Eric Bolte-US PRESSWIRE
The latest stop in the SB Nation rankings is likely the most contentious one - pound-for-pound. Ranking in divisions is hard enough. Doing this sort of mythical ranking always leads to a wide variety of opinions due to the different criteria for each person. As you can see by the chart below, things varied widely amongst the six rankers that make up the panel (two each from Bloody Elbow, MMA Fighting, and MMA Mania):
Ariel Helwani, Brian Hemminger, and yours truly were the most uniform cards of the bunch. Our own Dallas Winston offered up the most varied card, being the only person that chose to rank B.J. Penn, Ronda Rousey, and Renan Barao while leaving off champions like Ben Henderson and Demetrious Johnson. In total, votes were cast for 16 different fighters.
The top of the list, as expected, is dominated by three long-term champions - Anderson Silva, Jon Jones, and Georges St. Pierre. Dallas was the only one who decided not to rank all three in the top spots, choosing instead to rank Jose Aldo at three and sliding GSP all the way down to 5. Aldo and Junior dos Santos rounded out the top five overall.
Personally, I can't see how Penn could make the list. He's undoubtedly one of the best of all time, and he's fighting a weight class above where he should be. But one win in his last five fights doesn't cut the mustard for me. And Rousey has six career fights. Even though she's been dominant, her resume isn't long enough to warrant inclusion. Some people might think she doesn't belong there at all due to the apples and oranges nature of WMMA compared to men fighting, but I disagree. I just think she hasn't earned it yet.
Anyway, take a gander and tell us how much we messed up.