USAT/SBN July 2010 MMA Consensus Rankings: Heavyweight

Rankings compiled by Richard Wade.

Rank Fighter Points Promotion Last Rank
1 Brock Lesnar 348 UFC 2
2 Fedor Emelianenko 314 M-1 Global/Strikeforce 1
3 Cain Velasquez 307 UFC 4
3 Fabricio Werdum 307 Strikeforce 9
5 Shane Carwin 300 UFC 3
6 Junior dos Santos 280 UFC 6
7 Frank Mir 273 UFC 5
8 Alistair Overeem 262 Strikeforce/DREAM 7
9 Antonio Rodrigo Nogueira 247 UFC 8
10 Josh Barnett 180 DREAM/Impact Fighting 10
11 Antonio Silva 180 Strikeforce 12
12 Brett Rogers 170 Strikeforce 11
13 Gabriel Gonzaga 136 UFC 13
14 Cheick Kongo 110 UFC 14
15 Mirko Filipovic 101 UFC 16
16 Andrei Arlovski 92 Strikeforce 17
17 Aleksander Emelianenko 91 Free Agent 15
18 Roy Nelson 79 UFC 19
19 Pedro Rizzo 76 Impact FC 18
20 Ben Rothwell 72 UFC 20
21 Tim Sylvia 54 Free Agent 21
22 Randy Couture 49 UFC 22
23 Stefan Struve 38 UFC 23
24 Sergei Kharitonov 36 Strikeforce 25
25 Jeff Monson 35 Free Agent NR

Wow. What a historic month in MMA. We knew going in that it would be a big month given that the #1 and #2 heavyweights would both be fighting, but no one quite expected the way things turned out.

First off, we've got a new #1 Brock Lesnar who survived a real scare at the hands of #5 Shane Carwin to retain his title at UFC 116.

But it took more than just a Lesnar win to vault him to the top, #2 Fedor Emelianenko also had to lose. And he did to #3 Fabricio Werdum. This has left Strikeforce and M-1 Global in even more disarray than usual.

There is no word on who will challenge #8 Alistair Overeem for his Strikeforce title.

The biggest beneficiary of the chaos at the top is the other man at #3 Cain Velasquez who will face Lesnar at UFC 121 in the fall.

#6 Junior Dos Santos will face off with #18 Roy Nelson in a UFC 117 bout that is expected to determine the first challenger to the winner of Lesnar/Velasquez. #7 Frank Mir will face #9 Antonio Rodrigo Nogueira at UFC 119 in a bout that will return one man to contention and send the loser spiraling down and out of relevancy.

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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