Rankings: Top 25 P4P MMA Fighters


This is my personal ranking of the greatest 25 fighters, pound-for-pound, currently in MMA.

MMA talent in 2013 is drastically higher than it has ever been before, even just 18 months ago seems like a notable step down from today’s standard. ?The majority of the current UFC champions are without a doubt the greatest of all time in their respective divisions and the ones that aren’t have the potential to gain that title over the next few years. As well as the great champions, every single division is as stacked as it has ever been and there seems to be at least one or two contenders for each belt that have a legitimate chance of taking it.

During this rare UFC drought, one of the longer gaps between UFC events all year, I have been thinking about the rankings, specifically P4P.

A few important notes to take in to consideration before reading my rankings:?These are not set in stone – there is no point in modifying this list but my thoughts on the rankings can easily change given any fair arguments.?

There are a few positions of the fighters (JDS is a good example) that were so hard to decide upon that this list could look slightly different if it was made tomorrow morning or if I was in a different mood, you get the idea.?

Fighters that have been inactive for a very long time (including Dominick Cruz) were left out of consideration, as it is impossible to tell what their current abilities are.?

This is a male only list. I struggle comparing the level of competition in the Male and Female divisions of MMA against each other, and with Ronda Rousey being the only arguable entry from the Females, I decided to avoid the difficulty and controversy of ranking.?·

Criteria used in combination to decide rankings (some are more important than others and some don’t matter greatly due to the fighter excelling in another) – Performances (including dominance, finishing ability, mental strength/toughness, heart), level of competition, longevity against top competition, level of skills, competing at physical or skill disadvantages, well-roundedness of skills, career résumé.

The Top 25 P4P MMA Fighters:

.    Anderson Silva

.    Georges St-Pierre

.    Jon Jones

.    Jose Aldo

.    Frankie Edgar

.    Cain Velasquez

.    Ben Henderson

.    Renan Barao

.    Demetrious Johnson

.    Urijah Faber

.    Junior dos Santos

.    Johny Hendricks

.    Carlos Condit

.    Lyoto Machida

.    Anthony Pettis

.    Joseph Benavidez

.    Chad Mendes

.    Rory MacDonald

.    Chris Weidman

.    Gray Maynard

.    Ricardo Lamas

.    Fabrício Werdum

.    Demian Maia

.    Alexander Gustafsson

.    Chael Sonnen

Notable mentions/arguable entries – Daniel Cormier, Gilbert Melendez, Glover Teixeira, Jung Chan-Sung, Vitor Belfort, Cub Swanson, Jake Ellenberger, John Dodson.??

Okay, now it’s your turn! ?This article is mainly to set up a discussion amongst the community but I would also enjoy answering any challenges or questions on my rankings.

  • Keith….Any room on the list for : Mark Hunt , Dan Henderson, shogun Rua, vitor belfort, Wanderlei Silva.

    For me Chael Sonnen has not achieved near the accomplishments of guys like shogun Rua or Dan Henderson. Dan Henderson for example is a veteran, knocked out Bisping, Ko fedor,Ko Wanderlei Silva, beat Vitor belfort. List goes on.

    Gray Maynard has one KO on his record the rest are all decisions. Finishing ability is not great, but record is impressive.

    Chael is probably the one guy on the list i would probably replace with someone like Hendo. Legacy plays a big part for me plus finishes.

    • I would 100% put Shogun, Wand and Hendo on an all-time top 25 P4P list but I don't have them near a current top 25 list. I have Vitor just outside my 25, put him in honourable mentions.

      Mark Hunt's story is incredible and he is a outstanding striker but I have him barely in the top 10 at HW, never mind on a P4P list. Besides from divisional ranking, he is a bad example of all the criteria I use: level of competition – beating Struve was big but Kongo was a tailor made match-up and even with the UFC right now; longevity against top comp – this is his only win streak since 2006 and 2/4 of the wins where against lower tier HWs; well-roundedness of skills – his only great skill is striking, he is probably one of the least skilled grapplers at HW.

