lbs. eating lunch, or lose 5lbs. taking a dump. Until Jackson or GSP step out of the comfort zone of their own weight-class. They shouldn't be on the p4p. Even Anderson silva stepped up to 205, which might be a better weight class for him. I don't think Irvin looked any bigger than Silva. But he fought at 206, and that is a step up. GSP fighting a smaller man is no reason to put him in the p4p rankings. When Wanderlei fought Mark Hunt at Shockwave 2004, he was out-weighed by some 50lbs! If GSP has even one fight at 185, he can talk. If Rampage fights a heavyweight, he can talk! He did have one fight in Pride against a smaller heavyweight, when he fought Igor Vovchanchyn, but he was still taller and within 5lbs. of weight. Great fight though! I wish the UFC would have tournaments like Pride did. All the top ten can enter, and the winner would be decided. Next year you do the same thing!

  32. dane drebin

    February 18, 2009 at 6:04 pm

    in a perfect world that would work but i kinda would rather people fight in their own weight classes until they truely clean it out. anderson faught up because he has basically dismantled the entire 185 division. Gsp still has to get past a very dangerous alves and possibly swick, kos and fitch could all be good opponents still. i would love to see GSP vs anderson but other than that i would like GSP to stay in his own weight class. all this jumping around in weight screws up the title picture too much in my book. i get what ur saying with wandy fighting mark hunt and stuff but this is mma and everyone is all about the what have u done for me lately. And wandy hasnt won enough lately to be ranked on a top pound for pound list right now. maybe if he beats rich at ufc 99 but not right now. see ur thinking of the pound for pound list by who has faught opponents that are bigger than themselves. i think what the pound for pound list is atleast to me is looking at all the fighters as equals and not by weight class. ranking them on how skilled the fighters are and how skilled the fighters they have beaten are. By your logic Crocop should be ranked number two behind fedor for just defeating the 350 pound hong man choi or maybe Shamrock should be ranked seeing as he weighed 205 in his last fight and just defeated Grizzly who was 380 pounds. the pound for pound rankings arent just about pounds its about skill otherwise everytime a shamrock beat a giant with a losing record he would shoot up the ranks.

  33. dane drebin

    February 18, 2009 at 6:06 pm

    hopefully my last post made some sense

  34. steve

    February 24, 2009 at 3:00 pm

    P4P was made for lower weight classes in boxing as a way of determining who is the most skilled if everyone was the same weight. Now of course there is gonna be arguements over this topic lol sense its all opinion. Also if Anderson would just take out a guy who many consider to be great he will be back at 1. Just like how Fedor just beat AA. If you were to have asked who is the best p4p fighter after the A. Silva vs Hendo fight ppl would say A. Silva. So really its all about like Dane said who has done what lately.

  35. kom34

    February 24, 2009 at 4:01 pm

    i agree with that steve. anderson silva seemed to be the unanimous choice for p4p just a few months ago. a win over leites isn't going to boost his status too much.

  36. Brian R

    February 27, 2009 at 5:46 am

    1. Fedor.. he is without a doubt the greatest pound for pound fighter ever.. and when Dana signs him to the UFC, it will become 100% evident to everyone

    2. Anderson Silva.. His speed and accuracy are amazing, and his record doesnt lie.

    3. GSP.. Fast, strong, athletic, explosive, and probably the best wrestler in UFC… An all around amazing fighter with an amazing record.. Could be 1 or 2 spot if not for his losses to Matt Hughes and Matt Sera

  37. Brian R

    February 27, 2009 at 12:48 pm

    OO and just to add, no other fighters come even come close to Fedor, Anderson, or Georges… So please don’t compare them to Rampage or BJ

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