I think UFC 107 emphasized a number of bloggers point recently, the champions are the by far the best fighters at their weight. The champions only have to defend their titles not win them, Anderson Silva proves my point, at middleweight he has destroyed everyone bar Thieves Lieges who only wanted a ground Ju jitsu fight. When he steps up to light heavyweight, he puts on a banger show and sends shockwaves through the light heavyweight division.
Champions like GSP and BJ Penn in the past have gone after their challenger to batter and win, this in my opinion allows the challenger chance to turn defense into attack and allows the challenger a better chance at beating the Custom Championship Belts.
BJ Penn demonstrated at UFC 107 he is by the best fighter at 155 and has to go down in history as the best at 155. What interested me more is how many challengers suggest they can put BJ away and have the skills to do so. BJ has fought up welterweight and won fights, he has battled legends such as Matt Hughes and GSP for titles, he has also previously fought current light heavyweight champ Lotto Machida when pushing over 205 catchweight. Remember BJ Penn has been champion at both welterweight (champion at UFC 46 and stripped when he signed for K-1) and lightweight defended since UFC 80, he has beaten Joe Stevenson, Sean Shark, Kenny Florian and most recently Diego Sanchez at UFC custom belts.
It also goes for GSP, he has defended his title 3 times, every challenger suggests they will beat GSP, again his skills, determination and champion mentality ensures he wins the fight before he enters the octagon. GSP has been champion since UFC 83, he has defended against Jon Fitch at UFC 87, BJ Penn aka “grease gate” at UFC 94 and Thiago Alves at UFC 100.
If you go up to middleweight, what can you say about Anderson Silva? The Brazilian has beaten every challenger in front of him for years, he has gone up to light heavyweight and beaten a former champion in Forest Griffin and dangerous striker James Irwin. There are many calls for Anderson to step up and fight training partner and current champ Lotto Machida but refuses do to being friends. Very noble but ultimately, he has the skills to beat the custom leather belts. For me Anderson Silva is the best pound for pound fighter in MMA and only has been challenged once in his UFC career. He hasn’t lost in 3 years which was a DQ. His last actual lost was back in 2004 when Pride was in its heyday. Anderson has defended against Nate Marquardt at UFC 73, Rich Franklin at UFC 77, Dan Henderson at UFC 82, Patrick Cote at UFC 90, Thales Élites at UFC 97.
The only question in this argument is if Lotto Machida and Brock Lesner are good enough to be long term champions at their respective weights. Lotto has only defended his title once, which had the whole world question the result against fellow Brazilin custom boxing belts.