      I didn't put Hendo, Shogun or Wand in because I simply don't think any of them are currently one of the 25 best fighters out there.
      I think could be considered for something like the reason to but Silva and GSP in front of Jones but I can't use it as the main reason to bump Hendo in to the list.

      They may not have a lot of wins in the last year but I honestly think Maynard is still top 3 at lightweight (maybe win the belt) with his only loss to Edgar is no shame and if Sonnen fights back at his real weight class of MW he outclasses everyone except the champ and maybe Weidman, it wasn't long ago he was tearing through all the top contenders.

      Can't argue against you saying Vitor though

      • Keith….one again it comes down to criteria like you mention….This list could look alot different in 1 years time. From the current list we will probably see at least 3 future hall of famers i imagine. Silva , GSP, Jones.

  • i would put Cain Velasquez in Edgar's place, and also put Pettis in a higher position than Faber, and put Rory in a 25-30 spot, replace him with shogun maybe. don't think many of you would agree though, but it's nice to see names like Maia and Lamas on the list,

    • I could see Cain being higher, that's choice is easy to get along with but I have Frankie higher just due to all his competition level being so crazily high, all his opponents over the last 3 years were at the time argued top 10 P4P .

      Pettis was one of the hardest guys to rank, I really struggled deciding where to put him and I originally had him higher but lowered him. I really wonder what his wrestling is like now, seeing as since he was shut-down by Guida he hasn't fought another wrestler.
      Rory was a rough pick as well, since he was basically never been pushed or fought a real top contender since Condit, I have to just guess how well he would do against elite competition (that version of Penn doesn't count as elite).

      • oh and thanks, I felt one of the FW contenders deserved a spot and Lamas has beat 3 top 10s in a row, with Hioki and Koch basically being #1 contenders or they were very recently… not sure if any other division has a guy who can boast that

    • I actually think faber is one of the very best p4p. He has only lost to bigger guys and has always given those guys the toughest fights of their lives. I think as great as Faber is rated he is better for his size than Cain and maybe even Benson.

  • Gilbert Melendez not even top 25?

    • He's one of my arguable entries. I really thought hard about putting him in but apart from his last fight, he hasn't looked impressive for a while.

      I wouldn't disagree putting him somewhere 20-25 but I want to see him in another fight to see how he does against another top UFC fighter because hindsight 20:20, Ben may been a good match-up for him – a fighter who struggles if he can't get the takedown and needs to improve his boxing (Gilbert's strength).

  • I see you are still holding those Frankie fights against Bendo or maybe you are ranking Frankie higher because he is smaller??? It's your opinion so I won't try to convince you haha.

    • haha thanks and both things. I think he won both fights against Bendo (especially second time) so I have to rank him higher than Bendo. He also gets put up a few more ranks since he was much smaller.

      I felt he won the fight against Aldo and even if he didn't it was so close they are pretty much at the same level. I put Aldo in front of him because even though their fight was so close, Aldo's streak before that has been so impressive and clear wins he deserves the place.

      • All in all I think you have a well thought out list. I think Jon Jones is a little high for the same reason you bumped up Frankie. Jones weighs in at 205 at the weigh ins but probably close to 230 during the fight. He's way bigger and longer than everyone he fights. I will give him top 5 because of his record and who he has beaten but I can't rank him too high in the "P4P" list. I like AS at 1 because he has dominated his weight class and has fought above his impressively. I like GSP at 2 because out of everyone I think he has fought the best competition.

  • I agree with every name on there, but I had it all in reverse order. How odd. 🙂

    • Very odd indeed.. Sonnen on top and Silva at the bottom? Heheh 😉

  • How is Frankie Edgar #5 on your "CURRENT" p4p list when he's CURRENTLY on a 3 fight losing streak. His last WIN was nearly 2 years ago. Let alone ranked higher then the guy who beat him TWICE in his last 3 fights.

    • because I, along with a huge amount of people, don't think he lost to Ben Henderson. His fight as so close with Also that if he did deserve to lose, he was so near Aldo that night that he should be ranked just behind him as he was basically equally skilled there.