|Jose Aldo of Brazil celebrates with fans after defeating Chad Mendes of the U.S. (not pictured) during UFC Rio in Rio de Janeiro January 14, 2012. (Ricardo Moraes/REUTERS)
When talk turns to the world’s best pound-for-pound fighter, middleweight champ Anderson Silva usually tops most credible lists.
Welterweight belt-holder Georges St. Pierre is generally seen as No. 2 and light-heavyweight champ Jon (Bones) Jones has jumped to No. 3.
Down at No. 4 — and some lists 5 — is featherweight champ Jose Aldo.
Now, I’ll be the first to say that pound-for-pound lists are about as useful as a snowblower in Cuba. But as meaningless as they are, they make for good debate.
So with that in mind, I’d like to make the case for Aldo to be No. 1.
The water-cooler reasoning goes like this …
He has gone longer than any of the above fighters without a loss. Aldo last lost a fight in 2005. Silva lost his last fight in 2006, St. Pierre in 2007 and Jones in 2009.
Aldo is riding a 14-fight win streak — only one less than Silva’s. But unlike Silva, Aldo has never been owned for four rounds (read: Chael Sonnen).
Based strictly on their records, the 21-1 Aldo has less losses than Silva (31-4) and St. Pierre (22-2).
Jones has an equal number of losses (though I still think his DQ loss to Matt Hammil was the result of a dumb rule) but five less wins.
So, if you throw all that in the blender, Aldo should probably be the top pound-for-pound fighter in the world.
Sadly he’s a five-foot-seven featherweight who fights in far less sexy weight class that the bigger men on the list. Wonder where he’d be ranked if he was fighting at 170 lbs.-plus.