Rankings compiled by Richard Wade.
#1 Anderson Silva may still rule the division with an iron hand, but #3 Chael Sonnen made everyone sit up and take notice with his utter domination of a very tough #4 Nate Marquardt at UFC 109.
Sadly, #6 Demian Maia will get the next shot at Silva's title at UFC 112, rather than the red-hot Sonnen due to injuries and scheduling realities.
#4 Vitor Belfort was supposed to be facing Silva at UFC 112 but he opted for shoulder surgery instead.
#2 Dan Henderson will presumably make his Strikeforce debut by challenging #7 Jake Shields for the Strikeforce title at Strikeforce in April.
#8 Robbie Lawler could be in line for the winner of that fight after his impressive KO win over #22 Melvin Manhoef at Strikeforce : Miami. Middleweight is the one division where Strikeforce has enough critical mass to have not only the occasional entertaining bout, but an actual pool of contenders.
#9 Yushin Okami will continue his exile when he fights the dangerous but unranked Lucio Linhares on the undercard of UFN 21 in March.
The UFC's other top Japanese middleweight #11 Yoshihiro Akiyama has been shelved since UFC 100 but is widely rumored to be facing Wanderlei Silva next.
World Victory Road will be presenting a rematch of #10 Mamed Khalidov and #12 Jorge Santiago but this time for Santiago's title at their March Sengoku Raiden Championships 12 event.
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.