MMA Power Rankings -- POUND-FOR-POUND
Monday, April 23
In the first half of 2012, the pound-for-pound top five have been collectively inactive. Jose Aldo was able to down Chad Mendes at UFC 142 to keep his standing; otherwise, the top guys are healing, waiting or sorting out details with their next challenges. Anderson Silva (recovering from a shoulder injury) knows he's facing Chael Sonnen in the summer. Georges St. Pierre (recovering from a torn ACL) looks like he'll face Carlos Condit in the fall. Dominick Cruz (coaching opposite Urijah Faber on TUF 15) will fight in the summer. And Aldo is now waiting to find out who'll be standing opposite him in Calgary, Alberta, for UFC 149.
That leaves Jon Jones, who is, if not the most dominant champion right now, certainly the most prolific. He fought four times in 2011 and finished them all. His first fight in 2012 went to a decision, but it might have been his finest performance to date. Jones worked ruthless kicks and crisp, short elbows against Rashad Evans en route to a one-sided beatdown of the former champion. Now there's only one man left in his division who is considered a top pound-for-pound fighter, and that's the 41-year old Dan Henderson. Should Jones beat Hendo this summer, he might have done what Georges St. Pierre and Anderson Silva have never been able to quite do -- and that's clean out the division. Although Swedish fighter Alexander Gustafsson may protest before all is said and done.
Otherwise it looks like the rematch between Benson Henderson and Frankie Edgar is being circled for late summer, potentially at UFC 150. Just like with Jones/Henderson, this will be a battle of two top-10 P4P fighters who are each in their prime. You can't beat the drama -- nor the superb matchmaking -- going on in some of these weight classes.