Who's the best pound-for-pound fighter in mixed martial arts? According to Yahoo's latest poll of MMA journalists, it's a tie between Affliction heavyweight star Fedor Emelianenko and UFC middleweight champion Anderson Silva, with UFC welterweight champion Georges St. Pierre barely behind them in third place.
The results of the poll show that there is almost exactly equal support for each of the world's best three fighters, with no one else getting a Top 3 vote from any of the 18 members of the voting panel.
In recent years Fedor has been criticized by many MMA observers for not fighting enough top-notch talent, and he had fallen behind Silva on most pound-for-pound lists. But after Emelianenko destroyed Andrei Arlovski, he actually received more first-place votes (seven) than Silva. Fedor also got five second-place votes and six third-place votes.
Silva's six first-place votes were fewer than Fedor, but with two more second-place votes, he was able to reach the same point total as Fedor. GSP, coming off his destruction of B.J. Penn at UFC 94, got five first-place votes, six second-place votes and seven third-place votes.
What all this points to is that we have a situation in MMA right now where three fighters have clearly positioned themselevs ahead of everyone else, and deciding which of those three is the best is more a matter of personal taste than anything else. I just know I'm excited to see what Fedor, Silva and GSP do next.
I'm one of the voters in the Yahoo poll; my ballot is here.