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MMA pound-for-pound rankings

Light heavyweight champion Jon Jones celebrates after beating

Light heavyweight champion Jon Jones celebrates after beating Chael Sonnen at UFC 159 in Newark, N.J. (April 27, 2013) Credit: AP

If you found it weird to see Anderson Silva in the cage with the referee raising the other fighter's hand in victory, then you may need to do a double take at Newsday's pound-for-pound MMA mid-year rankings.

Four new fighters, including Baldwin's Chris Weidman, landed on the list this time around, plus a brand new No. 1.

Newsday's P4P rankings are done every six months rather than monthly so as to be more comprehensive in assessing fighters' bodies of work because most of them compete only two or three times per year.

Here's the list, in true countdown order:

10. CHRIS WEIDMAN (UFC, middleweight, 10-0)

Previous rank: NR

The undefeated 29-year-old from Baldwin became the first and only fighter to knock out Anderson Silva. The new middleweight champion ended Silva's nearly seven-year reign atop the 185-pound division.

Next fight: TBD

9. RENAN BARAO (UFC, bantamweight, 32-1)

Not too many times will an interim champion defend his title. But the prolonged absence of Dominick Cruz has allowed Barao to showcase himself with wins over Urijah Faber and Michael McDonald. Barao was supposed to defend his interim title for a second time last month at UFC 161 but an injury to challenger Eddie Wineland scrapped the bout.

Previous rank: NR

Next fight: vs. Eddie Wineland at UFC 165 on Sept. 21 in Toronto.

8. JUNIOR DOS SANTOS (UFC, heavyweight, 16-2)

One of two non-champions on this list, Dos Santos is still among the hardest hitters in the heavyweight division and has one of toughest chins. He gets his chance to take back the belt he lost to Cain Velasquez.

Previous rank: NR

Next fight: vs. Cain Velasquez at UFC 166 on Oct. 19 in Houston.

7. DEMETRIOUS JOHNSON (UFC, flyweight, 17-2-1)

There's flyweight fast and then there's Demetrious Johnson flyweight fast. With three straight decision wins in the UFC's lightest and newest male division, Johnson has proven to be its undisputed king.

Previous rank: NR

Next fight: vs. John Moraga at UFC on FOX 8 on July 27 in Seattle.

6. CAIN VELASQUEZ (UFC, heavyweight, 12-1)

Remember that time in 2011 when Junior Dos Santos knocked him out in 64 seconds? Well, sandwiched in between first-round knockouts of Antonio Silva, Velasquez got his belt back with a solid beatdown of Dos Santos.

Previous rank: 6

Next fight: vs. Junior Dos Santos at UFC 166 on Oct. 19 in Houston.

5. BENSON HENDERSON (UFC, lightweight, 18-2)

Posterized by Anthony Pettis' "Showtime" kick at the end of 2010, Henderson has ripped through the UFC with seven straight wins. He can punch and grapple and has the cardio and flexibility to hang with any 155-pounder in the world.

Previous rank: 5

Next fight: vs. TJ Grant at UFC 164 on Aug. 31 in Milwaukee

4. JOSE ALDO (UFC, featherweight, 22-1)

Injuries to Aldo and/or his opponents make it seem like he never fights anymore. But he does, and when he does, he's among the best and most exciting fighters in the world.

Previous rank: 4

Next fight: vs. Chan Sung Jung at UFC 163 on Aug. 3 in Rio de Janeiro, Brazil.

3. ANDERSON SILVA (UFC, middleweight, 33-5)

It had been 3,109 days since Silva physically lost to an opponent (not counting the DQ loss to Yushin Okami in 2006 because of an illegal kick). The man who sat atop every pound-for-pound ranking list for several years drops down nearly as quickly as new champ Weidman dropped him in the second round at UFC 162.

Previous rank: 1

Next fight: TBA

2. GEORGES ST-PIERRE (UFC, welterweight, 24-2)

An 18-month injury break, plus the emergence of Jon Jones in that time span and six straight wins by decision make people forget just how good GSP really is.

Previous rank: 3

Next fight: vs. Johny Hendricks at UFC 167 on Nov. 16 in Las Vegas.

1. JON JONES (UFC, light heavyweight, 18-1)

After beating Chael Sonnen with a broken toe, it's hard to find anything Jones can't do inside the octagon. He still has a few fights left at 205 pounds before he "cleans out" the division, but that doesn't stop people from clamoring for the superfight against Anderson Silva.

Previous rank: 2

Next fight: vs. Alexander Gustafsson at UFC 165 on Sept. 21 in Toronto.

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