Sherdog.com’s Pound-for-Pound Top 10

By Sherdog.com Staff Sep 7, 2015



John Dodson was thought to have a puncher’s chance against Ultimate Fighting Championship flyweight titleholder Demetrious Johnson. As it turns out, he had no chance at all.

Johnson ran circles around “The Magician” for the better part of five rounds, pocketed a unanimous decision and retained his flyweight crown with a masterful performance in the UFC 191 main event on Sept. 5 at the MGM Grand Garden Arena in Las Vegas. The win put “Mighty Mouse” in some rarified air, as he joined Anderson Silva, Georges St. Pierre, Jon Jones and Jose Aldo as the only fighters in UFC history to record at least seven consecutive title defenses.

What comes next for Johnson remains to be scene, but all signs point to the winner of the forthcoming matchup between Olympic gold medalist Henry Cejudo and Jussier da Silva as being the logical choice. They will face one another at a UFC Fight Night event on Nov. 21 in Monterrey, Mexico. Cejudo, 28, has long been viewed as a potential foil for Johnson, although he has had past issues with the cut to 125 pounds.

Despite his run of sustained success, Johnson still finds himself behind Jon Jones and Jose Aldo in the pound-for-pound pecking order:

Related » Sherdog Divisional Rankings


1. Jon Jones (21-1)

The UFC’s 205-pound king continues to find ways to beat all those placed before him. At UFC 182, it was Daniel Cormier who clashed with Jones after a protracted battle of words in what was expected to be the hardest fight of the Jackson-Wink MMA fighter’s title reign. Though “DC” did not go down quietly, Jones neutralized the wrestler’s takedown attempts and used his freakish reach to punish Cormier with strikes, both at range and in the clinch. Having secured a five-round unanimous decision -- with all three judges giving Jones four rounds to Cormier’s one -- “Bones” stood as the most decorated light heavyweight champ in UFC history, with eight consecutive title defenses. However, Jones has since been indefinitely suspended and stripped of his title as a result of an arrest on a felony hit-and-run charge.

2. Jose Aldo (25-1)

Aldo was unable to score a second knockout of Chad Mendes in their UFC 179 rematch, but the end result was perhaps even more satisfying and more indicative of Aldo’s status as a pound-for-pound great. The featherweight ruler battled through more than a little adversity across his 25 minutes with Mendes, surviving an uppercut-induced knockdown to kick things into another gear and outclass the Team Alpha Male standout on the feet down the stretch. After seven straight title defenses, Aldo looks to be headed for the biggest fight of his career, as “Scarface” will attempt to derail the hype train of Irish standout Conor McGregor at UFC 194 in December.

3. Demetrious Johnson (23-2-1)

Johnson continues to reign supreme over the 125-pound division. His latest feat came at UFC 191, where the 29-year-old defended his belt for the seventh time -- Anderson Silva holds the all-time record at 10 -- with a lopsided decision over “The Ultimate Fighter” Season 14 winner John Dodson. In a little less than three years as champion, “Mighty Mouse” has taken out all contenders in his division, and he has done so in convincing fashion. Johnson will carry a nine-fight winning streak into his next appearance.

4. Chris Weidman (13-0)

Kept away from the cage for nearly a year with multiple injuries, Weidman made a rousing return at UFC 187 by defending his middleweight belt with a first-round finish of Vitor Belfort. The brief bout saw Weidman absorb the hardest shots that Belfort had to offer before flooring “The Phenom” with an effortless takedown and pounding his way to a stoppage from full mount. In his two-year reign atop the 185-pound division, Weidman has become a Brazilian killer. He snatched the belt from longtime champ Anderson Silva and then beat him again before successfully defending the strap against Belfort and Lyoto Machida. Now perfect through 13 professional bouts, the 31-year-old New Yorker has gone to the judges’ scorecards only once in his last five outings. Weidman will put his middleweight crown on the line against Luke Rockhold at UFC 194 on Dec. 12.

