I apologize that these rankings are late, but I thought it was necessary for a separate December and January rankings with the recent and upcoming fights. There is also some movement in the top five again. Jon Jones goes up to number two with his second title defense and Georges St-Pierre loses a place because of inactivity. Later this month Jose Aldo defends his featherweight title against unbeaten Chad Mendes, which may have an effect on this list.
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. Jon Jones ↑ (UFC Light Heavyweight Champion, Record 15-1)
In his title defense against Lyoto Machida, Jones had his biggest challenge yet. For the first time in his UFC career, he lost a round and had his chin tested. He didn’t shrink away from contact though; instead he thoroughly dominated his opponent in all aspects in Round Two before finishing Machida with a choke.
Next Fight – TBA
3. Georges St-Pierre ↓ (UFC Welterweight Champion, Record 22-2)
Since his title defense against Jake Shields in April of 2011, GSP has had to pull out of two events because of injuries. The UFC is scheduling an interim title fight and St-Pierre will meet the winner when healthy. It’s unfortunate that GSP will lose a year in his prime because of his health. It remains to be seen if he comes back the same fighter.
Next Fight – TBA
4. 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. In October 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 vs. Urijah Faber.
5. Junior Dos Santos (UFC Heavyweight Champion, Record 14-1)
In just over one minute Cigano stopped the previously undefeated Cain Velasquez and took his belt. He avoided Velasquez’s takedown attempt and rocked him with a heavy shot. Dos Santos is always a threat to knock someone out and is undefeated in the UFC. After easily beating the most complete fighter in the division it’s hard to imagine him giving up the belt anytime soon.
Next Fight – TBA vs Alistair Overeem
Other fighters in consideration: Jose Aldo, Frankie Edgar, Cole Konrad, Hector Lombard, Gilbert Melendez
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