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Bloody Elbow February 2008 Meta-Rankings: Light Heavyweight

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Fighter Points Last Time
1. Quinton Jackson 30 30 (1)
2. Chuck Liddell 25.07 21.33 (3)
3. Lyota Machida 20.57 21.5 (2)
4. Forrest Griffin 18.14 17.67 (5)
5. Dan Henderson 17.57 20.67 (4)
6. Keith Jardine 16.57 16.17 (7)
7. Mauricio Rua 15.07 16.83 (6)
8. Wanderlei Silva 8.86 8.33 (8)
9. Rameau Thierry Sokoudjou 5.5 7(9)
10. Ricardo Arona 3.43 2.5 (10)
11. Rashad Evans 1.86 1.83 (11)
12. Thiago Silva 1 0.17 (14)
13. Vladimir Matyushenko 0.71 0.33 (13)
14. Tito Ortiz 0.5 Unranked

The thing that jumped out at me from this month's rankings has to do with a fighter who's no longer ranked top 10 by any of the sources we use to compile the Meta-Rankings: Antonio Rogerio Nogueira. When we ran these rankings last month "Little Nog" was considered the #12 Light Heavyweight fighter in the world. Since then he's fought and won impressively over decent, if not great, competition. And yet he's dropped out of the rankings completely. Its funny to me because Ricardo Arona (seen here getting "slampaged" by consensus #1 Quinton Jackson), a very comparable fighter has slightly improved his standings without fighting. Oh what a fickle crowd are the opinion makers of MMA.

Otherwise there's not a lot of action, there weren't many key fights in this division in the last month. Dan Henderson is sliding down the rankings as people move him to middleweight. Liddell's rise past Machida is interesting -- the big star is rising in the rankings as people anticipate his next match against Shogun and the only talk about Machida is whether or not his fight with Tito will even happen.

The UFC's dominance in this division is staggering. 9 of the top 10 and 12 of the top 14 fighters are with the UFC. Arona and Vladdy are the only odd men out. Tito will do fine outside the UFC but it frankly makes me feel sorry for Arona (whom Dana won't sign), Vladdy, Little Nog, Babalu and the other 205'ers that can't get in the Octagon for one reason or another. Vitor Belfort came to Vegas recently begging to be brought back to the UFC but nothing's been heard since. His decision to ignore his US suspension for steroids after PRIDE 33 and fight in the UK might make it hard to bring him back. We'll see if DREAM even tries to make a play in this division.

On the other hand, UFC's near-monopoly on this, the marquee division of MMA, is promising some great matchups -- Rampage/Forrest, Chuck/Shogun, Machida/Ortiz, Wanderlei/Jardine, Thiago/Rashad. The only one they haven't announced a next fight for is Sokoudjou.

And let's not forget Kazuhiro Nakamura either -- the guy was a perennial top 10 for years before losing a snoozer to Machida and getting popped for pot. There hasn't been a peep about him from the UFC -- by my guestimation, his suspension should be about over by now.

Rankings are based on an average of 7 Media Rankings (MMA Weekly, Sherdog, Irish Whip, Cage Potato, Inside MMA, MMA on Tap, 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.