MMA Top 10 Pound-for-Pound: Anderson Silva Slips

There's another change at the top of my pound-for-pound rankings.

A month ago I dropped Fedor Emelianenko from the top of the list to all the way off the list following his loss to Fabricio Werdum. When Fedor dropped out I moved Anderson Silva to the top. But on Saturday night we watched the worst performance of Anderson Silva's UFC career, and although Silva pulled off a brilliant submission to win the fight, he struggled enough through the first four and a half rounds that he deserves to drop in the rankings.

Find out who's No. 1 now, and how far Silva fell, below.

MMA Top 10 Pound for pound
(Number in parentheses is the fighter's rank in the last pound-for-pound list)

1. Georges St. Pierre (2): GSP seems close to cleaning out the welterweight division, to the point where we're going to wonder if there are any interesting fights left for him. Then again, that was the case for Silva, too. Josh Koscheck is a legitimate threat to St. Pierre, even as he's also a major underdog.

2. Jose Aldo (3): At age 23, Aldo is the youngest fighter on this list, and it's exciting to think about how much he can accomplish in MMA. Up next is a featherweight title defense against Manny Gamburyan at WEC 51 in September.

3. Anderson Silva (1): At age 35, Silva is the oldest fighter on this list. It's incredible that he's managed to win his first 12 UFC fights, and he may still have plenty more wins left in him. But make no mistake, he's on the down side of his brilliant career.

4. Shogun Rua (4): The biggest question about Rua is how long his knees can hold up. Rua is the champion of the UFC's marquee weight class and is a good enough fighter to be the first light heavyweight champion since Chuck Liddell to go on a sustained run of dominance over the division. But longevity questions will linger over any athlete who has multiple knee injuries.

5. Frank Edgar (5): Edgar's victory over B.J. Penn in April was viewed by many as either a result of Penn showing up out of shape or Edgar benefiting from bad judging -- or just a fluke. But the closer we get to their rematch at UFC 118, the more I think Edgar has the right style to keep the fight standing and win another decision.

6. Dominick Cruz (6): The 15-1 Cruz is probably a little bit underappreciated because he wins so many of his fights by decision, but I for one am thrilled about his WEC bantamweight title defense against Joseph Benavidez next week. That's one of the best fights of the year.

7. Lyoto Machida (7): Although the UFC hasn't officially announced it, all indications are that Machida's next fight will be against Rampage Jackson in November. That's a fight Machida should win going away; Rampage's style is tailor made for Machida to pick him apart.

8. Rashad Evans (8): I'd like to see Evans be a little more active, but he's planning to wait around for as long as it takes for Shogun to get healthy. When it happens, likely in early 2011, the fight will be worth the wait.

9. Joseph Benavidez (9): I still think it's long past time for the WEC to launch a flyweight division, and for Benavidez to start cutting down to 125 pounds, a weight class at which I think he'd be the best fighter in the world. As it stands, he has an opportunity to prove himself as the best fighter in the world at 135 pounds against Cruz.

10. B.J. Penn (10): We'll find out a lot about Penn when he gets his rematch against Edgar later this month. Does he come back in great shape and with a great game plan? Or are there going to be renewed questions about his dedication? I expect to see Penn looking better than he did in their first fight in April -- but I think Edgar will look better, too.

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