July's MMA Nation Consensus Rankings are now live. This month's biggest story is the addition of flyweight rankings. Demetrious Johnson claims the top spot despite six of the 10 ballots placing Joseph Benavidez at #1. The next biggest shakeup comes in the Welterweight division where UFC Champion Georges St. Pierre has been declared ineligible due to inactivity (the cutoff is 450 days).
At Middleweight, we saw movement around the top thanks to actual fight results. Chris Weidman's absolute destruction of former #3 Mark Munoz was good enough to take Munoz' place at #3 with two ballots even ranking him at #2. Tim Boetsch moved into the fourth spot thanks to his somewhat controversial decision win over Hector Lombard.
Welterweight's shakeup didn't stop with the removal of GSP. Nate Marquardt dropped to 170 and made his presence known with an impressive win over the very solid Tyron Woodley. MMA Madman actually ranked Marquardt as the #1 welterweight this month. Demian Maia also made the drop from 185, but his victory was somewhat more anticlimactic. Still, he comes in at #17 in the division.
The remaining divisions saw very little in the way of movement at or near the top.
Details of our methodology in the full entry.
Based on the premise that all MMA rankings are subjective but that it’s still useful and informative to know who the MMA community as a whole ranks as the best fighters in MMA, we collect and average the rankings of the top MMA sources 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.
NOTE: We have modified our method of gathering our rankings because the strict scheduling requirements of USA TODAY clash with the more irregular schedules of many of the MMA rankings sites. That was causing us to use a different set of sources almost every month. That combined with the small number of sites doing top 25 rankings was causing the Consensus rankings to have a lower "signal to noise" ratio than we would like -- that is if fighters are going to be moving up or down I would like it to be because there has been a change in the consensus opinion, not a change in our sources. Therefore we have cut back our sources to just those sites that we can depend on to update every month. We have also contacted many of the rankers that only publish top 10 lists and asked them to provide top 25 lists. As always we listen to your suggestions and are always working to improve the USAT/SBN Consensus MMA Rankings.
Also worth noting is that this month we instituted a rule that if a fighter is active in other weight classes he must have competed within a given weight class within the last 365 days in order to be ranked in that class in an attempt to improve the overall quality of our product. In order to be ranked at all, a fighter must have been active within the last 450 days.
Check out the USA TODAY/MMA Nation Consensus Rankings to see who's rising and who's falling.