USAT/SBN April 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 Shane Carwin 91 UFC 6
4 Cain Velasquez 88 UFC 4
5 Frank Mir 82 UFC 3
6 Junior dos Santos 80 UFC 7
7 Antonio Rodrigo Nogueira 76 UFC 5
8 Brett Rogers 71 Strikeforce 8
9 Alistair Overeem 56 K-1/DREAM/Strikeforce 9
10 Fabricio Werdum 54 Strikeforce 12
11 Josh Barnett 52 DREAM 11
12 Andrei Arlovski 48 Strikeforce 10
13 Gabriel Gonzaga 36 UFC 13
14 Cheick Kongo 30 UFC 14
15 Aleksander Emelianenko 27 ProFC 15
16 Antonio Silva 24 WVR/Strikeforce 17
17 Pedro Rizzo 23 Bitetti Combat 16
17 Mirko Filipovic 23 UFC 18
19 Roy Nelson 19 UFC 25
20 Tim Sylvia 18 Adrenaline 19
21 Randy Couture 16 UFC 22
22 Ben Rothwell 16 UFC 19
23 Jeff Monson 14 Free Agent 21
24 Ray Mercer 12 Adrenaline 24
25 Stefan Struve 12 UFC 23

Rankings compiled by Richard Wade.

There's a certain unreality to the very top of the division these days with #1 Fedor Emelianenko skipping out on Strikeforce's second CBS show due to his management wanting....something. He's now telling the Japanese press that he'll be facing #10 Fabricio Werdum in June. That fight was always a bit of a place holder while Fedor waited for bigger challenges -- like #9 Alistair Overeem. But it seems that fans might have to wait and keep waiting some more to see Fedor face today's best heavyweights. While we wait, Overeem will face #8 Brett Rogers in May at Strikeforce: St Louis.

Meanwhile UFC's crop of heavyweight prospects has turned into a bumper crop. #3 Shane Carwin has jumped in the rankings off his UFC 111 pasting of #5 Frank Mir. Carwin's reward is a title shot at #2 Brock Lesnar at UFC 116 in July. If Fedor still hasn't fought by then, I expect the winner of Lesnar/Carwin to start showing up at #1 in several rankings.

While Carwin's path forward is clear, what's next for his fellow UFC contenders #4 Cain Velasquez and #6 Junior Dos Santos is entirely murky. Rather than booking what could be an epic clash of rising young talents, Dana White and company are erring on the side of caution and ring rust as they hold both men back for title shots. At one point rumors were swirling that Dos Santos would be facing #19 Roy Nelson next, but it now appears that Nelson will get #14 Cheick Kongo instead.

The men who were atop the division only a few months ago, #5 Frank Mir and #7 Antonio Rodrigo Nogueira are similarly in limbo. Mir has been calling out middleweight champ Anderson Silva and you have to hand it to him, the man knows how to talk himself into fights. Nogueira has been far more quiet.

#11 Josh Barnett is in an even deeper circle of the lost, just as speculation is that his future is in Japanese pro wrestling rather than in MMA, the Brazilian press started reporting claims that he'll be fighting for Strikeforce in Australia. Winding down in Proresu would be a sad but fitting end for one of the most skilled heavyweights of his generation but I think we'll hear more from Barnett in MMA and somehow I expect to be slightly revolted by the ensuing spectacle.

#12 Andrei Arlovski gets one more shot at redemption when he faces #16 Antonio Silva at Strikeforce: St Louis. Fedor's camp has openly spoken of their desire to face the lumbering Silva if Werdum doesn't work out. Arlovski has a chance to strip any shine off that match up with a definitive win over "Big Foot".

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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