Fedor vs. GSP: Who's the top MMA fighter?

Fedor Emelianenko (left) and Montreal's Georges St. Pierre are considered two of the best MMA...

Fedor Emelianenko (left) and Montreal's Georges St. Pierre are considered two of the best MMA fighters in the world.

NEIL SPRINGER and JOSE RODRIGUEZ

, Last Updated: 11:19 AM ET

Neil Springer and Jose Rodriguez form Sun Media's one-two punch when it comes to mixed martial arts coverage. Today the pair square off to make a case for who is the best pound-for-pound fighter on the planet. You can share your thoughts on their picks or offer your own at The Scrapyard blog.

Neil: Fedor Emelianenko is violent, aggressive, powerful and one of the smartest competitors in MMA. His 30-1 record includes wins over some of the toughest heavyweights in the sport. He will remain the top pound-for-pound fighter until he loses or retires.

Jose: Without a doubt Emelianenko is an incredible fighter. But he hasn't really fought a worthy contender since Cro Cop four years ago. Tim Sylvia and Hong Man Choi aren't even in the same league as him. So with that in mind, I think you have to give the top pound-for-pound crown to Georges St. Pierre. He's ripping through the who's who of his weight class and looking better each time.

Neil: I disagree with Fedor not facing top competition -- Andrei Arlovski put on a series of great performances before Emelianenko flattened him. Also, part of what makes a champion is the ability to work out of a tough spot. This is something we really haven't seen from St. Pierre. Matt Serra had him hurt and he couldn't fight back. Emelianenko was slammed on the back of his head by Kevin Randleman and then won by submission only moments later.

Jose: That Randleman fight was more than five years ago. Arlovski is the only half-decent challenger Emelianenko's faced in years. What makes a champion is taking on the top competitors and Emelianenko hasn't. He can't legitimately be called the best fighter on the planet. Even fighting Josh Barnett would have proved nothing. St. Pierre has very recently fought top competitors and destroyed them.

Neil: First you say Emelianenko doesn't face top competition, but then you claim the bout with Barnett, who is still the second best heavyweight in the world, would have proved nothing. Fighting a 4-1 guy like Brock Lesnar in the UFC would prove nothing. Also, Fedor's been dominant in a weight class where he's one of the smallest competitors. St. Pierre is a huge welterweight, yet he was stopped by Serra, a former 155-pound fighter.

Jose: I like to hate-on Lesnar as much as the next guy, but at least that would be a better match-up. Barnett is boring and will eventually be another pin for Emelianenko to bowl over -- once he passes the drug test. St. Pierre shows growth and increasing discipline with each fight. He's developed the deadliest ground-and-pound in the game and rarely fails on a takedown. St. Pierre consistently fights the number one contender. Can't say the same for Emelianenko.

Neil: Randy Couture went through legal hell when he tried to leave the UFC to fight Emelianenko. He's certainly someone Dana White is interested in keeping. Also, Arlovski left the company on his terms; he was not dropped. St. Pierre's ground-and-pound is nasty, but his use of the cage and reach advantage play a big role in that. However, Emelianenko's is on a whole different level -- watching him bounce Antonio Rodrigo Nogueira's head off the mat like a basketball remains sickeningly awesome to this day.

Jose: In the end, it comes to what have you done lately. And until the caliber of Emelianenko's competition is up to the caliber of St. Pierre's, he will remain Number 2.

NEIL'S PICKS
1. Fedor Emelianenko
2. Georges St. Pierre
3. Anderson Silva
4. Miguel Torres
5. Lyoto Machida
6. B.J. Penn
7. Mike Thomas Brown
8. Quinton Jackson
9. Dan Henderson
10. Jake Shields

JOSE'S PICKS
1. Georges St. Pierre
2. Fedor Emelianenko
3. Anderson Silva
4. Miguel Torres
5. Lyoto Machida
6. Mike Thomas Brown
7. Quinton Jackson
8. B.J. Penn
9. Dan Henderson
10. Brock Lesnar


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