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Pound for Pound – December 2011

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December 1, 2011

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Pound for Pound – December 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 – There is little question as to who reigns supreme here.  The Spider is 14-0 in the UFC with an incredible 12 stoppage victories.  His reign as middleweight champion spans over 5 years and counting and includes victories over former world champions in 2 different weight classes.  The man is simply unrivaled and by the time his career concludes, will likely be regarded as the greatest of all time.  Just don’t try to tell that to Chael Sonnen who is calling out the champ for a rematch.  Look for that to take place in Sao Paolo during the summer of 2012.
2. Jon Jones – Jon “Bones” Jones’ ascent through the UFC light heavyweight ranks has been nothing short of brilliant.  Fight after fight, we watched a young, lanky athlete evolve into a mixed martial artist with a style like no other.  In each of his 9 UFC victories, he’s shown new weapons in his arsenal.  From flying knees to spinning elbows, his opponents have not been able to solve the puzzle he presents and when you mix in his wrestling and submission game, we start to see how Bones became the youngest champion in UFC history.  At 24 years old, he’s already demolished former UFC champions Mauricio “Shogun” Rua and most recently Quinton “Rampage” Jackson.  He’ll defend his belt against Lyoto Machida at UFC 140 in a match of puzzling styles.
3. Georges St. Pierre – Dominance is an understatement when describing GSP’s time in the octagon.  He is 22-2 and he’s avenged those two losses to Matt Hughes and Matt Serra in brutal fashion. He’s the perfect definition of a mixed martial artist as his mixes his striking with wrestling and jiu jitsu so completely that over his last 9 fights, he’s only lost a single round.  GSP still has a number of contenders waiting to test him, but he’ll next square off against Nick Diaz on Super Bowl weekend in a fight that has become very personal to the champ.
4. Frankie Edgar – Frankie “The Answer” Edgar makes this list not only by putting together a string of 6 consecutive victories over the likes of Hermes Franca, Sean Sherk, and BJ Penn (twice), but showing the true heart of a champion during the 1st round of his latest title defense against Gray Maynard.  Maynard had Edgar practically out on his feet (again), but somehow the champ composed himself, turned the tide, and rallied to deliver a brutal TKO stoppage to Maynard.  Even UFC boss Dana White stated that Edgar is the #2 pound for pound fighter in the world following his latest performance at UFC 136.  He’ll next face Benson Henderson in Early 2012 when the UFC returns to Japan for UFC 144.
5. Jose Aldo – The UFC featherweight champion is anot

her fighter whose skills on paper seem to be unmatched.  His hand speed and devastating leg kicks have left a stack of contenders lying unconscious wondering what just hit them.  He boasts a career mark of 19-1 and at the young age of 25 shows no signs of slowing down.  At UFC 136 in Houston, he showed his skills against a very dangerous UFC veteran Kenny Florian.  Next up for Aldo is undefeated Chad Mendes who he’ll face in the headliner at UFC 142 in Rio.

6. Dominick Cruz – Even before he defeated his long-time nemesis Urijah Faber, Dominick Cruz had earned a spot on this list.  Since then, he’s defeated Urijah Faber and Demetrious Johnson using both his unorthodox striking and wrestling.  While currently recovering from a hand injury, his name is being tossed around as a potential coach on the next season of TUF where he’d face his nemesis Urijah Faber as a lead up to their trilogy fight in summer 2012.
7. Junior Dos Santos- Thus far in his career in the UFC, none of his opponents have been able to match him on the feet.  Even renowned strikers like Mirko Cro Cop and Shane Carwin fell to the young Brazilian after taking severe beatings.  He’s young, supremely confident, and has shown no signs of slowing down.  In one of the most important fights in UFC history, Cigano knocked out Cain Velasquez in 64 seconds. He now awaits the winner of Alistair Overeem and Brock Lesnar against whom he’ll defend his belt for the first time.
8. Nick Diaz – Perhaps the hottest name in MMA right now.  The bad boy from Stockton has drawn the attention of MMAs fans worldwide ever since he vacated his Strikeforce title and resigned with the UFC.  Since then, a bizarre series of events cost him a shot at GSP, but at UFC 137, he absolutely dismantled BJ Penn and leapfrogged Carlos Condit as the #1 contender in the welterweight division.  Diaz has St. Pierre directly in his cross hairs and the two will finally mix it up Super Bowl weekend in Las Vegas in what will be one of the most anticipated fights of the year.
9. Benson Henderson – in the greatest fight that no one saw, Benson Henderson proved why he belongs on this list by outworking Clay Guida in all facets of their fight.  His only loss over the last four plus years was the result of Anthony Pettis’ highlight reel showtime kick, but since then, Henderson has mowed down all his competition in the UFC.  He’s got terrific standup, stout wrestling, and a resilience that is unmatched, but will be put to the test in February when he faces Frankie Edgar for the UFC Lightweight belt.
10. Rashad Evans – Has anyone ever had worse luck than Rashad Evans?  Throughout his career, he’s only had 1 career loss and has been in position to win his title back for what seems like an eternity only to watch those opportunities slip by due to injuries.  Although he is currently the #1 contender for the Light Heavyweight title and should get the next shot at the winner of Jon Jones vs. Lyoto Machida, he is rumored to be fighting Phil Davis at the end of January when the UFC returns to network television on Fox.
Up Next: Heavyweight
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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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