USAT/SBN January 2010 MMA Consensus Rankings: Lightweight

Rank Fighter % Promotion Last Rank
1 B.J. Penn 100 UFC 1
2 Shinya Aoki 96 DREAM 2
3 Kenny Florian 90 UFC 4
4 Eddie Alvarez 86 DREAM 3
5 Gray Maynard 77 UFC 5
6 Frankie Edgar 76 UFC 6
7 Tatsuya Kawajiri 68 DREAM 8
8 Gilbert Melendez 62 Strikeforce 13
9 Diego Sanchez 57 UFC 7
10 Joachim Hansen 54 DREAM 10
11 Sean Sherk 37 UFC 9
12 Mizuto Hirota 34 WVR 11
13 Tyson Griffin 33 UFC 12
14 Joe Stevenson 32 UFC 14
15 Ben Henderson 27 WEC 29
16 Gesias Cavalcante 26 DREAM 22
17 Jorge Masvidal 23 WVR 16
18 Takanori Gomi 22 UFC 20
18 Kazunori Yokota 22 WVR 15
20 Kurt Pellegrino 21 UFC 18
21 Josh Thomson 21 Strikeforce 24
22 Jim Miller 21 UFC 31
22 Terry Etim 21 UFC 25
24 Nate Diaz 21 UFC 17
24 Evan Dunham 21 UFC NR
24 Sam Stout 21 UFC NR

Rankings compiled by Richard Wade.

#1 B. J. Penn is the one champion who didn't fall injured during Dana White's miserable winter of discontent. He put a righteous beat down on #9 Diego Sanchez at UFC 107. Even better, he'll be back against #6 Frank Edgar at UFC 112.

Edgar owes his title shot to #5 Gray Maynard's underwhelming win over #24 Nate Diaz at UFN 20. But honestly, neither Maynard nor Edgar presents a very compelling challenge to the pre-eminent Penn.

#3 Kenny Florian will welcome #18 Takanori Gomi to the UFC at UFN 21. For all of Gomi's travails in the last two years, if he can regain his old Fireball Kid form and KO Florian in impressive fashion, he'll instantly be the most intriguing challenger on the UFC roster.

And frankly, that's because so many of the top fighters in the division are outside the UFC's promotional clutches. I personally think Penn is just as far beyond the DREAM and Strikeforce lightweights as he is beyond the UFC's division. Furthermore, I think that the Florian/Maynard/Edgar troika in the UFC could very well beat the best fighters not in the division.

But we'll never know about that it seems.

What we will get to see this year, hopefully, is #2 Shinya Aoki against Strikeforce champ #8 Gilbert Melendez, maybe as soon as April.

#4 Eddie Alvarez is set to defend his Bellator title on their second season.

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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