5. Rafael dos Anjos (24-7)

At UFC 185, dos Anjos proved that good things come to those who wait when he earned the UFC lightweight title after more than seven years with the organization. For 25 minutes, the well-rounded Brazilian put on a near-perfect performance, dominating the dynamic Anthony Pettis like none before. Dos Anjos has won nine of his last 10 bouts, including a knockout of durable ex-champ Benson Henderson and a decision win against currently streaking contender Donald Cerrone. The shark-infested waters at 155 pounds are never short of challengers champing at the belt. Though dos Anjos would doubtless like to settle the score with the only man to beat him in the past three years, Khabib Nurmagomedov, he will next defend his title in a rematch against Cerrone at UFC on Fox 17 on Dec. 19.

6. Daniel Cormier (16-1)

In the main event of UFC 187, Cormier assumed the mantle vacated by nemesis Jon Jones, claiming the UFC’s light heavyweight title with a systematic dismantling of Anthony Johnson. After being knocked to the ground by “Rumble” in the opening moments of the bout, Cormier put his world-class wrestling to work and overwhelmed Johnson on the ground, bloodying and battering the larger man before cinching the win via third-round rear-naked choke. Hardware aside, the 36-year-old’s record boasts some impressive names, with victories over former heavyweight champs like Josh Barnett and Frank Mir, plus heavy hitters such as Johnson and Dan Henderson. Fortunately for Cormier, his title win came only four victories into his 205-pound career, which means there remains a wealth of potential matchups for him in the near future. His next assignment will come against Alexander Gustafsson at UFC 192 on Oct. 3.

7. Fabricio Werdum (20-5-1)

For years, Werdum was regarded as the best heavyweight grappler in MMA. After UFC 188, the 37-year-old Brazilian is being recognized as the best heavyweight in MMA, period. Werdum took it to Cain Velasquez in their June 13 meeting, rocking the returning champion with punches and knees before securing a third-round guillotine choke which unified their titles, leaving “Vai Cavalo” as the undisputed king of the big men. Currently on a 6-0 run inside the Octagon, Werdum boasts one of the best résumés in heavyweight history. His dethroning of Velasquez joins a list of achievements which includes submission wins over divisional icons Fedor Emelianenko and Antonio Rodrigo Nogueira.

8. Anthony Pettis (18-3)

It was a rare sight at UFC 185, where “Showtime” was not only unable to win but really unable to implement any part of his diverse skill set thanks to stifling pressure from challenger Rafael dos Anjos. Pettis tasted defeat for the first time since 2011 and lost his UFC lightweight title in the process, as dos Anjos scored a clean sweep on the judges’ scorecards. Prior to the March 14 loss, Pettis spent three years scoring highlight-reel finish after highlight-reel finish against the cream of the 155-pound crop: Benson Henderson, Donald Cerrone and Gilbert Melendez all fell to the Roufusport fighter in one of the most impressive recent runs the division has seen.

9. Robbie Lawler (25-10, 1 NC)

Lawler on July 11 became the first man to successfully defend the UFC welterweight title in the post-Georges St. Pierre era, and he did so in dramatic fashion. Following four rounds of bloody, back-and-forth action with Rory MacDonald, the “Ruthless” one put away his challenger with a nose-shattering left hand. Since rejoining the UFC in February 2013, Lawler has gone 7-1 with four knockouts. He will next defend his title against Carlos Condit at UFC 195 on Jan. 2.

10. Johny Hendricks (17-3)

Hendricks no longer holds the UFC welterweight belt, but he remains a dangerous opponent for any fighter at 170 pounds. Since 2011, “Bigg Rigg” has won eight of 10 outings inside the Octagon, his only defeats coming in five-round split decisions against former P4P king Georges St. Pierre and current UFC champ Robbie Lawler. The former NCAA Division I wrestling standout leaned on his grappling base to defeat Matt Brown at UFC 185, putting him back on track after losing the title. Hendricks continues to angle for a rubber match with Lawler, but first he will have to get past fellow wrestler Tyron Woodley in a pivotal clash at UFC 192.

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