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Pound for Pound – November 2011

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November 4, 2011

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Pound for Pound – November 2011
MMA has never been bigger. The sport is growing at a tremendous rate and fans across the globe are tuning in like never before.  It’s no coincidence that today’s fighters have evolved into the best athletes in the world and have unmatched skills in the cage.  With such widespread talent reaching across the globe, it’s a difficult task to prove who the best fighters in the world truly are.  However, these 10 fighters have proven themselves to be the best of the best.  So without further ado, we present the MMANonstop Top Ten Pound for Pound fighters in the world.
1. Anderson Silva – Not much has changed for the pound for pound King over the past month.  Oh wait, The People’s Champ Chael Sonnen upped the ante on his Silva bashing at UFC 136 and now it appears that The Spider is on a crash course with the man who pushed him to the brink.  Not many challenges remain for Silva at 185 lbs., but Silva vs. Sonnen II will be perhaps the biggest fight of the year and the champ will get another crack at silencing his biggest critic.
2. Georges St. Pierre – Like the man above him in these rankings, while he’s recovering from an injury, another mega fight is brewing in a very personal way.  GSP has walked through all his opponents during his latest title run, but Nick Diaz has done something that no one has been able to do.  He’s inside the champ’s head.  If a calm GSP is the #2 pound for pound fighter in the world, what will a furious GSP look like?  We’ll find out Super Bowl weekend in Las Vegas.
3. Jon Jones – Jon Jones is the leader in the clubhouse for Fighter of the Year. In 2011 he’s already won 3 fights against top 10 205ers finishing each of those fights in decisive fashion.  With another title defense looming at UFC 140 versus Lyoto Machida, Jones can seal the deal for Fighter of the Year in perhaps the greatest 12 month run in UFC history.  The scary part is that if he gets past Machida, there won’t be too many contenders left to challenge the young champion who is still learning and improving.
4. Frankie Edgar – Is there a greater compliment than having your boss label you the #2 pound for pound fighter on the planet?  After Frankie Edgar avenged his only loss and in the process became the only man to stop Gray Maynard, the Lightweight champ proved that most had somehow underrated him.  There is no question this kid has the biggest heart on this list and that alone is saying a ton, but mix in excellent conditioning with tight boxing and a stout wrestling base and you’ve got a pound for pound great.
5. Jose Aldo – At UFC 136, Jose Aldo added another dominant victory over a very game opponent and somehow continues to slide down this list.  We know he’s lethal striking; he’s got a world class BJJ base and is currently riding a 13 fight win streak.  How is it possible that this kid is ranked #5? He’s slated to face undefeated Chad Mendes early next year and if he can continue his streak of dominating victories, the cries for him to move up and challenge Frankie Edgar will get louder and louder.
6. Cain Velasquez – There have been some big fights this year in MMA, but none compare to the Heavyw

eight clash between Cain Velasquez and Junior Dos Santos on November 12th.  The UFC is showcasing their best to the world and it’s no fluke that Cain Velasquez is the main attraction.  He’s got a relentless pace, knockout power, and a wrestling base that is unrivaled.  If there was a baddest man on the planet list, this guy would sit at the top.  He’s looked better and better every time he’s stepped into the cage so get used to seeing the name of Cain Velasquez on this list.

7. Dominick Cruz – Dominick Cruz is probably one of the fastest fighters in MMA today which usually gives him a big advantage over his opponents.  However, in his last fight, Demetrious Johnson proved to be the quicker, more elusive fighter so how did Cruz respond when his primary advantage was neutralized?  He showed his wrestling chops and dominated every round again showing the world his versatility as a fighter.  There are plenty of Bantamweights weighting in the wings to challenge Cruz, but his ever improving skillset is going to be tough to overcome for anyone.
8. Nick Diaz - Welcome to the list homey.  If it weren’t for his quirky interviews and salty nature with the press and fans, he could very well be sitting higher on this list.  He made his return to the UFC at UFC 137 and demolished BJ Penn so thoroughly that the former Lightweight champ announced his retirement immediately following the bout.  Then he did the only logical (in his mind anyway) thing and called out GSP for faking an injury to duck him.  While his logic may be flawed, his fighting abilities are brilliant.  He may have the best boxing in MMA and a pure jiu jitsu base that few can rival.  Oh, and Georges St. Pierre already hates this guy.  Forget Anderson Silva vs. GSP. The can’t miss fight of 2012 is St. Pierre vs. Diaz.  Let’s just hope Diaz shows up on time to meet the press…
9. Junior Dos Santos – Cigano is another fighter that has been so dominant in each of his fights that we still don’t know how well rounded a fighter he is.  He’s won all of his fights in lopsided fashion with superior boxing and as a Team Nogueira fighter, you know he’s got chops on the ground.  The world is in for a treat on November 12 as Dos Santos takes on Cain Velasquez on the first ever UFC on Fox broadcast.  If Dana White and the Fertittas are betting the farm on the success of that show, putting Junior Dos Santos in the featured bout is about as certain a bet as there is.  If he can win the Heavyweight strap, look for this name to rise even further on pound for pound lists.
10. Gilbert Melendez – Rounding out the top ten, we’ve got the first non-UFC employee in Gilbert Melendez.  But really how much longer will he carry the Strikeforce banner when Dana White has stated publicly that he wants to bring El Niño over to the UFC as soon as possible.  In the meanwhile, Melendez will have a chance to show his greatness in December when he squares off against Jorge Masvidal.  If he can continue his streak of dominance, it’ll only be a matter of time before we see Melendez looking to unify his belt in the deepest division in the UFC.
Up Next: Heavyweights
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Brendan

Brendan is a Brazilian Jiu Jitsu purple belt and boxing practitioner who has followed all things MMA since watching the first UFC event over 20 years ago. In addition to his professional career, Brendan is currently an MBA student at Montclair State University who enjoys spending time with his wife Meredith and their dog Cha'lie when he's not training. Follow Brendan on Twitter @bchurchin48 and check out all his articles exclusively at MMANonstop.com.

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