Josh Gross
Wednesday October 29th, 2008

Loyal SI.com readers filed quite a bit of email the past two weeks, which comes as no surprise considering recent news. It looks like we're finally past Standgate (maybe), as interest waned significantly after the Florida Commission reported no wrongdoing. Combined with news from the latest UFC card, including a strange performance out of Anderson Silva, readers wanted a discussion on pound-for-pound lists, fantasy matchups and a potpourri of other topics. So here you go.

You say Silva did a lot of dancing around and more so backed away from Patrick Cote the first two rounds. Well I perceive it's obvious he won both first and second rounds in the points category. He did seem to be more illusive and almost over confident, but I do not agree with the fact that there are that many opponents that are capable of standing in the ring with Silva. Georges St. Pierre and B.J. Penn more so than anyone. I think his performance against a top-ranked fighter like Cote replenishes that fact that he is still the best pound-for-pound fighter in the world. -- Devon Meyer, Des Moines, Iowa

Sure, Silva was ahead on points. I'll give you that. I've also received several emails from readers saying they think the fight should have been called a no-contest. The knee didn't blow out as a result of anything Silva did. The technical knockout call does seem a bit strange.

As far as Cote goes, he wasn't considered to be among the top 10 at 185 pounds coming into the fight.

Since a pound-for-pound ranking is totally subjective due to considering all weight classes the same, why is a fighter's fight frequency given so much value? I agree with your top three guys, but not the order. Everyone mentions Fedor's lack of quality fights recently, but there weren't enough guys worthy enough to fight him. The few notable exceptions being Andre Arlovski, Josh Barnett and Randy Couture, and two of those guys were with the UFC, so those fights couldn't have happened. Simply put, Fedor's lack of quality fights does not in any way diminish his obvious talent. We all know he is the most totally well-rounded fighter in the world ... fight frequency aside. -- Anthony, Chicago

You weren't alone with this question. I've said it before and I'll say it now, Fedor's the best fighter I've seen compete in MMA. But he was marginalized over the past three years because of opponents (before Tim Sylvia) who had no business being in the ring with him. Meanwhile, Silva and G.S.P. -- showing tremendous skill in doing so -- were dominant against the best in their divisions. In hindsight, perhaps I should've put Fedor at No. 2, behind Silva. But these things sort themselves out. If he trashes Arlovski in January, Fedor is, at a minimum, 1-A to Anderson's 1.

How do you think a fight between Anderson Silva and Fedor Emelianenko at heavyweight would go down? People seem to laugh at the idea because Silva normally fights at 185 pounds. But the reality is that Silva is a huge middleweight and Fedor is a relatively small heavyweight. Silva would be two inches taller and give up only 15 pounds at most to Fedor. While Fedor would be a favorite going in, Silva would present an interesting challenge as he would actually be able to pose problems on the feet with his striking and speed which is something Fedor hasn't had to face much at heavyweight. -- Greg, West Chester, Penn.

Silva's size makes it a viable fight; He would only give away 15 to 20 pounds. Weight means less the bigger you get. Dan Henderson found success at 205, and he had his share of fights at heavyweight, too. There's no reason Silva, a bigger man, couldn't do the same.

He also has the length, but I'm not sure who owns the speed advantage. And if they get tangled in a clinch, Silva would get dumped on his head.

But let's get back to reality here. We can't get Fedor vs. Couture. Though I'm sure Silva would do it, there's no way the UFC would risk pitting its pound-for-pound star against the best heavyweight in the world.

Yes, it's early, and it hasn't even been signed, but I was wondering what are your thoughts on the G.S.P.-Penn fight? Admittedly, I'm biased, but I'm gonna go with G.S.P. -- Mike, Montreal

If there's ever a non-title fight that deserves five rounds it's this one. But there are numerous questions leading up to it. Can Penn add 15 pounds and still come in fit? His tank has run dry in the past -- most notably in their first fight. Will G.S.P. stand or wrestle? Can Penn catch a sub if it goes to the floor?

In fights like these, it's generally smart to favor the naturally bigger, fitter fighter. That's St. Pierre. Penn can slug, and St. Pierre's chin has failed him before. He's also one of the best submission artists in the world, but St. Pierre has managed to dismantle tough challengers time and again. So I think he's got enough to get past Penn a second time. I appreciate Penn's courage. He's going to be remembered for his belief that jiu-jitsu will carry him through any fight. But right now, St. Pierre is a better fighter.

The Josh Koscheck-Thiago Alves fight was interesting, and I liked it from a few aspects. I liked Koscheck and that he stepped up and took this fight on two weeks notice. Koscheck is still raw in this sport, and for him to step up and take a fight against a top contender on short notice is ballsy. Alves was extremely impressive. How will this effect Koscheck in the standings against the other welterweights? How does this fight affect the future of Diego Sanchez, as Koscheck defeated Sanchez and Alves ripped Koscheck? -- Ben, Freehold, NJ

Losing has lifted pressure on Koscheck to win every time out. Now it's about making an exciting fight. Remember, he's still young in his career. Two years from now, can you imagine how good he'll be? Fights like the one against Alves will only help Koscheck on, and even with the recent loss, his ranking shouldn't slip much. I imagine he'll drop around four or five. Alves should be No. 2 behind GSP, and Sanchez will find himself -- like all welterweights in the UFC -- tested each time out.

Do you think we will see more ex-WWE wrestlers coming to MMA? Do you think this is a good idea for the sport? -- Dave S., Snohomish, Wash.

Pro wrestlers have a long history in MMA, and you have to expect more will make their way into the sport. Bobby Lashley seems like the next one to be unleashed. If he performs well, who knows, it could be the start of a trend. MMA in Japan flourished when popular pro wrestlers made their way from the fake stuff to the real stuff.

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