USAT/SBN February 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 88 UFC 3
4 Eddie Alvarez 88 DREAM 4
5 Gray Maynard 79 UFC 5
6 Frankie Edgar 78 UFC 6
7 Tatsuya Kawajiri 75 DREAM 7
8 Gilbert Melendez 62 Strikeforce 8
9 Diego Sanchez 59 UFC 9
10 Sean Sherk 48 UFC 11
11 Tyson Griffin 43 UFC 13
12 Joachim Hansen 43 DREAM 10
13 Mizuto Hirota 36 WVR 12
14 Jim Miller 34 UFC 22
15 Joe Stevenson 33 UFC 14
16 Gesias Cavalcante 32 DREAM 16
17 Takanori Gomi 30 UFC 18
18 Ben Henderson 29 WEC 15
19 Luis Palomino 29 G-Force Fights NR
20 Jorge Masvidal 28 WVR 17
21 Josh Thomson 28 Strikeforce 21
22 Kazunori Yokota 28 WVR 18
23 Eiji Mitsuoka 28 WVR 27
24 Satoru Kitaoka 27 WVR 29
25 Nate Diaz 26 UFC 24

Rankings compiled by Richard Wade.

#1 B.J. Penn will be back in action against #6 Frank Edgar at UFC 112 in May. Even Edgar doesn't seem to much like his chances in that one.

I have no idea who the UFC will next throw into the Lion's Den that is facing B.J. in the Octagon, but I am 100% confident it won't be #2 Shinya Aoki or #4 Eddie Alvarez.

If #17 Takanori Gomi can somehow regain his old form and beat #3 Kenny Florian at UFN 21, I expect Gomi to be rushed into a rematch with Penn. But that seems pretty unlikely to me.

The thing about this division is that other than B.J. Penn being clearly in his own league nothing is really clear. And sadly Penn can't even definitely prove that he's the capo di tutti capi of lightweights unless he can somehow face the best of the DREAM/Strikeforce alliance.

Aoki will likely face #8 Gilbert Melendez for the Strikeforce lightweight title for his next fight.

Alvarez will fight UFC veteran Josh Neer in a non-title fight for Bellator in May.

No word on what's next for #5 Gray Maynard or #7 Tatsuya Kawajiri although each of them has a strong case for a title shot, with the UFC and DREAM respectively.

#9 Diego Sanchez is moving back up to welterweight after learning first hand that he's not going to be taking B.J. Penn's title in this lifetime at UFC 107.

No word on what's next for the oft-injured #10 Sean Sherk although some are saying George Sotiropoulos (who will be ranked next month after dominating #15 Joe Stevenson at UFC 110.)

#11 Tyson Griffin will face Evan Dunham at UFC 115 and #12 Joachim Hansen will be moving down to featherweight to face Bibiano Fernandes at DREAM.13.

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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