For years, the debate raged across the MMA community. Who was the superior pound-for-pound fighter, Georges St-Pierre or Anderson Silva? Both men were among the sport's greatest champions; their reigns, legendary. At times, the consensus often flip-flopped depending on who fought last and how much Silva appeared to care.
But now the conversation has changed. Nearly 18 months of St-Pierre's inactivity, coupled with the astonishing rise of Jon Jones, has seen the title of the world's greatest fighter rebranded into an ‘anything you can do, I can do better' competition between Jones and Silva.
After Silva's last outing, which just so happened to be one of the most brilliant four minutes and forty seconds this writer has ever seen, "The Spider" seems to have firmly seized the pole position if you abide by the gospel of UFC President Dana White and the near-entirety of the Zuffa roster. However, in a recent interview with the Los Angeles Times, St-Pierre was asked for his own pound-for-pound list, and surprisingly, Silva only came in at third.
So St-Pierre is a confident guy and he still ranks himself and Jones above Silva; no big deal, right? Well, not exactly. Sure, Jones, came in at No. 2, but unless you read the headline of this article, you'd have never guessed who St-Pierre put atop the pedestal.
Check out an excerpt from the conversation:
If you had to rank the top three fighters in the UFC now in order, who are they?
"No. 1 is Frankie Edgar; he's the best pound-for-pound fighter we have."
Wait, he's not even a champion.
"He lost his fight to Benson Henderson only according to the judges. He was much stronger than Henderson."
OK, who else is in the top three?
"Jon Jones is No. 2, Anderson Silva's No. 3."
6 MUST-READ STORIES
St-Pierre ranks Edgar No. 1 pound-for-pound. Speaking to the Los Angeles Times, Georges St-Pierre surprisingly ranked former UFC lightweight champion Frankie Edgar as the No. 1 pound-for-pound fighter in the world, placing Jon Jones at No. 2 and Anderson Silva at No. 3.
Jones changing tune on Silva superfight. A day after telling Brazilian journalists that a superfight with Anderson Silva 'could happen,' UFC light heavyweight champion Jon Jones continued to bend while speaking to ESPN Brazil: "I don´t know ... Well, I don´t see it anymore as a [lose-lose situation]. Actually, now I think I would only benefit from it. (Pauses) ... But I don´t know. I really don´t know."
Koscheck vs. Diaz heating up. Following statements Cesar Gracie made to Brazilian media regarding his client, Nick Diaz's, desire to fight Josh Koscheck, "Kos" wasted no time accepting the fight over Twitter. Diaz's one-year suspension for marijuana metabolites expires on February 3, 2013.
White reportedly cuts out Palms. According to a report from the Las Vegas Review-Journal, a furious UFC President Dana White cut all ties with The Palms Casino Resort after new president Joe Magliarditi cut White's credit line in half. Notably mentioned in the story is that White's tipping habits were "legendary," as he reportedly "ran up dinner tabs of $15,000-$20,000 and tossed in $10,000 tips" up to three or four times a week, and tipped dealers more than $100,000 during one particular two-month hot streak.
Wanderlei eyeing 2013 return at 205. In an interview with Sherdog, legendary veteran Wandelei Silva revealed he'd like to return sometime early next year, either fighting at a catchweight or at light heavyweight. Silva compiled a 2-1 record in his UFC run at middleweight.
Talk to Shamrock for $11.99 a minute. Joining the likes of former New York Giants running back Reuben Droughns and Loyola Marymount standout Bo Kimble, UFC Hall of Famer Ken Shamrock has invited strangers to call him for $11.99 per minute via the Call a Champ chatline service.
I have no idea why this exists, but it definitely does.
Our friends over at All Elbows put together this masterful behind-the-scenes look at the last Invicta event.
(Props to @Pegson for the find.)
Ladies and gentlemen, I've said this before and I'll say it again. Unless your name is actually Anderson Silva or Nick Diaz, you should never, ever act like Anderson Silva or Nick Diaz. (And where the hell did the guy at 0:45 come from?)
(HT: Bloody Elbow)
Just go ahead and jump to 5:25 to see this boxing match turn into an MMA fight real quick.
(HT: Bloody Elbow)
The connection to martial arts here is tenuous, at best. But this clip was just too much to not share.
