USAT/SBN September 2010 MMA Consensus Rankings: Heavyweight

Rank Fighter % Promotion Last Rank
1 Brock Lesnar 99 UFC 1
2 Fedor Emelianenko 90 M-1 / Strikeforce 2
3 Cain Velasquez 87 UFC 4
4 Fabricio Werdum 87 Strikeforce 3
5 Shane Carwin 85 UFC 5
6 Junior dos Santos 83 UFC 6
7 Frank Mir 78 UFC 7
8 Alistair Overeem 75 Strikeforce 8
9 Antonio Rodrigo Nogueira 70 UFC 9
10 Josh Barnett 54 Strikeforce 11
11 Brett Rogers 50 Strikeforce 12
12 Antonio Silva 50 Strikeforce 10
13 Gabriel Gonzaga 42 UFC 13
14 Cheick Kongo 33 UFC 14
15 Mirko Filipovic 28 UFC 15
16 Andrei Arlovski 27 Strikeforce 16
17 Roy Nelson 24 UFC 19
18 Pedro Rizzo 23 Impact Fighting Championship 17
19 Aleksander Emelianenko 23 Azerbaijan Pankration Federation 17
20 Ben Rothwell 21 UFC 21
21 Tim Sylvia 20 Powerhouse World Promotions 20
22 Randy Couture 14 UFC 22
23 Stefan Struve 11 UFC 23
24 Mike Russow 11 UFC 25
25 Jeff Monson 10 Knuckle Up MMA 24

Rankings compiled by Richard Wade.

Consider this the calm before the storm. September was nearly a dead zone for Heavyweight MMA, but Brocktober, er I mean October, will be stacked.

#1 Brock Lesnar will defend his UFC heavyweight title against #3 Cain Velasquez at UFC 121 on October 23.

That card will also feature gatekeeper #13 Gabriel Gonzaga doing his thing against unranked up and comer Brendan Schaub.

Strikeforce hasn't been able to do a thing with their heavyweights. #3 Fedor Emelianenko is "working on his contract" and may fight in January.

SF Champ #8 Alistair Overeem will be spending the fall fighting for kickboxing promotion K-1. #12 Antonio "Big Foot" Silva will settle for Overeem's brother Valentijn in December. #4 Fabricio Werdum is out with an injury and will return some time in 2011. No word on when or who new Strikeforce signee #10 Josh Barnett will fight first. Personally I think Barnett makes the most sense for the final fight on Fedor's contract. Overeem would be the ideal but that seems unlikely to happen.

#18 Pedro Rizzo and #21 Tim Sylvia are expected to meet in a "ex-champs that time forgot" bout for PWP promotions. Sylvia in particular will have a strong case for moving back up to a major promotion with a win over Rizzo.

The only notable heavyweight action in September featured #7 Frank Mir against #15 Mirko "Cro Cop" Filipovic. Sadly that fight's predictable outcome didn't impact the rankings at all.


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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