There’s more movement than usual this month, thanks to Jose Aldo’s recent title defense. Junior Dos Santos moves off the list to “in Consideration” and Cruz moves down to the number five spot. Nothing diminishes their accomplishments; it is just no longer feasible to keep Aldo out of the top five, now that he has successfully defended his UFC belt three times.
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 vs. Rashad Evans
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. Jose Aldo ↑ (UFC Featherweight Champion, Record 21-1)
In the first UFC event of 2012 Aldo defended his belt against one of his toughest opponents yet. Chad “Money” Mendes is the most accomplished wrestler in the division, yet Aldo’s takedown defense never looked better. After shutting down Mendes’ wrestling, Aldo stopped “Money” with a spinning back elbow. Aldo, the brilliant tactician has been present in all three of his UFC fights. Aldo, the exciting finisher and creative striker from the WEC finally showed up again. In three straight title defenses in the UFC he’s been dominant, only dropping three rounds. Like his contemporaries in the bantamweight and middleweight divisions Aldo is running out of challenges at his weight class.
Next Fight – TBA
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 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
Other fighters in consideration: Frankie Edgar, Cole Konrad, Hector Lombard, Gilbert Melendez, Junior Dos Santos
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