Pound for pound rankings are generally viewed as a useless, yet entertaining tool for debating who’s the best fighter out there, regardless of weight divisions. They’re subjective by their very nature, as are many rankings, but a point does come where certain accomplishments cannot be denied. That being said, I find it irritating, even offensive, when someone throws out any name other than Anderson Silva as the supreme pimp daddy of MMA. In my mind it just cannot be justified. It’s like calling a veggie burger a burger. Call it a patty, a rancid disk of nastiness, whatever, just don’t call it a burger because it’s not, therefore it doesn’t deserve such a noble classification.
Must we go through Silva’s achievements again? Undefeated in the UFC at 16-0, with only two of those wins going to decision, and that was only because Silva was off in la-la land. No one wins 16 straight in the UFC. It just doesn’t happen. He has 10 straight title defenses. No one does that either. He goes up in weight and actually wrecks dudes worse than he does in his own division. And he continues to do things on a regular basis that defy conventional MMA knowledge. Plus he lip synchs Justin Bieber, and readily admits his sister dressed him in girls’ clothing as a child. He’s just a serious dude.
But still there are detractors out there who insist the P4P king is Jon Jones, or GSP, or even Frankie Edgar. That’s right, Frankie Edgar. GSP himself, consensus Top 3 P4P member, told the LA Times that Edgar is the best the sport has to offer, despite being 1-2-1 in his last four fights.
“No. 1 is Frankie Edgar; he’s the best pound-for-pound fighter we have. He lost his fight to Benson Henderson only according to the judges. He was much stronger than Henderson.”
Don’t get me wrong, I love Frankie, he’s awesome. But he’s not the best P4P fighter. You could make the argument that he’s the best lightweight. I do think his last decision loss to Ben Henderson was just a little bit of bullshit, but I agreed with the first one. And if he beats Jose Aldo, you could make the argument that he’s the best featherweight. But P4P? Nyet.
I get the Jon Jones argument, even the GSP one. P4P debates aren’t just about records. They’re about taking size out of the equation and evaluating how fighters stack up. And anyone you talk to has their own criteria. One of the main standards in my book though is domination. Jones dominates. GSP may not finish, but he dominates. And Silva dominates. Edgar does not. Yes, his consecutive losses were razor thin decisions to a great fighter. But Silva, Jones, and GSP face great fighters too, and they never let it get that close because they’re head and shoulders above their peers. Edgar is not. He’s a great fighter with a shitload of heart, but he isn’t the P4P king.