UFC 100 is done and has been analyzed to death, so instead of continuing to beat the dead horse by talking about MMA's ascent into the mainstream or Bob Ryan's ridiculous belief that soccer will be a bigger North American sport than Mixed Martial Arts, we're ready to tackle more important debates.
Like who is the best fighter on the planet?
It's the middle of the month, so that must mean it's time for another installment of the Pound-for-Pound Rankings... please enjoy responsibly and let the debating begin!
July Pound for Pound Rankings
10. Gegard Mousasi
There may not be a fighter on the planet who better illustrates the concept of pound for pound than Mousasi, as the Armenian-born, Dutch-raised fighter's stock rose last year by winning the DREAM Middleweight Grand Prix. Since then, he's defeated Mark Hunt in the Super Hulk Tournament and is set to take on light heavyweight Renato "Babalu" Sobral at Affliction: Trilogy on August 1.
9. Urijah Faber
It's going to take more than a broken hand for me to bounce "The California Kid" from this list. Despite his seeming inability to get by Mike Thomas Brown, Faber is unquestionably one of the most skilled fighters in the game today, regardless of weight class. Hopefully, his hand heals better than Jamie Varner's ...
8. Rashad Evans
Similar to Faber, there is no real shame in losing to a guy who is higher up on this list than you are. Evans' loss at the hands of Lyoto Machida doesn't diminish his skill set in my books. In light of recent poor performance from fighters out of Wolfslair Academy, we could see Evans' full array on display when he squares off with Rampage later this year.
7. Mike Thomas Brown
Two defenses into his reign as WEC featherweight champ, Brown will look to make it three-in-a-row in November when he puts the belt on the line against dynamic striker Jose Aldo. Sure, the kid is dangerous and has been delivering impressive highlights, but so too was Urijah Faber before Brown planted him the first time around.
6. BJ Penn
When Penn shows up in shape and demolishes Kenny Florian in Philly next month, I promise to bump him up the charts. Until then, he stays outside the Top 5 as punishment for not devoting himself to achieving the greatness he is capable of and that he thinks he deserves.
5. Miguel Torres
He hasn't lost in over five years. For the last year and change, he's been taking on some of the best the world has to offer at 135 pounds and beaten them all, including his Fight of the Night candidate with Takeya Mizugaki. Torres puts his belt back on the line against Brian Bowles on August 9 at WEC 42.
4. Lyoto Machida
The big fish in the deepest pond, Machida now has the unenviable task of trying to hold onto a belt that has been on the move fairly frequently as of late. If Shogun Rua is back to being the same fighter many considered the best light heavyweight in the world, Machida could be the next man to have a brief encounter with the belt.
3. Anderson Silva
"The Spider" can climb higher with a dominating performance over Forrest Griffin. Another one of the performances that we've seen of late from Silva and he can enjoy the view from the three hole. Bring back the Anderson Silva from the Marquardt / Franklin / Henderson / Irvin run, not this guy who suddenly doesn't want to engage and looks bored.
2. Fedor Emelianenko
Maybe it's because I poured through his record in preparing yesterday's piece. Maybe it's because Anderson Silva has been facing lesser competition as of late. Maybe it's a combination of the two. Whatever the case, I've finally bumped Fedor up a notch in the rankings, thought many will surely be sour that he's only second best.
1. Georges St-Pierre
I know, I know: he lost to Matt Serra. What I also know is that since that time, GSP has defeated Josh Koscheck, Matt Hughes, Serra, Jon Fitch, BJ Penn and Thiago Alves. There isn't anyone in the game right now who has fought as difficult a schedule as Georges St-Pierre and it's not like the guy is eeking out wins either. He's dominating everyone and continuing to be the king of the mountain in my books.