Washington Sportsjam MMA Pound-for-Pound Rankings: October 2011 Edition

It has been a busy month in MMA. Three UFC champions defended their belts and welterweight champion Georges St-Pierre was scheduled to defend his before an injury delayed his match this weekend. In other organizations Bellator is gaining steam while Strikeforce looks like more and more of a lame duck each month. With the elite fighters abandoning Strikeforce for the UFC, the Bellator roster is starting to shape up as the second best in North America.

There is a bit of shakeup in the rankings with Jose Aldo dropping from the Top-5 to the “In Consideration” rankings and Dominick Cruz replacing him at the five spot. Aldo has looked lackluster in his two UFC title defenses while Cruz has continued to look solid.

1. Anderson Silva (UFC Middleweight Champion, Record 29-4)

In the Yushin Okami fight Silva avenged his most recent loss and extended his title-defense streak to an astounding nine times. He beat one of his most qualified challengers yet both mentally and physically. His in-ring mind-games showed how he can force an opponent into his gameplan. Unfortunately, it also showed why he is losing fans despite his massive talent. Love him or hate him, he’s the most dominant fighter in the world right now.

Next Fight – TBA

2. Georges St-Pierre (UFC Welterweight Champion, Record 22-2)

GSP was not able to dominate Jake Shields the way he dominated his six previous challengers. However he once again held off a red-hot challenger by not playing into their game and exploiting their weaknesses. It may not have been exciting but it was the smart move. He still looks unbeatable in the Welterweight division.

Next Fight – TBA vs.  Carlos Condit

3. Jon Jones (UFC Light Heavyweight Champion, Record 14-1)

Jones proved he was for real in his first title defense. He beat Rampage Jackson thoroughly and in all aspects of the fight. He kept Rampage at range with varied striking, forced him to defend from submission attempts, and was never predictable. His critics say he’s never been tested; the truth is no one has been able to find a chink in his armor. Jones is so good in so many ways and is always improving. Right now his only weakness is his ego.

Next Fight – vs. Lyoto Machida @ UFC 140 12/10/11

4. Cain Velasquez (UFC Heavyweight Champion, Record 9-0)

After the reigns of the hulking Shane Carwin and Brock Lesnar, Velasquez proved that winning in the UFC required more than strength, power, and wrestling top-control. When Velasquez defeated Lesnar he proved that he was better all-around fighter than Brock and that he could contest with anyone in any aspect of a fight. There are a few UFC Heavyweights in his same class, but he’ll be a hard guy to take a belt from.

Next Fight – vs. Junior Dos Santos @UFC on Fox 11/12/11

5. Dominick Cruz ↑(UFC Bantamweight Champion, Record 19-1)

The “Dominator” continues to control the bantamweight division. In July, Cruz avenged his only career loss by outpointing Uriah Faber. At the beginning of this month he held off Demetrious Johnson, the only fighter with more speed at his weight class. Cruz’s critics complain his style is boring, but no one can accuse him of not working. He fights at a breakneck pace. That combined with his odd stand-up movement, his excellent takedowns, and complete ground game makes him a tough nut to crack. He’s also just a few more fights away from cleaning out the division of contenders.

Next Fight – TBA

Other fighters in consideration: Jose Aldo, Frankie Edgar, Cole Konrad, Hector Lombard, Gilbert Melendez

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