USAT/SBN July 2010 MMA Consensus Rankings: Lightweight

Rankings compiled by Richard Wade.

Rank Fighter Points Promotion Last Rank
1 Frankie Edgar 349 UFC 1
2 B.J. Penn 335 UFC 2
3 Gilbert Melendez 309 Strikeforce 3
4 Kenny Florian 304 UFC 4
5 Eddie Alvarez 286 Bellator 5
5 Shinya Aoki 286 DREAM/Strikeforce 7
7 Gray Maynard 276 UFC 6
8 Tatsuya Kawajiri 228 DREAM 8
9 George Sotiropoulos 182 UFC 15
10 Evan Dunham 181 UFC 14
11 Ben Henderson 144 WEC 10
12 Jim Miller 137 UFC 12
13 Tyson Griffin 133 UFC 13
14 Mizuto Hirota 130 WVR 11
15 Sean Sherk 125 UFC 9
16 Joe Stevenson 93 UFC 16
17 Takanori Gomi 85 UFC 17
18 Diego Sanchez 83 UFC 18
19 Kurt Pellegrino 72 UFC 19
20 Gesias Cavalcante 68 DREAM/Strikeforce 23
21 Josh Thomson 66 Strikeforce 24
22 Gleison Tibau 49 UFC 20
23 Luis Palomino 44 Bellator 22
24 Joachim Hansen 42 DREAM 25
25 Kazunori Yokota 41 WVR 21

At UFC 118 in August, we'll see if #1 Frank Edgar's win over #2 B.J. Penn at UFC 112 was a fluke or a precedent.

#4 Kenny Florian and #7 Gray Maynard will also meet at UFC 118, ostensibly to determine the next title challenger.

#3 Gilbert Melendez has graciously declined #5 Shinya Aoki's invitation for a rematch at DREAM.16 and will instead be recuperating from injuries until late this year.

#5 Eddie Alvarez has also been eager to get a date with Melendez and his bosses at Bellator are all about it. Strikeforce's Scott Coker hasn't been quite as eager for that dream match. Alvarez will defend his Bellator title against tournament winner Pat Curran sometime this fall.

The emergence of #9 George Sotiropoulos and #10 Evan Dunham as bona fide contenders definitely injects some excitement into the UFC's lightweight division. Sotiropoulos earned his bones by dominating #19 Kurt Pellegrino at UFC 116. Dunham's rise has been even more meteoric, coming largely at the expense of #13 Tyson Griffin at UFC 115.

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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