USAT/SBN February 2011 MMA Consensus Rankings: Middleweight


Rank Fighter % Promotion Last Rank
1 Anderson Silva 100 UFC 1
2 Chael Sonnen 89 UFC 3
3 Yushin Okami 89 UFC 2
4 Nate Marquardt 82 UFC 4
5 Demian Maia 78 UFC 5
6 Vitor Belfort 73 UFC 6
7 Ronaldo Souza 69 Strikeforce 8
8 Jorge Santiago 57 UFC 7
9 Michael Bisping 51 UFC 9
10 Dan Henderson 46 Strikeforce 10
11 Wanderlei Silva 44 UFC 12
12 Jake Shields 42 UFC 15
13 Robbie Lawler 42 Strikeforce 11
14 Hector Lombard 39 Bellator 13
15 Alan Belcher 34 UFC 14
16 Brian Stann 31 UFC 17
17 Chris Leben 27 UFC 16
18 Mamed Khalidov 24 WVR 18
19 Yoshihiro Akiyama 22 UFC 19
20 Alessio Sakara 21 UFC 20
21 Thales Leites 17 Superior Challenge 21
22 Rousimar Palhares 17 UFC 22
23 Tim Kennedy 15 Strikeforce 23
24 Maiquel Falcao 13 UFC 24
25 Jorge Rivera 11 UFC 25

#1 Anderson Silva defeated #6 Vitor Belfort by knock out at UFC 126 and is now in line for a superfight with Welterweight champion Georges St. Pierre. This will delay #3 Yushin Okami’s title shot yet again, but that’s nothing new.

#7 Ronaldo "Jacare" Souza soundly defeated #13 Robbie Lawler to the surprise of exactly no one.

This weekend will see #9 Michael Bisping take on #25 Jorge Rivera at UFC 127 and will mercifully bring an end to Rivera’s awful YouTube videos.

#11 Wanderlei Silva has called out #6 Vitor Belfort and has explained his rationale for refusing a fight with #16 Brian Stann (he’s not interested in being boo’d). 


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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