Bloody Elbow February 2009 MMA Meta-Rankings:  Lightweight

Fighter % Promotion Last Rank
1. B.J. Penn 97 UFC 1
2. Shinya Aoki 95
3. Kenny Florian 83
4. Eddie Alvarez 82
5. Joachim Hansen 81
6. Sean Sherk 79
7. Gesias Cavalcante 79
8. Josh Thomson 64
Strikeforce 9
9. Satoru Kitaoka 60
WVR 14
10. Tatsuya Kawajiri 51
11. Takanori Gomi 35
12. Mitsuhiro Ishida 26
DREAM/Strikforce 12
13. Jamie Varner 25
WEC 18
14. Tyson Griffin 25 UFC
15. Gray Maynard 25 UFC 13
16. Eiji Mitsuoka 24 WVR 25
17. Caol Uno 22 DREAM 17
18. Jim Miller 22 UFC 23
19. Roger Huerta 20 UFC
20. Clay Guida 20 UFC 31
21. Frank Edgar 19 UFC 16
22. Spencer Fisher 18 UFC 27
22. Gilbert Melendez 18
Strikeforce 11
24. Joe Stevenson 18
UFC 15
25. Vitor Ribeiro 16
??? 19

Commentary by Kid Nate: Lightweight is is really the last division left where the UFC has not established a clear dominance over the divsion. Sure UFC champ #1 B.J. Penn is (almost) universally acknowledged to be the best 155lber in the game today, but only two other UFC fighters even make the top 10 -- #3 Kenny Florian and #6 Sean Sherk. Florian is certainly enjoying a surge in the rankings. I credit his demolition of #24 (former #15) Joe Stevenson at UFC 91 and his status as the next to challenge for Penn's title.

Sherk will have to get past the very tough #21 Frank Edgar at UFC 98 and possibly welterweight turned lightweight Diego Sanchez (should Sanchez beat Stevenson this weekend) to get another title shot.

Meanwhile, in a typical move for a Japanese promoter, #2 Shinya Aoki will next be fighting at 170lbs in the DREAM welterweight tournament. Rather than facing any of the top lightweights in DREAM, he'll be next seen against welterweight journeyman John Alessio. Ugh.

His rival from the wonderful DREAM 2008 lightweight GP, #4 Eddie Alvarez has signed with Bellator and will be next seen on ESPN's spanish language channel. Tournament winner #5 Joachim Hansen is fighting over his contract with the owners of DREAM after missing his match with #7 Gesias Cavalcante on New Years Eve due to a last minute concussion.

Meanwhile #8 Josh Thomson will be fighting on Strikeforce's first Showtime card on April 11. Unfortunately it won't be against EliteXC champ K.J. Noons. It seems Noons would rather focus on boxing. Good luck K.J. At least #12 Mitsuhiro Ishida and #22 Gilbert Melendez both seem likely to fight each other on that same card in a great #1 contender match for the Strikeforce belt.

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_lw_chart_1_february_2009_medium Be_meta_lw_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. There's clearly a huge gulf between the top 9 fighters and those that follow.

A total of 40 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. Each site consulted awards a total of 325 points. Fuller explanation below.

Rankings were compiled from the following 15 sites: Cage Potato, Fight Matrix, Fight Magazine, Five Ounces of Pain, Inside MMA, MMA 4 Real, MMMA Fighting, MMMA on Tap, MMA Playground, MMA Rocks, MMA Weekly, MMA ELO, SSherdog, 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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