USAT/SBN December 2010 Consensus MMA Rankings: Light Heavyweight

Rank Fighter % Promotion Last Rank
1 Mauricio Rua 100 UFC 1
2 Rashad Evans 94 UFC 2
3 Quinton Jackson 91 UFC 3
4 Lyoto Machida 90 UFC 4
5 Forrest Griffin 79 UFC 5
6 Ryan Bader 74 UFC 6
7 Jon Jones 68 UFC 7
8 Thiago Silva 58 UFC 8
9 Antonio Rogerio Nogueira 55 UFC 9
10 Gegard Mousasi 49 DREAM 10
11 Rich Franklin 45 UFC 11
12 Rafael Cavalcante 44 Strikeforce 12
13 Dan Henderson 41 Strikeforce 18
14 Muhammed Lawal 35 Strikeforce 15
15 Randy Couture 34 UFC 13
16 Phil Davis 28 UFC 16
17 Anderson Silva 26 UFC 14
18 Matt Hamill 25 UFC 19
19 Renato Sobral 21 Strikeforce 17
20 Alexander Gustafsson 19 UFC 20
21 Jason Brilz 17 UFC 21
22 Trevor Prangley 15 Shark Fight 22
23 Cyrille Diabate 14 UFC 25
24 Chuck Liddell 14 UFC 24
25 Brandon Vera 14 UFC 22

Rankings compiled by Richard Wade.

Fans will have to wait until March to see #1 Mauricio "Shogun" Rua defend his belt against #2 Rashad Evans at UFC 128. Shogun is nursing another of his many serious knee injuries.

#5 Forrest Griffin gets #11 Rich Franklin at UFC 126 in February in a battle of former champs and two of the last relevant stars of the first TUF era.

#6 Ryan Bader and #7 Jon Jones will meet on that same card in a fight that could determine the future of the division.

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.

We are now moving to what JCS of Fight Matrix has described as assumed rankings in an attempt to rank fighters who move between weight classes. This has been the biggest problem with the consensus rankings and we believe this new methodology will rectify that.

Let's take Anderson Silva for instance. 87% (13 of 15) of our panelists have him at Light Heavyweight and 100% (15 of 15) at Middleweight. On the 13 ballots that ranked Silva at 205, we took the average (21.2). We then reduced that number by half the percentage of Light Heavyweight ballots that he was not included on. Say he's not on 30% of them, then we do a 15% penalty on the average that we found in the previous step. That number is then used instead of the usual "normalization number" to provide points from those not ranking the fighter in the weight class in question. This avoids fighters being excessively penalized by confusion about which weight class they belong.

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