World Pound For Pound MMA Rankings

UFC welterweight
7. Jake Shields

Jeremy Botter: Shields was beyond terrible in his UFC debut, yet still managed to beat a very game Martin Kampmann. That says something about his skillset, and I’m still of the mindset that Shields will present a unique challenge for St. Pierre when the two meet in 2011.

Spencer Kyte: Don’t judge Shields on his UFC debut; the former Strikeforce middleweight champion managed to eek out a win over a tough Martin Kampmann, despite looking exhausted in the early going. We’ll see why he’s on this list and the reason the UFC was so quick to snare him as a free agent when he meets the winner of the UFC 124 main event.

Matt Brown: Jake Shields is better than the Jake Shields we saw versus Martin Kampmann.  He’ll make sure he doesn’t have to cut nearly 20 pounds to make weight and he’ll be ready for the winner of Georges St. Pierre and Josh Koscheck.  This is still the guy that dominated Mayhem Miller and Dan Henderson.

8. Dominick Cruz

Jeremy Botter: Cruz has a chance to become the first-ever UFC bantamweight champ, but he’ll have to get by Scott Jorgensen to claim the crown. After that? A date with Urijah Faber is likely in the offing, considering Faber’s impressive win over Takeya MIzugaki this week.

Spencer Kyte: The UFC bantamweight champ hasn’t lost at 135. In fact, he’s barely been tested since dropping to the division more than two years ago. If he comes away with a win against Scott Jorgensen in December, a chance to avenge the only loss of his career opposite Urijah Faber could be on the horizon.

Matt Brown: When you talk about someone who has really stepped up and made a name for himself in the last 12 months, Dominick Cruz really comes to mind.  His footwork and head movement are truly a thing of beauty – and a rarity in MMA.  It looks like he’ll get Urijah Faber if he makes it past the tough Scott Jorgensen.

9. Lyoto Machida

Jeremy Botter: Machida faces off against Rampage Jackson this week in Detroit. It should be an ugly style matchup for Jackson and a fight that Machida can easily win by decision. It may not be the prettiest thing in the world, but it will be effective, and then Jackson will complain about being in a boring fight when, in reality, he should be focused on winning the fight.

Spencer Kyte: When the only loss of your career comes to someone ranked ahead of you on this list in a championship bout, that says something about your skill set. Before being defeated by “Shogun” Rua, people were proclaiming Machida an unbeatable talent at 205. While he has already been beaten, Machida remains a remarkable talent with just a single tick in the loss column.

Matt Brown: Machida will likely bounce back from defeat with a convincing win against Rampage Jackson at UFC 123 this Saturday. When looking at the pecking order in the light heavyweight division, it may not be too long before we see Machida getting a shot to regain the title.

10. Gilbert Melendez

Jeremy Botter: It feels like it’s only a matter of time before Melendez follows Jake Shields to the UFC, and that’s how it should be. A superfight with Eddie Alvarez seemingly will not pan out, and you can only throw Shinya Aoki in the cage with Melendez so many times before things get stale.

Spencer Kyte: Melendez isn’t here to keep the UFC from holding every place on the rankings as some people will surely argue. The Strikeforce lightweight champion is here because he dominated Shinya Aoki and holds wins over Josh Thomson and Tatsuya Kawajiri as well. If he was in the UFC, no one would argue this ranking.

Matt Brown: The big matchups for Melendez are few and far between.  Most of the best lightweights in the world reside in the UFC or Japan so getting something exciting going for him will take some doing.  His good friend Jake Shields has moved to the UFC and one can only wonder how long it will take for Gilbert to do the same.

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