Bloody Elbow February 2009 MMA Meta-Rankings: Middleweight

Fighter % Promotion Last Rank
1. Anderson Silva 100
2. Yushin Okami 87
3. Robbie Lawler 82
4. Gegard Mousasi 81
5. Nathan Marquardt 79
6. Dan Henderson 75
7. Jorge Santiago 73
WVR/Strikeforce 9
8. Demian Maia 51
UFC 16
9. Rich Franklin 51
10. Thales Leites 41
11. Paulo Filho 39 Bellator
12. Chael Sonnen 38
UFC 13
13. Yoshihiro Akiyama 38
Unsigned 14
14. Michael Bisping 35
UFC 12
15. Kazuo Misaki 35
WVR/Strikeforce 15
16. Vitor Belfort 33 Affliction
17. Frank Trigg 30 WVR/Strikeforce 17
18. Ronaldo Souza 21 DREAM
19. Patrick Cote 19 UFC 18
20. Matt Lindland 18
Affliction 7
21. Dan Miller 16
UFC 27
22. Melvin Manhoef 15
23. Wilson Gouveia 15
UFC 22
24. Cung Le 14
Strikeforce 23
25. Alan Belcher 13

Commentary by Kid Nate: The middleweight division remains a bit of a muddle despite #1 Anderson Silva being one of the most dominant champions of our era.

His next title defense against #10 Thales Leites had been scheduled for April 18 in Montreal, Quebec, Canada but now it looks like the athletic commission there is bolluxing up the deal and it might be relocated or cancelled.

This is just the latest in a long series of set backs for Anderson Silva -- there's been retirement talk, a toe dip into the waters at 205lbs, top contenders he won't fight, a persistent failure to be a big draw, freak injuries, etc etc.

I'm still hoping that Anderson, one of the most skilled marital artists I've ever seen and one of the coolest people in the sport, will be able to have the kind of epic fights that will establish him as the legend he has the potential to be. He reminds me of Tony Gwynn the baseball player who persistently flirted with hitting .400 but never got close to a world title.

The other big news for the division is the implications of the Strikeforce purchase of EliteXC's assets. This means that EliteXC champ #3 Robbie Lawler could be back on Showtime and CBS soon and I expect him to face the very tough Benji Radach first. After that he (or Radach) could potentially be facing top notch contenders like #7 Jorge Santiago, #13 Yoshihiro Akiyama, #15 Kazuo Misaki, #17 Frank Trigg and #24 Cung Le. Can I just drool for a minute at the possibilities....

Ok, I'm back. In the UFC we've got #8 Demian Maia facing #12 Chael Sonnen at this Saturday's UFC 95 in England. This could quite easily be a #1 contender fight for the UFC and if Maia can get past a powerful wrestler like Sonnen, he'll have made a strong case for a title shot and could be a very dangerous threat to Silva. Not bad for one of the more one dimensional fighters to contend in recent years. In Maia's case, BJJ alone is still a deadly threat to any opponent. #5 Nate Marquardt will face #23 Wilson Gouveia on the same card.

#6 Dan Henderson and #14 Michael Bisping will be coaches on the next season of TUF and will face each other after the season, with the winner likely to get a title shot.

#4 Gegard Mousasi has really risen in a delayed reaction to his DREAM GP tournament win last year. Naturally he's talking about moving up to light heavyweight for his next bout. That would basically mean that the 2008 DREAM GP did nothing to establish order in the middleweight division.

No word on what's next for the Affliction posse of #16 Vitor Belfort and #20 Matt Lindland but I'm guessing that Lindland's next fight will pay a good deal less than $300,000. I still would love to see him on Strikeforce or at Sengoku. He's always had a knack for getting himself KO'd in embarrassing ways, doesn't mean he's not good. Belfort is in excellent shape career-wise and I was hoping to hear he'd signed with the UFC instead we got the news that he is calling out I've said, the "old" Vitor really is back!

UPDATE: BE reader Sulky notes that the standing of #9 Rich Franklin and #6 Dan Henderson in the greater MMA community (which is what the Meta rankings attempt to document, not who's better) is actually higher than seen here. Both fighters suffer from being ranked by some sites as middleweights and by other sites as light heavies. Franklin is apparently remaining at 205lbs so expect him to slowly slide off this list.

NOTE: The Meta-Rankings are not the subjective opinion of the BloodyElbow team, but rather a compilation of the rankings of over twenty leading MMA web sites. It is our opinion that these are the most informative MMA rankings anywhere.

Be_meta_mw_chart_1_february_2009_medium Be_meta_mw_chart_2_february_2009_medium
Based on the premise that opinions are like assholes, everybody has one and they all stink. instead of putting up our own subjective fighter rankings, we compile and average the rankings of every source we could find online.

The goal is to show how the MMA community rates the fighters, not to bore you with our opinions.

Be sure and look at the percentage of possible points, they're a much more telling number than the ranking.

A total of 44 fighters were ranked in the top 25 by one source or another, for reasons of sanity I only track the top 25 most highly rated fighters.

25 points are awarded 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. Fuller explanation below.

Rankings were compiled from the following 17 sites: 411 Mania, Cage Potato, Fight Matrix, Fight Magazine, Five Ounces of Pain, Inside MMA, MMA 4 Real, MMA ELO, MMA Fighting, MMA on Tap, MMA Playground, MMA Rocks, MMA Weekly, Sherdog, TAGG Radio, Total MMA & WAMMA.

The normalization scheme as explained by JCS of FightMatrix is here:

The "normalization number" (new name) would be:

divided by
(Total Fighters Found in Any List minus 10)

Every fighter found somewhere else, but on a Top 10 list would be assigned this number.

The "normalization" number would not apply to a fighter not found on a Top 25 list. They would simply get 0.

So the process would be:

Do all of the Top 25 lists first, #1 = 25, #2 = 24…. #24 = 2, #25 = 1
Do all of the Top 10 lists, same scoring structure.. stops at #10 = 16

Figure out that normalization variable.

Fill in the normalization variable to all fighters not found in the Top 10 lists, but found elsewhere.

Do your totals and rank.

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