USAT/SBN December 2010 Consensus MMA Rankings: Lightweight

Rank Fighter % Promotion Last Rank
1 Frankie Edgar 100 UFC 1
2 Gilbert Melendez 91 Strikeforce 2
3 Gray Maynard 91 UFC 3
4 Shinya Aoki 85 DEEP 4
5 Eddie Alvarez 82 Bellator 5
6 Kenny Florian 79 UFC 6
7 Sean Sherk 60 UFC 9
8 B.J. Penn 59 UFC 7
9 George Sotiropoulos 59 UFC 10
10 Tatsuya Kawajiri 58 DREAM 8
11 Jim Miller 47 UFC 12
12 Evan Dunham 46 UFC 11
13 Anthony Pettis 37 UFC 24
14 Takanori Gomi 32 UFC 14
15 Mizuto Hirota 24 K-1 16
16 Josh Thomson 22 Strikeforce 15
17 Ben Henderson 22 UFC 13
18 Kurt Pellegrino 19 UFC 18
19 Clay Guida 17 UFC 20
20 Gesias Cavalcante 16 Strikeforce 19
21 Mac Danizg 15 UFC NR
22 Joe Stevenson 15 UFC 17
23 Satoru Kitaoka 12 Pancrase 23
24 Nik Lentz 12 UFC 22
25 Melvin Guillard 11 UFC 24

Rankings compiled by Richard Wade.

UFC LW champion #1 Frankie Edgar is the most disrespected ruler of any weight class. He's a serious betting underdog to #3 Gray Maynard and Chuck Liddell's retirement completely dominated today's UFC 125 press conference.

Strikeforce champ #2 Gilbert Melendez sat out Dynamite!! 2010 where he had an invitation to rematch #4 Shinya Aoki. Nor will Melendez be fighting Bellator champ #5 Eddie Alvarez. Promotional issues precluded both fights. He's recently been calling out welterweight Paul Daley. I would not be surprised if Melendez doesn't re-sign with Strikeforce.

It's interesting to note that lightweight is the one division where 3/5 of the top five are not UFC fighters.

#8 B.J. Penn's seemingly permanent move to welterweight has him plummeting at 155lbs.

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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