By Simon Samano
For FOX Deportes
UFC president Dana White was asked after Jon Jones defeated Rashad Evans over the weekend if he felt the light heavyweight champion had overtaken Anderson Silva as the pound-for-pound best.
White didn’t think so, and neither do I. However, with Georges St-Pierre still on the shelf, and considering all Jones has accomplished in his brief career, Jones has passed GSP for No. 2 on my initial pound-for-pound UFC rankings.
Here’s the breakdown:
1. Anderson Silva, 31-4, middle weight champion
No surprise the “Spider” is the top dog, right? I mean, the guy has wiped out his division, not to mention embarrassed Forrest Griffin at light heavyweight a few years back. Silva’s long-awaited rematch July 7 with Chael Sonnen, who dominated the better part of their fight in 2010 before submitting, needs to take place standing up. If it goes to the ground, Silva’s reign as No. 1 could end.
2. Jon Jones, 15-1, light heavyweight champion
By defeating Ryan Bader, then destroying Mauricio “Shogun” Rua to win the title, then dismantling Quinton “Rampage” Jackson, then putting Lyoto Machida to sleep standing, and then meticulously dominating Rashad Evans last weekend, Jones has all but cleaned out his division. Dan Henderson is next on the menu, but a move up to heavyweight could be in Jones’ future. He barely turns 25 this summer. That’s the scary part.
3. Georges St-Pierre, 22-2, welterweight champion
GSP’s standing here is somewhat tenuous. He’s been one of the world’s best fighters for a few years now. But after a year on the shelf, you’ve got to wonder how he’ll respond to ACL surgery the next time he fights. If anyone is capable of being better than before, though, it’s GSP.
4. Jose Aldo, 21-1, featherweight champion
If you at all started to question “Scarface” for needing decisions to defeat Mark Hominick and Kenny Florian, then what Aldo did to Chad Mendes should’ve restored your confidence in him. That impressive first-round knockout in January left no doubt about his dominance of the division.
5. Dominick Cruz, 19-1, bantamweight champion
Watching Cruz and Urijah Faber go at it as coaches on “The Ulitmate Fighter” ahead of their third fight has been entertaining, to say the least. Faber’s the only guy to have beaten Cruz back in 2007. Cruz won the rematch last year to retain his title. This third fight should be fun to watch.
6. Benson Henderson, 16-2, lightweight champion
Henderson brought the business to Frankie Edgar to win the title in February. The best part is that we get to see it happen all over again at some point this summer. You won’t want to miss it.
7. Junior dos Santos, 14-1, heavyweight champion
Nobody predicted dos Santos winning the title the way he did last year against Cain Velasquez, by knocking him out in the first round. Now dos Santos has been handed this last-minute curve ball thanks to Alistair Overeem’s positive drug test and will face Frank Mir instead next month. Let’s see how dos Santos handles it.
8. Frankie Edgar, 14-2-1, lightweight
Even though he lost his title in February, Edgar is the one fighter on this list mostly because of his heart. Don’t take that the wrong way, though. The kid can fight. An immediate rematch with Benson Henderson is definitely fair. Edgar deserves it.
9. Dan Henderson, 29-8, light heavyweight
He’s 41 years old and still going strong. You’ve got to love Hendo’s longevity. But does he really have a chance at defeating Jon Jones for the title. We’ll call it a puncher’s chance — as in, if he can connect flush on the chin, it’ll be lights out for Jones. That’s a huge if.
10. Carlos Condit, 28-5, welterweight interim champion
The “Natural Born Killer” was impressive in picking apart Nick Diaz in February to win interim gold. Now all he can do is wait for the major test against Georges St-Pierre once he’s ready to return from his knee injury. Winning that fight would propel Condit up this list for sure.