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Penn, Torres and Faber move up the ranks

6/26/2008 - Boxing

July 19 will put the essence of pound-for-pound on display when Anderson Silva moves up to 205 pounds to fight James Irvin. The bout may be the first step of a new competitive odyssey for the sport's top fighter.

However, this last stretch of fights has further put the sport's premiere smaller standouts on display. B.J. Penn's domination of Sean Sherk validated claims that the Hawaiian is the sport's premiere lightweight. A week later, Urijah Faber and Miguel Torres fought and put MMA's little men on the map. But where do they stack up in the pound-for pound world?

Furthermore, after time away from serious competition, the likes of Fedor Emelianenko, Takanori Gomi and Norifumi "Kid" Yamamoto are ready to get back into the saddle this summer. What prospects do these standouts have of meeting top opponents and securing their spot among the sport's best?