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Bloody Elbow February 2008 Meta-Rankings: Welterweight

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Fighter Points Last Time
1. Georges St. Pierre 30 29.83
2. Matt Hughes 25.17 24.17
3. Matt Serra 24.5 26.5
4. Jon Fitch 22.17 21
5. Karo Parisyan 16.33 17.5
6. Josh Koscheck 12 13.67
7. Jake Shields 9.33 11.17
8. Carlos Condit 7.33 3.83
9. Diego Sanchez 7 10
10. B.J. Penn 4 NA
11. Marcus Davis 1.5 0.33
12. Hayato Sakurai 1 0.33
12. Akihiro Gono 1 2
12. Shinya Aoki 1 0.83
12. Nick Diaz 1 3
16. Nick Thompson 0.5 0.5
17. Jay Hieron 0.17 NA

It's been exactly a month since our last Welter weight Meta- Rankings and after last night's Condit vs Prater fight I thought it would be a good time to go ahead and post the current rankings.

Our methodology is at the bottom of the entry, but the main thing to keep in mind is that the Meta-Rankings aren't rankings, they're an analysis of how the MMA online community is ranking the fighters. Also note that we're only tracking fighters ranked in somebody's top 10. That's how we end up with different number of fighters Meta-Ranked in each division.

The main thing that jumps out at me from looking at these rankings is how perceptions of fighters' abilities change even when they're not fighting. GSP hasn't fought since December. Aside from Carlos Condit, B.J. Penn, Nick Thompson, and Marcus Davis none of the top welterweights have fought since January. And yet, we see movement all around. GSP hasn't fought since December, and neither have his closest rivals, yet he's improved his score to a perfect 30 meaning there's a universal consensus now that he's the #1 welterweight in the world. And Matt Hughes has pushed past Matt Serra for the #2 spot.

Otherwise things have been fairly stable except for Carlos Condit making a big jump, even getting past Diego Sanchez.

One other interesting thing is B.J. Penn's rise. It's solely attributable to his rise on the fan ranking sites due to his success at lightweight. I imagine over the next few months, more fans will realize he's not fighting at 170 anymore and will adjust accordingly.

The UFC continues to dominate this division with 10 of the top 17 signed, and 9 of the top 11. Plus Carlos Condit in the Zuffa-owned WEC. Jake Shields and Nick Diaz are with EliteXC. Japan's new Dreams promotion has Sakurai and Aoki (although Aoki's fighting at 154lbs, there's no indicator what weight Sakurai will be fighting at, but it'll probably be 168). Bodog champ Nick Thompson has just signed with the other new Japanese promotion, World Victory Road and Jay Hieron is still with the IFL. I don't see of of the non-Zuffa fighters getting to face the kind of competition that will allow them to climb into the top five of the rankings. But Carlos Condit could start building some serious buzz if he keeps facing decent competition, and winning in the WEC. I wonder if GSP clears out the UFC 170lb class and beats B.J. Penn (big ifs), if they might not do some kind of UFC vs WEC challenge. That would be a fun PPV.

Rankings are based on an average of 6 Media Rankings (MMA Weekly, Sherdog, Irish Whip, Cage Potato, Inside MMA, and 5 oz of Pain), Fan Rankings (represented by MMA HQ and MMA Playground) and Computer Rankings (represented by Fight Matrix). If we missed a good ranking someone is doing let us know, we'll add them to the mix. Particularly other computerized or fan vote rankings.

A #1 vote is worth 10 points, #2 is 9 points and so on. Media rankings are totaled and divided by 6 to represent the average media ranking, this is then added to the computer and fan ranking points to create the total (perfect score is 30 points). Thanks to Brent Brookhouse for doing all the math work on this.