COMMENTARY | Only days removed from UFC 162's shake-up of the middleweight division, the ripple effects have extended beyond just the 185-pounders. The UFC has released its new pound-for-pound rankings, and where Anderson Silva once held the top spot, light heavyweight champion Jon Jones is now king.
Jones moved to No. 1 in the UFC's rankings, followed by Georges St-Pierre and Silva, who dropped two spots to No. 3. Additionally, newly minted middleweight champion Chris Weidman cracked the list for the time at No. 10.
The rankings are based on votes from 77 members of the global media, which now feels Jones, 25, is the best overall fighter in the promotion. Fact is, "Bones" could learn a lot from Silva and his loss to Weidman if he hopes to retain such a distinction.
Jones and Silva both feature elite striking and speed. Jones (18-1-0, nine KO/TKOs), however, has the edge in takedown defense and wrestling pedigree, while Silva has the superior jiu-jitsu skills. But they do share another common trait: confidence. Given how Weidman ended Silva's nearly seven-year run as champion by capitalizing on his overconfidence, Jones would do well to learn from the example and remain humble and focused. (Note Jones' finish of Lyoto Machida at UFC 140: "Bones" dropped Machida like he was dropping the mic after winning by standing guillotine).
Jones has had numerous close calls, most notably a near-armbar by Vitor Belfort at UFC 152, but he's won nine in a row and defended the belt five times. Until Jones, no one had defended the light heavyweight title more than once since Chuck Liddell held on to it for four fights in 2005 and 2006. Quinton "Rampage" Jackson and Machida each logged one defense each since 2006.
Meanwhile, St-Pierre (24-2-0, eight KO/TKOs) has won 11 straight fights dating back to 2007 and has defended the title eight times. However, during that stretch, "Rush" has finished only three fights -- B.J. Penn at UFC 94 (corner stoppage), Matt Serra at UFC 83 (knees to the body), and Matt Hughes at UFC 79 (armbar).
Jones has only fought to a decision three times in his career. It's because of his finishing ability that he deserves to be above St-Pierre, 32, in the rankings, while Silva (33-5-0, 20 KO/TKOs) takes some time to ask himself, "What just happened?"
Complete Pound-For-Pound Rankings
No. 1 - Jon Jones
No. 2 - Georges St-Pierre
No. 3 - Anderson Silva
No. 4 - Jose Aldo
No. 5 - Benson Henderson
No. 6 - Cain Velasquez
No. 7 - Demetrious Johnson
No. 8 - Renan Barao
No. 9 - Dominick Cruz
No. 10 - Chris Weidman
Paul Putignano lives in Southern California, where he has covered mixed martial arts and a wide array of sports across the Greater Los Angeles area. His work has been published in a variety of newspapers and online publications.
- Martial Arts
- Sports & Recreation
- Anderson Silva
- Jon Jones
- Chris Weidman