Can't wait to show you guys my new home for the next 5 weeks... twitter.com/JonnyBones/sta…— Jon Bones Jones (@JonnyBones) October 29, 2012
Good morning Las Vegas, excited to start this new chapter in my career today... twitter.com/JonnyBones/sta…— Jon Bones Jones (@JonnyBones) October 29, 2012
A little something to deal with the heat twitter.com/JonnyBones/sta…— Jon Bones Jones (@JonnyBones) October 29, 2012
Great place to come home to after listening to Chael all day twitter.com/JonnyBones/sta…— Jon Bones Jones (@JonnyBones) October 29, 2012
KOS VS. DIAZ
Cesar is calling 4 me the fight Diaz in Feb. Super Bowl weekend! What you guy think? I am DOWN! Don't be scared Homie! #559 lol— Josh Koscheck (@JoshKoscheck) October 29, 2012
MORE HALLOWEEN MADNESS
The dark dark knight instagr.am/p/RWt0A3P_Jd/— Quinton Jackson (@Rampage4real) October 29, 2012
Anybody want their meat chopped?!! I'm making a horror movie 2night! There will b blooooood!! 😡 instagr.am/p/RTeYe7E1Lg/— Rashad Evans (@SugaRashadEvans) October 27, 2012
Me as Venom...And did we scare the sh** out of some people last night :) hehe twitter.com/Alistairoveree…— Alistair Overeem (@Alistairovereem) October 28, 2012
Such a super team instagr.am/p/RRV5dNqb5J/— Joe Lauzon (@JoeLauzon) October 27, 2012
Back in the free world...getting out is toughest part...cant sleep...feel like shit mad anxiety....blah— War Machine (@WarMachine170) October 29, 2012
Wair till u all see how horrible I look...that,yea of malnourishment did me dirty...cant wait to be back on track.— War Machine (@WarMachine170) October 29, 2012
War Machine with long hair getting out of jail. twitter.com/KenPavia/statu…— Ken Pavia (@KenPavia) October 29, 2012
Man....I look so bad....there aint no way Im gettin any pussy for at least a month...I look so bad I dont even wanna beat my own meat! Lol— War Machine (@WarMachine170) October 29, 2012
Finally cut that nasty hair! Feels good. Need a tan realll bad now tho, no sun for 9months! Powdee!!— War Machine (@WarMachine170) October 29, 2012
Going from a year in solitary to Las Vegas lights is straight sensory overload...cant even describe how I feel.— War Machine (@WarMachine170) October 29, 2012
My heart and prayers are with everyone who is being affected by hurricane sandy. I just realized how severe this storm really is.— Jon Bones Jones (@JonnyBones) October 30, 2012
Today my prayers go out to all of the cities where the hurricane Sandy will pass by.— edsonbarboza (@EdsonBarbozaJR) October 29, 2012
Cutting weight has taught me to go days without food/water... Bring it #HurricaneSandy!— Joe Lauzon (@JoeLauzon) October 29, 2012
Just lost power, #sandy 1 Louis 0! This is just the beginning !— Louis Gaudinot (@LouGaudinotUFC) October 29, 2012
Is it a bad thing that I'm getting all my hurricane Sandy updates from twitter? #NoCable— Patrick Healy (@BamBamHealy) October 29, 2012
Hang tough East Coast! This Hurricane Sandy sounds nasty.— Mike Quick Swick (@officialswick) October 30, 2012
Hurricane Sandy, wrecking havoc, all our thoughts and prayers go out to the families that are effected. Puts what matters in perspective— Roy Nelson (@roynelsonmma) October 30, 2012
Announced yesterday (Monday, October 29, 2012):
FANPOST OF THE DAY
Today's Fanpost of the Day comes from King's_Gambit, who bluntly writes: The UFC's Ethnically-Driven Booking of UFC Macao is Stupid and Insulting
Just going to keep this short and sweet, but the more I think about it, the more I wonder....is ZUFFA really this stupid and culturally ignorant?
It's clear that they've loaded the card with Asian fighters and put an Asian guy, Cung Le, as the main eventer.
This leads me to believe that they're trying to follow what they always try and do when they enter a marketplace: pack the card with local fighters. The problem is, in this situation....only one fighter is actually Chinese. The rest are either South Korean or Japanese or, in Cung's case, Vietnamese.
Is the UFC actually dumb enough, and unprofessional enough, to believe that the Chinese fans will root for fighter just because he's...Asian? If so, they are sorely mistaken.
As someone who is of Chinese heritage and fairly well-traveled, I can say that it's hard to find a country that is more nationalist and more proud of its history than China. Expecting Chinese fans to feel as though a South Korean fighter were one of their own would be like, I don't know, expecting American fans to cheer for a French fighter due to feelings of ethnic camaraderie.
And don't even get me started on the Japanese fighters. As I said, it's hard to find a culture that keeps its history as close to its heart as China. For instance, historical dramas have remained a hugely popular genre of entertainment for generations. Given the acrimonious history between China and Japan, expecting Chinese fans to cheer for Japanese fighters simply because they're Asian is nothing short of insulting. You'd almost be better off choosing a fighter of any nationality BUT Japan. It's an amazing bit of ignorance on ZUFFA's part.
The thing is, even if ZUFFA isn't aware of the fact that, shockingly, the Chinese don't view other Asian nationalities as one and the same, Cung Le does. Every time an interviewer asks him whether he's excited to fight in China, clearly hoping for a racially driven answer, Cung skirts around it, focusing instead on his sanshou, saying that he's proud to fight in the birthplace of his art, hoping that the Chinese fans will root for him on that basis and connect with him on those grounds. Because Cung knows that as a Vietnamese-American, as far as having ethnic appeal to the Chinese fans, he might as well be Brazilian. Perhaps to the American ZUFFA brass, a Vietnamese guy who practices sanshou is "close enough" to being Chinese but, shockingly, it doesn't work that way in reality.
And don't even get me started on the UFC's hiring a Korean ring-girl, as though no Chinese girls could be located. The Japanese fans got a Japanese girl but when it comes to the Chinese fans, again, all Asians are one and the same, seemingly.
Found something you'd like to see in the Morning Report? Just hit me on Twitter @shaunalshatti and we'll include it in tomorrow's column.