SB Nation pound-for-pound MMA rankings: Where do Silva and Weidman rate?

Esther Lin, MMA Fighting

Let's start off with the most obvious change to the pound-for-pound rankings in the wake of Anderson Silva's seismic knockout loss to Chris Weidman on July 6: The UFC's three remaining long-term champions all bumped up a spot.

Jon Jones, who is in his third year as UFC light heavyweight champion, has finally taken the spot most assumed he'd one day reach. He's the unanimous pick for No. 1 this month. Georges St-Pierre, the welterweight champ since 2008, moves back up to the No. 2 spot he held for quite some time before Jones' rise. And featherweight champ Jose Aldo Jr. bumps up one to No. 3.

Now, on to the big question: Where would both Silva and Weidman end up in the rankings after the events of UFC 162?In spite of the decisive finish at UFC 162 and the fact that Weidman has the middleweight title and Silva doesn't, Silva finished in fourth, three spots ahead of Weidman.

Silva had one third-place vote, three fourths, a fifth and a seventh, for 39 points. The new champion had one third, one fourth, one sixth, one eighth, one ninth and was unranked on one ballot, for a total of 25.

In between Silva and Weidman are UFC heavyweight champion Cain Velasquez (32 points) in fifth and lightweight titleholder Benson Henderson in sixth (29). Those two flipped spots since our last poll, in the wake of Velasquez's brutal TKO of Antonio Silva and Henderson's split-decision win over Gilbert Melendez.

I'm also not yet ranking Weidman ahead of the champions I've got listed ahead of him. Four of them have been champions longer than a year; the other, Velasquez, is in his second reign. And there's plenty of precedent for big drops by fighters after losing titles. Take Velasquez. He disappeared from most pound-for-pound lists entirely after simply getting clipped against Junior dos Santos, despite being undefeated and dominant up until that point. Likewise for long winning streaks: Fedor Emelianenko dropped like a rock in various pound-for-pound polls after losing to Fabricio Werdum, and his win streak as twice as long as Silva's.

If Velasquez can vanish after getting clipped by a guy, dos Santos, who had a more solid resume in his division than Weidman does at middleweight, and Fedor can drop considerably after his first loss in a decade, then Silva staying in at seven, as a nod to his track record, is fair in context.

P4p_rankings_medium

(Scoring: Fighters are given 10 points for a first-place vote, nine points for a second, etc., down to one point for 10th place. The results are then tallied up and presented here. Official SB Nation rankings policy: Fighters under commission suspension are ineligible to be ranked during the duration of their suspension or if they have licensing issues. At present, this does not affect anyone who would generally be considered a Top 10 P4P fighter).

1. Jon Jones (18-1, 60 points): The fact that Jones said he's using Silva's loss as motivation to never slip should be scary news for Alexander Gustafsson.

2. Georges St-Pierre (24-2, 54 points): The bad news for GSP is that he has the look of the next potentially vulnerable longtime champ when he faces Johny Hendricks. The good news is he has the sort of maniacal focus against complacency that Silva apparently lacked.

3. Jose Aldo Jr. (22-1, 45 points): If Aldo beats Chan Sung Jung next month, will he stay at featherweight? If he went to lightweight, he'd be leaving town just as the competition was finally heating up.

4. Anderson Silva (33-5, 39 points): It took Silva about 72 hours to turn from "I don't want to fight for the belt" to wanting the fight as soon as possible. Something tells me we're going to see the Rich Franklin fight version of Anderson Silva.

5. Cain Velasquez (12-1, points): In theory, the October trilogy fight with Junior dos Santos should be the conclusion of their rivalry. In practice, if dos Santos wins, the idea of fights four and five aren't exactly far-fetched.

6. Ben Henderson (19-2, points): After a pair of fights in which many thought he was the beneficiary of gift decisions, Henderson, as much as he might want to deny it, has something to prove against a red-hot T.J. Grant on Aug. 31.

7. Chris Weidman (10-0, 25 points): He's 6-0 in the UFC with five finishes. And oh yeah, one of those finishes was Anderson Silva. How the Weidman vs. Silva rematch will fare can and will be argued from now until match time, but there's no arguing whether Weidman is legit.

8. Renan Barao (28-1, 1 NC, 18 points): The fact his interim bantamweight title defense against Eddie Wineland is back on, but isn't until late September, says all we need to know about champion Dominick Cruz's prospects.

9. Demetrious Johnson (17-2-1, 17 points): Returns from shoulder surgery to meet John Moraga in a flyweight title defense on July 27, who has openly disrespected DJ by calling him "boring."

10. Dominick Cruz (20-1, 7 points): There's no lack of sympathy for Cruz's plight, but the cold facts are he hasn't fought since Dec. 2011 and inactivity is taking it's toll. Cruz was not ranked on 3 of 6 ballots.

Votes for others: Johny Hendricks 2, Ronda Rousey 1, Anthony Pettis 1.

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