Pound-for-pound rankings: Injuries take toll on entire pack

Ron Chenoy-US PRESSWIRE - Presswire

It doesn't take a genius to figure out that injuries have wreaked havoc on mixed martial arts this year. But nowhere do the realities of the situation look more stark than in taking a look at the world's top 10 pound-for-pound fighters.

Fully half the top 10 have pulled out of scheduled 2012 title fights due to injury: Georges St. Pierre, Jose Aldo Jr., Dominick Cruz, Gilbert Melendez, and Dan Henderson.

Jon Jones, for his part, has an elbow injury of a still-indeterminate extent. And oh yeah, there was that thing that went down involving him and Henderson that you might have heard about a couple months back.

The rest of the top 10 has, in one way or another, had injury effect them either directly or or by trickle-down effect. Anderson Silva is fighting Stephan Bonnar because an Aldo injury forced the UFC to find a new UFC 153 main event. Junior dos Santos spent the early part of the year rehabbing after knee surgery. Benson Henderson came out of his win over Frankie Edgar with a foot injury. And Demetrious Johnson underwent a minor surgical procedure related to a hernia.

With that, on to the latest MMAFighting.com pound-for-pound top 10. Since the last list, Jones defeated Vitor Belfort via fourth-round submission; Benson Henderson defeated Frankie Edgar via controversial split decision, and Johnson defeated Joseph Benavidez by decision to become the first UFC flyweight champion.

(Official MMAFighting rankings policy: Fighters under commission suspensions are ineligible for consideration during the duration of the suspension).

1. Anderson Silva (Record: 30-4, Previous ranking: 1) -- Silva's title isn't on the line when he meets Bonnar at UFC 153, but nothing short of a decisive win is needed to maintain pound-for-pound standing.

2. Jon Jones (17-1, 2) -- Defending your light heavyweight title against a fighter who has fought the past three years at middleweight isn't going to get you to No. 1.

3. Georges St. Pierre (22-2, 3) -- Has plenty to prove when he meets Carlos Condit in his first bout in a year and a half.

4. Jose Aldo Jr. (21-1, 4) -- UFC featherweight champ is perilously close to having "Injury prone" replace "Scarface" as his nickname.

5. Junior dos Santos (15-1, 5) -- Rematch with former champ Cain Velasquez looms.

6. Dominick Cruz (18-1, 6) -- No word out of champ's camp on how knee injury rehab is progressing. But if it goes much longer, it might be time to look at having interim champ Renan Barao defend his title.

7. Benson Henderson (16-2, 7) -- Hard to justify moving him up in the polls after so many thought he lost his bout to Edgar.

8. Gilbert Melendez (21-2, 8) -- Strikeforce lightweight champ hopes to resume training within a month after shoulder injury forced him out of bout with Pat Healy.

9. Demetrious Johnson (16-2-1, unranked) -- The first UFC flyweight champion is basically the 125-pound version of Frankie Edgar.

10. Dan Henderson (29-8, 10) -- Dana White recently confirmed a match with Lyoto Machida is on tap for Hendo

Honorable mention: Carlos Condit, Frankie Edgar, Cain Velasquez, Rashad Evans, Renan Barao.

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