USAT/SBN February 2011 MMA Consensus Rankings: Welterweight

Rank Fighter % Promotion Last Rank
1 Georges St. Pierre 100 UFC 1
2 Jon Fitch 96 UFC 2
3 Jake Shields 89 UFC 3
4 Thiago Alves 86 UFC 5
5 Josh Koscheck 85 UFC 4
6 Carlos Condit 73 UFC 6
7 Martin Kampmann 72 UFC 7
8 Nick Diaz 71 Strikeforce 7
9 B.J. Penn 65 UFC 9
10 Paul Daley 50 Strikeforce 10
11 Matt Hughes 43 UFC 12
12 Dan Hardy 42 UFC 11
13 Diego Sanchez 38 UFC 13
14 Chris Lytle 37 UFC 14
15 Paulo Thiago 30 UFC 15
16 Mike Pyle 30 UFC 16
17 Jay Hieron 27 Bellator 17
18 Ben Askren 26 Bellator 18
19 Dong Hyun Kim 23 UFC 21
20 Mike Swick 21 UFC 19
21 John Hathaway 20 UFC 20
22 Jake Ellenberger 19 UFC 23
23 Rick Story 18 UFC 24
24 Matt Serra 17 UFC 22
25 Anthony Johnson 14 UFC 25
25 Ricardo Almeida 14 UFC 26

#1 Georges St. Pierre will defend his title against #3 Jake Shields at UFC 129. A successful defense will almost certainly result in a move to middleweight and the booking of a megafight with Middleweight champion Anderson Silva.

The winner of this weekend’s bout at UFC 127 between #2 Jon Fitch and #9 B.J. Penn will no doubt be in line for a title shot either against Jake Shields or an as yet unknown opponent for the vacant Welterweight title.

#4 Thiago Alves is set to take on #23 Rick Story at UFC 130 in an interesting clash of styles.

UFC Live 3 will be headlined by #7 Martin Kampmann and #13 Diego Sanchez. The winner will likely find himself "in the mix."

#8 Nick Diaz fell a spot after defending his belt against the now completely unranked Evangelista Santos. His next challenger will likely be #10 Paul Daley. Daley likely won’t tumble out of the rankings with a loss, so it’s a definite step up in competition.

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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