USAT/SBN September 2010 MMA Consensus Rankings: Welterweight

Rank Fighter % Promotion Last Rank
1 Georges St. Pierre 100 UFC 1
2 Jon Fitch 96 UFC 2
3 Josh Koscheck 87 UFC 4
4 Thiago Alves 86 UFC 3
5 Nick Diaz 77 Strikeforce 6
6 Dan Hardy 76 UFC 7
7 Martin Kampmann 75 UFC 5
8 Matt Hughes 67 UFC 8
9 Paulo Thiago 65 UFC 9
10 Jake Shields 58 UFC 11
11 Paul Daley 56 Strikeforce 10
12 Mike Swick 39 UFC 12
13 Chris Lytle 39 UFC 23
14 Jay Hieron 38 Free Agent 14
15 Carlos Condit 36 UFC 15
16 John Hathaway 35 UFC 16
17 Matt Serra 28 UFC 13
18 Ben Askren 27 Bellator 17
19 Jake Ellenberger 22 UFC 18
20 Anthony Johnson 16 UFC 19
20 Dan Hornbuckle 16 Bellator 20
22 Mike Pierce 15 UFC 22
23 Ricardo Almeida 12 UFC 21
23 Akihiro Gono 12 WVR 24
25 Dong Hyun Kim 12 UFC 26

Rankings compiled by Richard Wade.

While the division awaits the return of #1 Georges St Pierre vs #4 Josh Koscheck around year's end, we'll get to see them coaching The Ultimate Fighter.

For those who crave meaningful welterweight action in the meantime, there's Strikeforce. Oh wait. Well anyhow, #6 Nick Diaz will be facing lightweight K.J. Noons for the number two promotion's 170lb belt in October. Should be a fun fight given Noons' previous win over Diaz.

The biggest UFC 170lb fight on the horizon is #5 Martin Kampmann welcoming#11 Jake Shields to the UFC at UFC 121. This fight is actually much more meaningful than the rankings make it look. Keep in mind that Shields has been fighting at Middleweight for the past two years so few of our sources even rank him at welter anymore. We use a methodology to correct for that to some extent, but if the vast majority of the rankers don't include him, we can only adjust via weighting so much.


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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