USAT/SBN September 2010 MMA Consensus Rankings: Middleweight

Rank Fighter % Promotion Last Rank
1 Anderson Silva 100 UFC 1
2 Chael Sonnen 94 UFC 2
3 Nate Marquardt 87 UFC 4
4 Jake Shields 84 UFC 3
5 Vitor Belfort 78 UFC 5
6 Demian Maia 78 UFC 6
7 Dan Henderson 74 Strikeforce 7
8 Yushin Okami 68 UFC 8
9 Jorge Santiago 64 WVR 9
10 Ronaldo Souza 57 Strikeforce 10
11 Robbie Lawler 48 Strikeforce 11
12 Michael Bisping 42 UFC 12
13 Chris Leben 41 UFC 13
14 Alan Belcher 41 UFC 15
15 Wanderlei Silva 35 UFC 14
16 Mamed Khalidov 27 KSW 16
17 Yoshihiro Akiyama 25 UFC 17
18 Hector Lombard 23 Bellator 20
19 Paulo Filho 22 Impact Fighting Championship 18
20 Alessio Sakara 20 UFC 19
21 Thales Leites 19 Powerhouse World Promotions 21
22 Patrick Cote 13 UFC 25
23 Kazuo Misaki 13 WVR 23
24 Tim Kennedy 13 Strikeforce 25
25 Rousimar Palhares 11 UFC 22

Rankings compiled by Richard Wade.

The biggest MW news this month didn't impact the rankings but will have a lasting impact on the UFC title picture. I'm referring to #2 Chael Sonnen's failed drug test which has cancelled his rematch with #1 Anderson Silva.

With Sonnen out, Silva will face #5 Vitor Belfort in early 2011. #8 Yushin Okami will face #3 Nate Marquardt instead of Belfort at UFC 122.

Before we get there though, #12 Michael Bisping and #17 Yoshihiro Akiyama will headline UFC 120.

Strikeforce made a lot of noise a few months back talking about a middleweight tournament. Instead we got #10 Ronaldo "Jacare" Souza fighting Tim Kennedy for the vacant belt.

Since then, Strikeforce has been quiet about its plans for the division. They booked Matt Lindland vs Luke Rockhold but had to cancel that fight due to injuries to Rockhold.

#7 Dan Henderson is moving up to 205lbs to fight Renato "Babalu" Sobral in a #1 contender's bout, but no word on what's next for Souza, Kennedy, Lindland or #11 Robbie Lawler. Also no word on whether Sengoku champ #9 Jorge Santiago will be returning to Strikeforce anytime soon.


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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