USAT/SBN February 2010 MMA Consensus Rankings: Heavyweight

Rank Fighter % Promotion Last Rank
1 Fedor Emelianenko 100 M-1 Global/Strikeforce 1
2 Brock Lesnar 96 UFC 2
3 Frank Mir 90 UFC 3
4 Antonio Rodrigo Nogueira 85 UFC 4
5 Cain Velasquez 79 UFC 6
6 Junior dos Santos 76 UFC 5
7 Shane Carwin 72 UFC 8
8 Brett Rogers 69 Strikeforce 7
9 Alistair Overeem 61 K-1/DREAM/Strikeforce 10
10 Fabricio Werdum 57 Strikeforce 10
11 Andrei Arlovski 50 ??? 12
12 Josh Barnett 49 WVR 9
13 Gabriel Gonzaga 31 UFC 13
14 Randy Couture 27 UFC 17
15 Ray Mercer 27 Adrenaline 20
16 Aleksander Emelianenko 27 ProFC 22
17 Antonio Silva 26 WVR/Strikeforce 15
18 Pedro Rizzo 26 Free Agent 23
19 Muhammed Lawal 26 Strikeforce 25
20 Mirko Filipovic 26 UFC 27
21 Sergei Kharitonov 26 DREAM 19
22 Jeff Monson 25 Free Agent 14
23 Ben Rothwell 25 UFC 15
24 Tim Sylvia 25 Adrenaline 18
25 Cheick Kongo 25 UFC 28

Rankings compiled by Richard Wade.

The biggest news in the heavyweight division this month is definitely the eclipsing of #4 Antonio Rodrigo Nogueira by #5 Cain Velasquez at UFC 110.

Cain jumped one spot in only a few days since the event and since most of our source sites still haven't updated post UFC 110, expect him to rise higher and Nogueira to plummet in next month's rankings.

Meanwhile the other big news in the heavyweight division is no news at all -- if anyone knows when #1 Fedor Emelianenko will be fighting again, please drop me a note.

It has been long rumored that he'd be facing #10 Fabricio Werdum at Strikeforce on CBS in April (the 17th or the 24th) but so far, nothing is official.

Rumors abound that Fedor may instead face #9 Alistair Overeem in Japan for DREAM. I don't put a lot of credence in those rumors, but the lack of confirmed news from Strikeforce is very disconcerting.

The same can't be said for #2 Brock Lesnar. We now know that he will be facing the winner of UFC 111's bout between #3 Frank Mir and #7 Shane Carwin in July.

Velasquez will have to await the winner of that bout for his title shot unless he fights the winner of #6 Junior Dos Santos vs #13 Gabriel Gonzaga at UFC on Versus in March. I strongly prefer seeing Cain vs JDS/Gonzaga on the same card as the Lesnar vs Mir/Carwin fight. Both Cain and JDS are young and will have many opportunities to contend again (assuming of course that JDS will beat Gonzaga).

#8 Brett Rogers has been little discussed since losing to Fedor last fall, but the rumor mill has him possibly facing Bobby Lashley for his next fight. That seems unlikely to me as there's not a good risk/reward ratio for either fighter.

NOTE: What the hell is Ray Mercer doing in the rankings?!?!

For those of you who are not familiar with how we do the consensus rankings: we do not add any subjective opinion to the rankings. Instead they are a compilation and averaging of the top 20 or so most credible and popular online ranking sites. The goal is not to create an subjective ranking of who is the best fighter but rather to objectively document which fighters are considered to be the best by the online community.

Ray Mercer busts into our top 15 because he is ranked at #14 byFightMatrix.com a computer-based objective rankings system. They assign points to fighters strictly based on the rankings of the opponents those fighters have beaten. When Ray Mercer beat Tim Sylvia, Sylvia was ranked in the top 13. By FightMatrix' protocols that caused Mercer to leapfrog above Sylvia even as Sylvia dropped.

Because most of our ranking sites stop at the top 10, those sites that rank the full top 25 have an outsized influence on the lower end of our rankings, ergo Mercer sneaks into our top 15. It doesn't mean we think he's the 15th best heavyweight in the world, it means that he beat a highly regarded fighter in Tim Sylvia and that caused some fairly influential members of the MMA community to consider him a top heavyweight.

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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