USAT/SBN August MMA Consensus Rankings: Light Heavyweight

Rankings compiled by Richard Wade.

Rank Fighter % Promotion Last Rank
1 Mauricio Rua 100 UFC 1
2 Lyoto Machida 95 UFC 2
3 Rashad Evans 92 UFC 3
4 Quinton Jackson 86 UFC 4
5 Forrest Griffin 79 UFC 6
6 Antonio Rogerio Nogueira 74 UFC 7
7 Anderson Silva 67 UFC 5
8 Muhammed Lawal 64 Strikeforce 8
9 Jon Jones 62 UFC 11
10 Gegard Mousasi 57 Strikeforce 9
11 Thiago Silva 50 UFC 10
12 Rich Franklin 43 UFC 12
13 Randy Couture 41 UFC 13
14 Dan Henderson 32 Strikeforce 14
15 Rafael Cavalcante 30 Strikeforce 38
16 Ryan Bader 30 UFC 15
17 Renato Sobral 27 Strikeforce 17
18 Vitor Belfort 27 UFC 18
19 Matt Hamill 25 UFC 16
20 Brandon Vera 21 UFC 19
21 Chuck Liddell 18 UFC 20
22 Keith Jardine 17 UFC 23
23 Luiz Cane 16 UFC 22
24 Tito Ortiz 15 UFC 21
25 Cyrille Diabate 15 UFC 26

The biggest news in the 205lb class involved two young wrestlers, one on the rise, one due for a fall. #9 Jon Jones cracks the top 10 after crucifying #29 (was #24) Vladimir Matyushenko at UFC on Versus 2. #8 Muhammed "King Mo" Lawal will certainly fall next month after his loss to #15 Rafael "Feijao" Calvacante at Strikeforce: Houston.

At the top of the division, #1 Mauricio "Shogun" Rua is threatening to rush back from his third major knee surgery in two years and fight at the end of the year. #3 Rashad Evans will be happy to hear that, as he's got the next title shot.

#2 Lyoto Machida and #4 Quinton "Rampage" Jackson will face off at UFC 123.

Due to our methodology with combines a ranking panel of top MMA writers from publications like Sports Illustated, Yahoo! and AOL Fanhouse/MMA Fighting with the most widely read and influential online rankings like Sherdog.com, MMA Weekly and FightMatrix.com it will take some time for the impact of Lawal's loss to be process. Expect Strikeforce's whole LHW division to suffer with the exceptions of #14 Dan Henderson and #17 Renato "Babalu" Sobral and of course Feijao who should continue to rise another few spots. It's not surprising that he didn't jump past Lawal as he was criminally underrated following his loss to Mike Kyle last year and Lawal's high ranking after beating #10 Gegard Mousasi.

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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