I still consider Fedor Emelianenko the best fighter in MMA, in any weight class, by a significant margin. Fedor has a tough test against Josh Barnett on August 1 at Affliction Trilogy, and maybe Barnett will shock the world and force me to reconsider my pound-for-pound rankings, but for now, as you'll see below, it's still Fedor, alone at the top.
1. Fedor Emelianenko
Consider this: Fedor has finished two-thirds of his opponents in the first round, including all of his last five. GSP hasn't finished anyone in the first round since Frank Trigg in 2005, and GSP has actually lost a fight in the first round more recently than he's won one.
2. Georges St Pierre
I always worry that I'll come across like I'm knocking GSP when I compare him to Fedor, but let me make clear: St. Pierre is the UFC's greatest champion and its classiest act. I like him a lot.
3. Lyoto Machida
He's a huge favorite against Shogun Rua and will, I believe, hold the light heavyweight belt for at least a couple years.
4. Anderson Silva
Forrest Griffin on August 8 will be Silva's toughest opponent to date, but I believe he'll remain undefeated in the Octagon. Then he'll probably defend his middleweight belt against Dan Henderson, the only UFC opponent who has had Silva in any kind of trouble.
5. Miguel Torres
The WEC's best fighter will return against Brian Bowles on August 9 in a fight that I hope doesn't get lost in the shuffle in the excitement about UFC 101 the day before.
6. Mike Brown
I'm in a lather about Brown's next WEC featherweight title defense, against Jose Aldo in November.
7. Rampage Jackson
Rampage will do a great job of selling his fight with Rashad Evans on The Ultimate Fighter. I don't think he wants any part of Machida, though.
8. B.J. Penn
I expect Penn to get the better of Kenny Florian at UFC 101. Can you believe we'll get to see three of the top 8 fighters in the sport that weekend, all against tough opponents?
9. Rashad Evans
Evans' skirmish with Rampage was, along with the appearance of Kimbo Slice at the UFC Fan Expo, exactly what the promotion wanted to hype up TUF 10.
10. Urijah Faber
I think he's still probably the WEC's biggest draw, but Faber will be out of action for a while to rest his injured hands, and he'll have to win a couple fights before he could earn another shot at the featherweight belt.
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