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MMA Fighter Rankings: Pound-for-Pound

For decades, boxing observers attempted to pin a Best Pound-For-Pound Fighter label on one boxer. Whether it was Tyson in his heyday, Roy Jones in numerous weight classes, or the Pacquiao vs Mayweather debate, fans wanted to pick one fighter as the best. It’s the same for MMA, with even more heated debate as the UFC begins to dwarf boxing in popularity.

Who is the best pound-for-pound fighter on the planet? Many argue Jon Jones, and Jose Aldo has forced himself into the mix with dominating performances. Brock Lesnar called himself the Baddest Man on the Planet and it was hard to argue for a while, until both Cain Velasquez and Shane Carwin pounded on him.

There is art and science in our list, and some good ol' down-home opinion based on what fight fan Jack Randall sees in the Octagon. See the OddsShark Pound-For-Pound MMA Rankings below and check back for updates . . .

1. Jon Jones (19-1) – UFC

Jon “Bones” Jones continues to be the man at 205 pounds. He has burned through the Light Heavyweight division beating numerous former champs and the best that the UFC has to offer in challengers. The only thing for the most dominant fighter in MMA to do is to someday move up in weight class to challenge for the Heavyweight crown.

2. Jose Aldo (24-1) – UFC

Jose Aldo has put together a streak of 17 straight wins that includes eight title defenses. He has also burned through most of the top talent in the UFC Featherweight division, losing few rounds along the way. A potential step up to Lightweight is likely in Aldo’s future as his weight cuts at 145 pounds continue to be more difficult for him to make.

3. Cain Velasquez (13-1) – UFC

Cain Velasquez finished his trilogy with Junior dos Santos in dominant fashion and showed the MMA world that he is indeed the baddest man on the planet. His lone loss was shrouded in rumours of injuries and his dominance over every opponent he’s faced earns him the third spot on the pound-for-pound Top 10 list as the best Heavyweight in the world.

4. Chris Weidman (11-0) – UFC

Chris Weidman is not only the fighter who dethroned and potentially retired Anderson Silva, he is also undefeated in 11 professional fights. He has dominated all of his opponents with a combination of boxing and wrestling skills that allow him to control fights regardless of where they’re fought. Weidman will have the potential to rise in the rankings if he can maintain his dominance over the division’s best contenders.

5. Renan Barao (31-1-0, 1 NC) – UFC

With Dominick Cruz’s future in limbo Renan Barao has established himself as the best 135-pound fighter in the world. He has gone 31 straight fights without a loss and has already beaten the top UFC Bantamweight competition. He brings a torrid pace and elite striking with a mean streak that cause most of his fights to end with either a KO or submission win.

6. Demetrious Johnson (19-2-1) – UFC

Demetrious Johnson has established himself as the best little man in MMA with recent wins over the best Flyweight fighters in the UFC. Johnson has also contended for the title at Bantamweight, recording wins against some of the best 135-pound fighters in MMA.

7. Anthony Pettis (17-2) – UFC

The former WEC and current UFC Lightweight champion has finally established himself as the best Lightweight fighter in the world. He will have a long list of challengers to face in the UFC Lightweight division, but injuries continue to keep his immensely entertaining Octagon appearances few and far between.

8. Ronda Rousey (9-0)

Women have become a permanent fixture in the UFC thanks to the dominance of UFC Women’s Bantamweight champion Ronda Rousey. The former Olympic Judo medallist won her first eight fights via armbar and most recently showed that she is ever evolving as a striker by finishing former Olympic medallist Sara McMann via Thai knee strikes.

9. Johny Hendricks (16-2)

The newly crowned UFC Welterweight champion has finally established himself as the best 170-pound fighter in the world with a gutsy win over top contender Robbie Lawler. Having beaten most of the top contenders before becoming champion, Hendricks finally earns a spot in the elite of the MMA world.

10. Chad Mendes (16-1)

Mendes has shown that he is the top contender in the Featherweight division with five straight wins following his only professional loss to Jose Aldo in 2012. He will likely get another shot at Aldo’s strap at some point in 2014 and could move higher on this list if he can knock Aldo from his throne.