USAT/SBN August 2010 MMA Consensus Rankings: Lightweight

Rankings compiled by Richard Wade.

Rank Fighter Points Promotion Last Rank
1 Frankie Edgar 99 UFC 1
2 B.J. Penn 96 UFC 2
3 Gilbert Melendez 88 Strikeforce 3
4 Kenny Florian 86 UFC 4
5 Shinya Aoki 83 DREAM/Strikeforce 5
6 Eddie Alvarez 82 Bellator 5
7 Gray Maynard 78 UFC 7
8 Tatsuya Kawajiri 66 DREAM 8
9 George Sotiropoulos 50 UFC 9
10 Evan Dunham 49 UFC 10
11 Ben Henderson 41 WEC 11
12 Jim Miller 38 UFC 12
13 Takanori Gomi 38 UFC 17
13 Mizuto Hirota 38 WVR 14
15 Sean Sherk 36 UFC 15
16 Tyson Griffin 30 UFC 13
17 Joe Stevenson 25 UFC 16
18 Diego Sanchez 20 UFC 18
19 Kurt Pellegrino 19 UFC 19
20 Josh Thomson 19 Strikeforce 21
21 Gesias Cavalcante 18 DREAM/Strikeforce 20
22 Gleison Tibau 18 UFC 22
23 Joachim Hansen 13 DREAM 24
23 Kazunori Yokota 41 WVR 25
25 Clay Guida 12 UFC 35

Fans of big-time lightweight action are in the midst of a delightful August. In just two days at UFC 118, #1 Frank Edgar will rematch #2 B.J. Penn. It's a rematch of their controversial first bout at UFC 112 when Edgar stole the title in a close decision.

Also on the card will be title shot elimination bout between #4 Kenny Florian -- a man who's had two bites at the championship apple -- and #7 Gray Maynard.

The first of the month saw "The Fireball Kid" #13 Takanori Gomi make short work of #17 Tyson Griffin at UFC on Versus 2. Expect Gomi to be on a very short road to a title shot.

#6 Eddie Alvarez will face the unranked Roger Huerta at Bellator 33 in October. For all the talk of #3 Gilbert Melendez vs #5 Shinya Aoki being a telling clash between Japanese MMA and the American breed, this is the real clash of worlds. Like both Melendez and Aoki, Alvarez earned his reputation in Japan. He's done well in Bellator against second tier competition but Roger Huerta is someone with a lengthy and formidable UFC resume despite his loss to Pat Curran this year. If Huerta crushes Alvarez, UFC fans will truly have some bragging rights.

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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