USAT/SBN May 2010 MMA Consensus Rankings: Heavyweight

Rank Fighter Points Promotion Last Rank
1 Fedor Emelianenko 375 M-1 Global/Strikeforce 1
2 Brock Lesnar 359 UFC 2
3 Shane Carwin 341 UFC 3
4 Cain Velasquez 328 UFC 4
5 Frank Mir 301 UFC 5
6 Junior dos Santos 299 UFC 6
7 Alistair Overeem 285 K-1/DREAM/Strikeforce 9
8 Antonio Rodrigo Nogueira 282 UFC 7
9 Fabricio Werdum 248 Strikeforce 10
10 Josh Barnett 189 DREAM 11
11 Antonio Silva 184 Strikeforce 16
12 Brett Rogers 173 Strikeforce 8
13 Gabriel Gonzaga 129 UFC 13
14 Cheick Kongo 111 UFC 14
15 Andrei Arlovski 98 Strikeforce 12
16 Aleksander Emelianenko 96 Azerbaijan Pankration Federation 15
17 Mirko Filipovic 84 UFC 17
17 Pedro Rizzo 84 Washington Combat 17
19 Roy Nelson 75 UFC 19
20 Tim Sylvia 58 Moosin 20
21 Ben Rothwell 56 UFC 22
21 Randy Couture 56 UFC 21
23 Ray Mercer 42 Adrenaline 24
23 Stefan Struve 42 UFC 25
23 Jeff Monson 42 Free Agent 23

Rankings compiled by Richard Wade.

In less than a month we'll get to see the world's top two heavyweights -- #1 Fedor Emelianenko and #2 Brock Lesnar -- in action for the first time in 2010. Fedor will face #9 Fabricio Werdum at Strikeforce's June 26th event. Brock will face #3 Shane Carwin on July 3rd at UFC 116.

#4 Cain Velasquez has been put on the shelf to await the winner of Lesnar/Carwin. #5 Frank Mir is similarly on hold. Rumor has it that if Lesnar loses to Carwin the UFC will book Lesnar/Mir 3. If not, they have to re-think what to do with Mir.

#6 Junior Dos Santos will face #19 Roy Nelson at UFC 117 in August. I would much rather see Dos Santos vs Velasquez. The UFC thinks it's playing it safe by saving Cain for a title shot, but the ring rust he's accruing won't do him any favors. Nor is there any guarantee he won't be injured while training. Meanwhile they're risking Dos Santos against a dangerous Roy Nelson in a fight that might as well be a #1 contender's match as it's hard to see how Nelson is denied a shot if he beats Dos Santos. Why not just book the best contenders for that bout?

#7 Alistair Overeem crushed #12 Brett Rogers at Strikeforce: Heavy Artillery. Now Overeem and the fans have to await the out come of the Fedor/Werdum match and the much harder to predict follow up battle between Strikeforce and M-1 Global, Fedor's infamous management team.

#10 Josh Barnett finally has a fight booked in Australia against the unranked Geronimo Dos Santos. According to rumor, DREAM tried to book Josh for their July show but couldn't find him an opponent. With #20 Tim Sylvia expected to face #17 Pedro Rizzo this summer, Barnett really has no viable opponents on the horizon unless DREAM can book him against Overeem or Fedor for NYE.

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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