USAT/SBN August 2010 MMA Consensus Rankings: Middleweight

Rankings compiled by Richard Wade.

Rank Fighter % Promotion Last Rank
1 Anderson Silva 100 UFC 1
2 Chael Sonnen 95 UFC 2
3 Jake Shields 91 UFC 3
3 Nate Marquardt 85 UFC 4
5 Vitor Belfort 80 UFC 5
6 Demian Maia 78 UFC 6
7 Dan Henderson 74 Strikeforce 7
8 Yushin Okami 68 UFC 8
9 Jorge Santiago 62 WVR 9
10 Robbie Lawler 46 Strikeforce 10
11 Ronaldo Souza 51 Strikeforce/DREAM 11
12 Michael Bisping 39 UFC 15
13 Chris Leben 38 UFC 12
14 Wanderlei Silva 37 UFC 13
15 Alan Belcher 36 UFC 14
16 Mamed Khalidov 29 WVR 17
17 Yoshihiro Akiyama 22 UFC 18
18 Paulo Filho 22 Impact FC 20
19 Alessio Sakara 21 UFC 19
20 Hector Lombard 21 Bellator 21
21 Thales Leites 19 MFC 16
22 Rousimar Palhares 16 UFC 23
23 Kazuo Misaki 22 WVR 22
24 Matt Horwich 12 MFC NR
25 Tim Kennedy 11 Strikeforce 24
25 Patrick Cote 11 UFC 25

Traditionally, one of the least storied in MMA, the middleweight division has enjoyed one of the biggest and best months of its existence. And yet, the impact on the rankings was miniscule.

First up, #2 Chael Sonnen's near-upset over #1 Anderson Silva UFC 117 didn't do anything more than lock in Sonnen as the #2 in the division. It looks like he'll have earned the rare and precious immediate rematch for the title.

Meanwhile, #9 Jorge Santiago and #23 Kazuo Misaki put on one of the absolute best MMA fights I've ever seen at WVR's Sengoku Raiden Championships 14. I would love to see one or both of these men in the mix for Strikeforce's middleweight belt.

Speaking of which, #11 Ronaldo "Jacare" Souza took a close and technical bout from #25 Tim Kennedy to claim the Strikeforce title that #3 Jake Shields dropped when he left for the UFC.

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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