USAT/SBN July 2010 MMA Consensus Rankings: Light Heavyweight

Rankings compiled by Richard Wade.

Rank Fighter Points Promotion Last Rank
1 Mauricio Rua 350 UFC 1
2 Lyoto Machida 333 UFC 2
3 Rashad Evans 321 UFC 3
4 Quinton Jackson 303 UFC 4
5 Anderson Silva 275 UFC 5
6 Forrest Griffin 274 UFC 6
7 Antonio Rogerio Nogueira 257 UFC 7
8 Muhammed Lawal 243 Strikeforce 8
9 Gegard Mousasi 186 Strikeforce 9
10 Thiago Silva 183 UFC 10
11 Jon Jones 176 UFC 12
12 Rich Franklin 168 UFC 11
13 Randy Couture 151 UFC 13
14 Dan Henderson 118 Strikeforce 14
15 Ryan Bader 111 UFC 15
16 Matt Hamill 101 UFC 20
17 Renato Sobral 98 Strikeforce 17
18 Vitor Belfort 85 UFC 16
19 Brandon Vera 71 UFC 19
20 Chuck Liddell 57 UFC 21
21 Tito Ortiz 56 UFC 23
22 Luis Arthur Cane 53 UFC 22
23 Keith Jardine 52 UFC 18
24 Vladimir Matyushenko 51 UFC NR
25 Jason Brilz 50 UFC NR

This is the portrait of a division on hold. With #1 Mauricio "Shogun" Rua out with an injured knee and #3 Rashad Evans electing to wait out Shogun's return, light heavyweight has been snoozeville this month.

Fans have been given some exciting 205lb matches to anticipate however. #2 Lyoto Machida and #4 Quinton "Rampage" Jackson have agreed to meet in the fall.

#5 Anderson Silva is apparently newly recommitted to his middleweight division and is rejecting talk of future light heavy challenges. #6 Forrest Griffin is out with injuries, no word on when he'll return.

#7 Antonio Rogerio Nogueira, fresh off a scare against #25 Jason Brilz at UFC 114, will test up and comer #15 Ryan Bader at UFC 119.

#8 Muhammed "King Mo" Lawal will defend his Strikeforce belt against the unranked but very dangerous Rafael "Feijão" Cavalcante at Strikeforce: Houston in August.

#9 Gegard Mousasi had an easy time with Jake O'Brien at DREAM.15 and will fight this fall against Tatsuya Mizuno for the DREAM light heavyweight tournament title. Not exactly the best use of his time.

#10 Thiago Silva had to pull out of his UFC 117 bout with Tim Boetsch due to injuries. No word on what's next for the Brazilian.

And last but certainly not least, #11 Jon Jones will face a test against veteran #24 Vladimir Matyushenko at UFC on Versus 2 next Sunday. If Jones wins again it will be very hard to keep the hype train from steaming him into contention, possibly prematurely.

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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