Rory MacDonald and Chris Weidman were surprising selections in Koh's pound-for-pound list.
Jon Jones over Anderson Silva? Rory MacDonald and Chris Weidman cracking the top 10 on a pound-for-pound list? Yes, it's crazy talk for some and the Twittersphere has let me know it.
I'm one of about 40-plus media members that voted for the UFC's very first official rankings a couple of weeks ago and Fox 11 is the only local television station to have a vote in the entire nation, at least at the time that this story is being typed up.
So with the conclusion of UFC on Fuel 7, media members got to vote again with the new results being posted on the UFC's website in the coming days.
But before the official list comes out, you can check out my updated pound-for-pound list here:
1- Jon Jones
2- Anderson Silva
3- Jose Aldo
4- Georges St-Pierre
5- Cain Velasquez
6- Benson Henderson
7- Renan Barao
8- Vitor Belfort
9- Rory MacDonald
10- Chris Weidman
I voted Jones over Silva based on my opinion that Bones has faced significantly stiffer competition and destroyed them all. Keep in mind Jones has ran through a crazy gauntlet of the sports very best: Vitor, Rashad, Lyoto, Rampage and Shogun. Dudes who must be pretty good given they all operate on a one-name basis.
Don't get me wrong the Spider has been a combination of genius/artist/monster in some of his fights but some of his opponents have been, shall we say, less than elite.
Yushin Okami is far from dominant, Demian Maia found middleweight none to forthcoming and has since dropped to welterweight, and even though Patrick Cote has come back, he, Thales Leites and James Irvin have all been DROPPED by the promotion at one point.
You throw in the fact Silva looked downright average in his first fight against Chael Sonnen and it's hard for me not to vote Jones ahead of the middleweight king.
Alright, let me address the Rory MacDonald and Chris Weidman picks at nine and 10, respectively. I get it. They're young. They haven't really proven anything yet. And no I'm not Rory's roommate, as one Twitter user suggested. But have you seen them fight??? It's hard not to get excited about them and it's equally hard to see anyone beating them except the very guys that sit atop their respective divisions. Remember when an unheralded Jon Jones got a title shot against Mauricio Rua and most everyone was saying he wasn't ready and/or he was going to get mopped up by Shogun.
Now we're talking about Jones like he's an unstoppable force. Keeping that in mind, I'm just jumping on the MacDonald and Weidman bandwagons early. MacDonald has absolutely man-handled every single opponent that have come his way minus a very large, very noticeable Carlos Condit blemish on his record.
It was a fight he largely dominated until the third round, where I felt the referee made an absolutely terrible call to stop the fight with just 7 seconds left in the fight. If it went to the cards any reasonable person would have scored it 29-28 for MacDonald. If he's undefeated right now and looking the way he does, are you honestly telling me there is anyone in the welterweight division that you would take hands down over Ares?
I think he's scary good right now and I'm thinking he will ultimately show me correct when he takes on Condit in a rematch.
As for Weidman… well, if you can't already tell I really favor young and exciting fighters. Read: Jones, Aldo, MacDonald. I put Weidman in that class because of his advanced wrestling skills and his rapidly-improving striking skills. That inside, counter elbow he threw on Mark Munoz was something else.
If it wasn't for Vitor Belfort giving Jon Jones a scare and destroying Michael Bisping recently I would have gladly put Weidman as the top 185 contender. But even as is, I truly believe this kid has the power, athleticism and most importantly the grappling ability to stop Anderson Silva. Not next year, not two fights from now… right now. It's not a popular idea and I'm okay with that. Again, I'm hoping at some point in the very near future Weidman proves me right.
And finally, I chose Jose Aldo over Georges St-Pierre largely due to the way Aldo has been able to finish fights or inflict almost unbelievable punishment. GSP has looked just about as unstoppable as they come in any division but the fact of the matter is, he's largely become a guy who grinds out decisions against guys that are good but not great.
He's forced decisions in six of his last seven fights with the lone exception of BJ Penn whose corner threw in the towel at the end of round four. And many of the guys GSP has fought have not necessarily been killers themselves. Jake Shields followed up his decision loss to St-Pierre by getting knocked down and out by Jake Ellenberger in the first round. Dan Hardy followed up his decision loss with three consecutive losses, one by KO (Carlos Condit) and another by submission (Chris Lytle).
Thiago Alves has gone just 2-3 over his last five since his title shot. BJ Penn has gone 1-2-1 at welterweight since his failed bid at the belt. Matt Serra 1-2 since his shot, Matt Hughes has gone 3-3 since his last bout with GSP. If you're keeping track that's six opponents who have sported non-winning records since their fights with the welterweight champ. I'm not saying he's not an amazing fighter, because keep in mind he's in my top four, but again, you look at the way he's beaten those guys and it's tough not to take Aldo over him.