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MMA Top 10 Pound-for-Pound: Aldo Up, Edgar In, Penn Out

The two best featherweights in mixed martial arts over the last several years were Mike Brown and Urijah Faber, and in back-to-back fights the 23-year-old Jose Aldo has now made both Brown and Faber look old and slow.

Meanwhile, the best lightweight in mixed martial arts over the last several years was B.J. Penn, and in a five-round decision at UFC 112 Frankie Edgar made Penn look like he might be getting old and slow too.

Plenty of people disagreed with me (and the three judges) about Edgar beating Penn, and he certainly wasn't as dominant as Aldo was against Faber on Saturday. But both Aldo and Edgar are now rising on the list of the top pound-for-pound fighters in MMA.

(The fighter's previous rankings are in parentheses).


1. Fedor Emelianenko (1): Yes, I'm as frustrated as everyone else that Fedor still doesn't have a fight scheduled, almost six months after he beat Brett Rogers. But none of the other elite fighters in the sport has come forward with the kind of spectacular performance that would allow him to dethrone Fedor.

2. Anderson Silva (2): He'll fight Chael Sonnen on August 7, and I think he'll win comfortably. The big problem facing Silva is that the UFC doesn't have any middleweights to challenge him, and though Sonnen talks a good game, I don't think Sonnen will challenge him either.

3. Georges St. Pierre (3): He says he'd like to fight Jake Shields just as soon as the UFC can pry Shields away from Strikeforce. It's probably going to be a while before we see St. Pierre again, as he'll be coaching on The Ultimate Fighter before he steps into the Octagon again.

4. Lyoto Machida (5): In two weeks Machida fights Shogun Rua at UFC 113. If Machida destroys Rua and finishes him quickly, I wouldn't rule out putting the Dragon at the top of my next pound-for-pound list.

5. Jose Aldo (6): By winning a fight more with leg kicks than with knockout shots, Aldo showed that he's growing into a more mature, tactical fighter. I still would have liked to see Aldo try a little harder to finish Faber, rather than coast through the fifth round.

6. Frank Edgar (NR): I know some people will say I have him too high. We'll see when he gives Penn a rematch in five months.

7. Dominick Cruz (7): The WEC bantamweight champion was injured in his last bout and still doesn't have a fight scheduled.

8. Shogun Rua (8): When he was fighting in Pride Rua was at or near the top of a lot of pound-for-pound lists. Then came his knee injuries and his loss to Forrest Griffin, and a lot of people thought we'd never see the same Shogun again. That Rua is now one win away from being at or near the top of a lot of pound-for-pound lists again is a great testament to his work ethic.

9. Rashad Evans (9): The fight that it seems like the UFC has been promoting forever will finally take place on May 29 when Evans takes on Rampage Jackson.

10. Joseph Benavidez (10): I wish the WEC would implement the 125-pound weight class already so Benavidez could finally start picking on people his own size. Until then we'll have to be satisfied with Benavidez fighting as a bantamweight.