USAT/SBN November 2009 MMA Consensus Rankings: Lightweight

Rank Fighter % Promotion Last Rank
1 B.J. Penn 100 UFC 1
2 Shinya Aoki 96 DREAM 2
3 Eddie Alvarez 86 Bellator/DREAM 3
4 Kenny Florian 81 UFC 4
5 Frankie Edgar 80 UFC 5
6 Gray Maynard 77 UFC 6
7 Diego Sanchez 73 UFC 7
8 Sean Sherk 54 UFC 10
9 Tatsuya Kawajiri 53 DREAM 8
10 Joachim Hansen 51 DREAM 9
11 Joe Stevenson 39 UFC 14
12 Tyson Griffin 39 UFC 11
13 Gilbert Melendez 36 Strikeforce 13
14 Mizuto Hirota 35 WVR 12
15 Kazunori Yokota 25 WVR 33
16 Jorge Masvidal 24 WVR 38
17 Nate Diaz 22 UFC 21
18 Clay Guida 22 UFC 19
19 Kurt Pellegrino 20 UFC 19
20 Eiji Mitsuoka 19 WVR 18
21 Satoru Kitaoka 18 WVR 17
21 Takanori Gomi 18 WVR 23
23 Gesias Cavalcante 18 DREAM 15
24 Josh Thomson 17 Strikeforce 16
25 Jamie Varner 16 WEC 21
25 Toby Imada 16 Bellator 34

Rankings compiled by Richard Wade.

With every other UFC champ on the shelf for an indeterminate time due to injuries, Dana White better cross his fingers and hope that whoever wins the UFC 107 title fight between #1 B.J. Penn and #7 Diego Sanchez emerges from the fight injury-free and ready to fight soon. Sanchez is relatively under-accomplished at 155 lbs but his size and aggression present a legitimate threat to the fearsome Penn.

#2 Shinya Aoki will face #9 Tatsuya Kawajiri at K-1 Dynamite! on New Year's Eve. That is a very dangerous fight for Aoki as Kawajiri's fearsome ground and pound plays right into his weak spot, but there has been more buzz for Aoki's potential plans to fight in Strikeforce than for his NYE title defense.

#3 Eddie Alvarez took a hard-fought win over Katsunori Kikuno at DREAM.12 in October, puncturing some of the hype for the rising Japanese Karateka. No word on what's next for Alvarez. Bellator has announced its new TV deal will cover a new season of fights starting in April, so it's possible Alvarez will not fight again before that.

#4 Kenny Florian takes on #18 Clay Guida at UFC 107. Florian is in a bit of a career cul-de-sac after losing his second title fight to B.J. Penn at UFC 101, a win over the very tough Guida will keep Florian in the upper-ranks of the division. Conversely, a win for Guida could put the popular scrapper into title contention for the first time in his UFC career.

#5 Frankie Edgar squares off with #19 Kurt Pellegrino will face late substitute Matt Veach at The Ultimate Fighter 10 Finale in December. If the favored Edgar wins, he'll have to be pulling for #17 Nate Diaz to get the upset over #6 Gray Maynard at Ultimate Fight Night 20 in January. The loss to Maynard is the only blemish on Edgar's otherwise stellar UFC record and it would seem that one of them is next in line for a title shot.

#8 Sean Sherk will be facing Rafaello Oliveira at UFC 108. This would seem to be a gimme fight to let Sherk come back from the injury that forced him out of UFC 103 -- where Oliveira dropped a decision on the undercard to Sherk's training partner Nik Lentz.

#21 Takanori Gomi might not be the world-beater that he once was, but his current trip to the U.S. where he is rumored to be in talks with Strikeforce and the UFC is creating some buzz online.

Based on the premise that all MMA rankings are subjective but that it’s still useful and informative to know who the online MMA community as a whole ranks as the best fighters in MMA, we collect and average the rankings of the top MMA websites to produce our consensus rankings.

We compile the top MMA rankings from each of our sources and award 25 points for a first place ranking, 16 for a 10th place ranking, 1 for a 25th place ranking. A formula is used to "normalize" the data so all fighters are awarded points from those lists that do not include a full 25 fighters. This formula ensures that each ranking site awards the same number of total points regardless of how many fighters they choose to rank. Each fighter’s total is divided by the number of possible points to determine their standing in the Consensus Rankings.

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