Pound-for-pound rankings are extremely subjective and the fact that everyone seems to have their own ideas about what they actually mean makes for a lot of debate. But debate is fun and a good way to spend a Friday afternoon.
With that in mind, Yahoo! Sports has released their newest P4P rankings and, despite Dana White's assertion that Edgar should now be #2, he sits at number four.
White went on to argue, with some merit, that Edgar is small by the current standards of the lightweight division and that if you're looking at the phrase "pound-for-pound" in a strict sense, then Edgar's size has to be taken into account.
But the UFC boss' words didn't make an impression with voters in the Yahoo! Sports poll, as for the third straight month, Anderson Silva and Georges St. Pierre were unanimous choices at Nos. 1 and 2, respectively. Edgar, for his part, moved up one spot to No. 4 after his win.
That's not to say Edgar can't develop into a top-two fighter. Anyone with the moxie to survive Maynard's brutal first-round assaults in both of this year's bouts and remain champion is clearly a special breed. And if Edgar develops into a long-term champion in what is widely regarded as the company's deepest division, his stock will continue to rise. But as of Oct. 2011, the fighters ahead of him simply have stronger claims to their spots.
This notion that somehow being small for a weight class factors into pound-for-pound seems to have been pulled completely out of nowhere.
The concept was always much more simple when I was younger. It was a measure of overall skill and how that skill translated into success and dominance. Nothing crazy about pretending guys are the same weight and judging them or anything about being small or big for your weight. Simply how good and how successful a fighter was. Sugar Ray Robinson was an inch taller than Mike Tyson and the same height as Rocky Marciano but no one would make the case (or at least they shouldn't) that Tyson or Marciano were better pound-for-pound boxers than Robinson. Marciano also fought guys who were 10-40 pounds bigger his entire carrer, but that doesn't factor into his historical ranking.
But I've clearly fallen into the trap of arguing method for ranking pound-for-pound.
Edgar will have many more chances to make his case for being one of the top fighters in the world over the coming years. Regardless of if it's a bout against Gilbert Melendez (currently clocking in at #8 on the Yahoo rankings) or Dana White's desired path of having Edgar drop to 145 to face #5 Jose Aldo.