Sometimes, I get so deep into processing SILVA scores that I neglect to produce content on this blog. So I got an idea… why don’t I write posts releasing a batch of SILVA scores, and then give a little commentary on them? It could be an easy way to get some discussion going, or even get my creative juices flowing.
When I’m not processing SILVA scores for an upcoming UFC event, I’ll be working on fighters listed at Fight Matrix, going from the highest-ranked fighters in each weight class to the lowest.
SILVA scores that have already been processed (including for Anderson Silva) can be found here.
IN THIS POST
- Jose Aldo
- Joseph Benavidez
- Dominick Cruz
- Junior dos Santos
- Benson Henderson
- Dan Henderson
- Jon Jones
- Martin Kampmann
- Georges St-Pierre
- Cain Velasquez
Georges St-Pierre – SILVA score: 101.26
I don’t think there is anybody who would question how good St-Pierre was before his multiple knee injuries. After those injuries, I wonder if St-Pierre will be able to keep fighting at a championship level. Knee injuries like St-Pierre suffered are no joke, and if Mauricio “Shogun” Rua is any indication, St-Pierre won’t be as mobile or explosive as he used to be. At the same time, St-Pierre is one of the very best athletes in MMA, and if anybody could suffer through what he has, and come out of it still a world-class athlete, it’s him.
Jon Jones – SILVA score: 100.57
If you’re ranking fighters based on accomplishment, then Jones might be #3 or #4 on the pound-for-pound list. But if you’re ranking fighters based on ability, I think Jones is the best pound-for-pound fighter in the world. Already, he’s taken on Mauricio “Shogun” Rua, Quinton “Rampage” Jackson, Lyoto Machida, and friend-turned-rival Rashad Evans. Only Machida had even a small amount of success against him, and whether or not Machida won the first round against Jones is very debatable. Jones is simply dominating his division, and I highly doubt that Dan Henderson or Alexander Gustafsson will see success where others have failed.
Benson Henderson – SILVA score: 97.19
The UFC lightweight champion has wins over Frankie Edgar, Jim Miller, Clay Guida, Donald Cerrone twice, Mark Bocek, Shane Roller, and Anthony Njokuani. His one recent loss was a decision to Anthony Pettis, in the fight where Henderson was blasted by the “Showtime kick,” where Pettis kicked off the cage wall and knocked Henderson down in the follow through. Even then, it was a close fight where it wasn’t obvious who the judges would score it for. Henderson defines “well-rounded,” and has the tools to beat any challenger the UFC can find for him.
Jose Aldo – SILVA score: 95.81
I’m surprised to see Aldo at 95.81, and not above 100 alongside Georges St-Pierre and Jon Jones. The culprit is not Aldo, who has not been really threatened since becoming WEC featherweight champion, but the division he fights in. Urijah Faber and Chad Mendes were worthy challengers for him, but Mark Hominick and Manny Gamburyan were not. Now that we’ve gotten to Erik Koch and maybe Ricardo Lamas as challengers for Aldo’s title, we may be set up to see a dynasty like that of Georges St-Pierre and Anderson Silva in the featherweight division.
Junior dos Santos – SILVA score: 89.05
Junior’s SILVA score of 89.05 might seem low for a UFC champion, but it’s only because the heavyweight division isn’t as deep as most other weight classes in the UFC. While champions like Georges St-Pierre have no shortage of elite contenders to take on, dos Santos has a record filled with a mix of elite and mediocre heavyweights. For every Cain Velasquez or Frank Mir on his record, there’s a Gabriel Gonzaga or Gilbert Yvel. Of course, dos Santos has only done everything that could be asked of him, demolishing pretty much everybody he’s fought. With the possible exception of Daniel Cormier, I highly doubt any heavyweight right now would top a SILVA score of 89.05.
Joseph Benavidez – SILVA score: 86.30
I like Benavidez, but this is the one SILVA score on this list I think is a bit off. Perhaps it’s accurate for how well Benavidez will perform in the flyweight division, but as Benavidez has lost to Dominick Cruz twice, I think his SILVA score should be a little lower than Cruz’s. In any event, as an objective system, SILVA will never be accurate for 100% of fighters.
Dan Henderson – SILVA score: 85.77
I remember when Henderson beat Wanderlei Silva at PRIDE 33 to win their 93 kg championship, and being very happy for Henderson, since I felt he was already in the twilight of his career at that point. Five years later… what twilight? Henderson just keeps rolling along, whether it’s steamrolling an opponent like Renato “Babalu” Sobral, or surviving a grueling war against Mauricio “Shogun” Rua. I don’t like Henderson’s chances against Jon Jones, but then, I don’t like any fighter’s chances against Jones. And besides, Henderson’s right hand can never be dismissed, even if he has an absurd 11-inch reach disadvantage.
Cain Velasquez – SILVA score: 84.89
If Junior dos Santos is clearly the #1 heavyweight in the UFC, Cain Velasquez is clearly #2. That’s why Velasquez will be receiving a rematch against dos Santos, despite losing so quickly to him at the first UFC on Fox event last November. And apart from that fight, Velasquez has crushed everybody he’s faced in his career, from Brad Morris and Denis Stojnic to Antonio Rodrigo Nogueira and Brock Lesnar.
Martin Kampmann – SILVA score: 81.46
The thing a lot of people don’t realize about Kampmann is that he easily could be 9-1 in his last 10 fights. Kampmann is 7-3, but I felt he deserved a decision win against Jake Shields at UFC 121, and he got robbed against Diego Sanchez in his fight after that. That’s coming from somebody who feels the term “robbed” is absurdly overused in MMA. On the flip side, Kampmann skated by Rick Story at UFC 139, was well on his way to losing to Thiago Alves before getting a miracle guillotine choke in the fight’s last minute, and had to survive an onslaught from Jake Ellenberger before winning by TKO himself. This is a roundabout way of saying that I think Kampmann’s SILVA score of 81.46 sounds about right.
Dominick Cruz – SILVA score: 77.11
SILVA 1.2 was not particularly friendly to Cruz, but SILVA 2.1 is just hostile, giving him a SILVA score well below the other UFC champions. There is an argument to be made for this. While Cruz has successfully defended the bantamweight title multiple times, he’s never really been dominant, despite his nickname of “The Dominator.” Cruz beat Joseph Benavidez by split decision and had very competitive fights against Demetrious Johnson and Urijah Faber. Cruz’s SILVA score is a virtual tie with prospective challenger Renan Barao, and after seeing Barao’s performance against Faber, I can definitely see that being an accurate estimate.