Mark La Monica Mark La Monica

Mark La Monica is the deputy sports editor for cross media at Newsday and writes about mixed martial

Mixed martial artists don't fight frequently enough to warrant monthly rankings like you see in other sports.

But semi-yearly rankings sound appropriate. Here we go with the mid-2010 look at the top 10 pound-for-pound fighters in MMA, presented in traditional countdown form, so don't let your eyes wander down the page right away.

 

10. FABRICIO WERDUM (heavyweight, Strikeforce, 14-4)

Seems fair that the guy who handed Fedor Emelianenko his first loss in 10 years and bounced him from nearly every pound-for-pound ranking earns a spot here, even if it's just for now. Next fight: TBA.

 

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9. B.J. PENN (lightweight, UFC, 15-6-1)

We're still not quite sure what to make of his lackluster showing in Abu Dhabi last April when he lost his title to Frankie Edgar. Perhaps the rematch in Boston will clear things up for "The Prodigy" and us. Next fight: UFC 118 vs. Frankie Edgar, Aug. 28.

 

8. FRANKIE EDGAR (lightweight, UFC, 12-1)

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It looks weird seeing Edgar ahead of Penn on this list, doesn't it? But Edgar is fast and strong on his feet and he was the first fighter to take down Penn in nearly four years. Can't wait for the rematch. Next fight: UFC 118 vs. B.J. Penn, Aug. 28.

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7. JAKE SHIELDS (middleweight, free agent, 25-4-1)

Strikeforce all but engraved Dan Henderson's name on the championship belt in April. Only problem is, Shields dominated and manhandled the former Olympic wrestler. Expect to see Shields in the UFC title mix at 185 and/or 170 pounds in the near future. Next fight: TBA.

 

6. LYOTO MACHIDA (light heavyweight, UFC, 16-1)

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"The Karate Kid" once seemed unbeatable. But a controversial win over "Shogun" Rua followed by a loss in the rematch has people recalibrating their thoughts on Machida. He'll return with that awkward karate-based style and remain a dominant fighter for some time. Next fight: TBA.

 

5. JON FITCH (welterweight, UFC, 25-3)

He's the best fighter no one likes talking about. That's because he doesn't finish fights. Fitch's last seven fights have gone to a decision, but his only loss in the past five years was to the guy at No. 2 on this list. Next fight: UFC 117 vs. Thiago Alves, Aug. 7.

 

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4. MAURICIO RUA (light heavyweight, UFC, 19-4)

A third knee injury sidelined the champion until next spring, but in the last three fights, Rua proved he's a star. He finally solved the puzzle that was Lyoto Machida. Some say he did it twice. Next fight: TBA.

 

3. JOSE ALDO (featherweight, WEC, 17-1)

Still wondering if that black-and-blue mark the size of the Long Island Sound on Urijah Faber's leg from April has healed yet. Aldo is a devastating fighter with speed and power in both his hands and legs. And he's only 23. Advice for the 145-pounders out there: Eat a few steaks tonight. Next fight: TBA.

 

2. GEORGES ST-PIERRE (welterweight, UFC, 20-2)

How does a man with no previous wrestling background become arguably the best wrestler in MMA? Figure out the answer to that question and maybe you've got a shot at beating the champion from Montreal. Next fight: TBA vs. Josh Koscheck.

 

1. ANDERSON SILVA (middleweight, UFC, 26-4)

Six straight title defenses are a UFC record for any weight class. Some scoff at his recent shenanigans inside the octagon. Or it's just proof that Silva can do whatever he wants in the cage regardless of who the opponent is. "The Spider" is the best around, still. Next fight: UFC 117 vs. Chael Sonnen, Aug. 7.