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MMA Twitter Mailbag: Pound-for-Pound Rankings Stir Debate

The MMA Twitter mailbag on a Monday morning after a wild weekend in mixed martial arts is all about the pound-for-pound rankings. Is Anderson Silva back on top after his destruction of Forrest Griffin at UFC 101? How high does B.J. Penn climb after whipping Kenny Florian? And what do we do with Brian Bowles and Miguel Torres after Bowles' shocking upset at WEC 42?

Plenty of debate on the matter is below.

I asked people to tell me how the weekend changed the pound-for-pound rankings, and these are some of the tweets I got (some are edited for clarity):

John_S_Adams: Anderson Silva's stock rose (if that's possible), BJ's is back up and Torres' stock fell. Bowles now has to be talked about.

LINDLANDFILM: Quite a bit. Anderson up and Mr. Torres down a few.

rickyteddyb: Torres drops down a notch while Silva solidifies his place at the top. Bowles needs to defend before I take him for real.

gx5: It removes the argument that Torres is tied with Silva for #1 p4p. He's now 4th, at best. Silva, Georges St. Pierre, Fedor Emelianenko, Torres.

SwamiG8R: How do you NOT add Brian Bowles to the P4P rankings?? WOW

Michael David Smith: The overall takeaway from the weekend -- based on all the MMA fans I've heard from -- is that Silva's stock has skyrocketed and Torres' stock has taken a hit. A whole lot of people offered me their own rankings. Here are some good ones:

awexler: Silva, Lyoto Machida, Fedor, GSP, 5 Mike Brown, Dan Henderson, Brock Lesnar, Rampage Jackson, Urijah Faber

its_Josh: 1 GSP 2 Silva 3 Emelianeko 4 Machida 5 Penn 6 Torres 7 Brown 8 Lesnar 9 Jon Fitch 10 Henderson

PJHarrison: Torres still top 10. I still think GSP is #1. Silva is 2nd. Machida 3rd. Penn 4th. Hendo 5th Brown 6th Lesnar 7th. Rampage 8th. Couture 9th. Put me down for Torres 10th for now.

Nitrayn: 1 silva 2 gsp 3 machida 4 fedor 5 penn 6 brown 7 lesnar 8 bowles 9 torres 10 hendo

BlackRainNinja: #1 A.Silva #2 GSP #3 Fedor #4 BJ Penn #5 Machida #6 Torres, Bowles cracks top10 but 36-2 doesn't drop Torres far.

Dexerion: Fedor = GSP = Anderson > BJ > ??? Those 4 are so far above everyone else. I think the top 3 are interchangeable.

nzglen: Fedor / Anderson (tied first place) 3rd GSP 4th Lyoto

mdetura: Top 4 def. Silv/GSP/Fedor/Lyoto, in some order. I like Mike Brown for the hole Torres leaves, but BJ's got a good argument.

TomasMNally: Silva can't be ranked behind GSP or Fedor; at a minimum, 3-way tie for #1 p4p; BJ clear #4; my rankings - AS, GSP, FE, BJP

uchoo786: silva no.1, bj moves up to no.4, torres moves down to no.3, fedor gets ranked when he actually wants to fight top guys.

Michael David Smith: All valid rankings there. Now we get into some of the comments about Silva's showing at UFC 101:

JasonArmistead: Top 3 is Silva, GSP, Fedor. Silva #1 because he has beat champions in two weight classes and could beat GSP and Fedor.

dangerdogg93: I think Anderson Silva will be ahead of Fedor, because of his success in two weight classes. Torres will drop below BJ Penn

bkbdby: Silva may be the first fighter who can hold titles at two different weight classes at the same time.
Michael David Smith: A lot of people are saying that Silva belongs at the top because he could be a champion in two weight classes. And I agree, Silva is absolutely good enough to hold the middleweight and light heavyweight belts simultaneously. Don't forget, though, that Dan Henderson did the same thing in Pride.

WatchKalibRun: The P4P rankings are a round-robin of current events. Give it 6 months and GSP will be back on top.
Michael David Smith: This is a good point. I think we all have a tendency to overrate the most recent fights when we're making our pound-for-pound ratings. Which leads me to...

hirakawa: Still FEDOR as No.1. Anderson has very bad history with Chonan and Takase.
Michael David Smith: This raises an interesting question: When we're doing our pound-for-pound rankings, should we only consider recent fights, or should we consider the fighters' whole careers? Obviously, Fedor accomplished far more than Silva in Pride. Fedor went 14-0 in Pride; Silva went 3-2 with losses to Ryo Chonan and Daiju Takase. But those fights were years ago. Should we forget them?

I don't know. But my own pound-for-pound rankings will come out later this week. Thanks to everyone on Twitter who helped me think about them.

Want to be part of our next MMA Twitter mailbag? Post a question or comment on, and be sure to start it with @MichaelDavSmith.

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