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Bloody Elbow August 2008 MMA Meta-Rankings: Light Heavyweight

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Fighter Points Promotion Last Rank
1. Forrest Griffin 492 UFC 1
2. Quinton Jackson 473 UFC 2
2. Chuck Liddell 473 UFC 4
4. Lyoto Machida 446 UFC 3
5. Mauricio Rua 406 UFC 5
6. Wanderlei Silva 395 UFC 6
7. Keith Jardine 333 UFC 7
8. Rashad Evans 282 UFC 8
9. Thiago Silva 264 UFC 9
10. Rameau Thierry Sokoudjou 263 UFC 10
11. Dan Henderson 204 UFC 11
11. Antonio Rogerio Nogueira 204 Affliction 12
13. Tito Ortiz 145 Unsigned
13
14. Vladimir Matyushenko 123 Affliction 14
15. Renato Sobral 112 Affliction/Strikeforce 16
16. Stephan Bonnar 89 UFC 17
16. Brandon Vera 89 UFC 18
18. Goran Reljic 82 UFC 15
19. Ricardo Arona 78 Unsigned 19
20. Luis Arthur Cane 74 UFC 18
20. Wilson Gouveia 74 UFC 21
22. Rich Franklin 73 UFC NR
23. Rafael Calvacante 71 EliteXC 22
24. Glover Teixeira 70 PFC 20
25. Travis Wiuff 66 YAMMA NR

This is one of the weirder Meta-rankings I've compiled since beginning this project. There hasn't been any relevant action in the last month and yet the rankings have been pretty changeable.

For one thing, Chuck Liddell continues to climb, I assume due to anticipation of his fight against Rashad Evans and a likely title shot if he wins that one. The more time goes by, the more I'm convinced that Lyoto Machida was the real loser of the Rampage/Forrest fight. Had Rampage won, Machida would have been very hard to deny a title shot. He had worked his way up to #2 on the Meta-rankings not long ago. Now he's at #4 without having lost a fight.

The other strangeness was at the bottom levels. MMA-ELO's decision to move Rich Franklin to middleweight due to his upcoming fight at 205lbs against Matt Hamill caused Franklin to come in at #3 on their charts. They were the only site ranking him in the top 25 at all but it was enough to get him on the charts at 22. Travis Wiuff also wormed his way into the standings but via several sites ranking him in the top 25.

It also annoys me that so many sites continue to rank Dan Henderson at 205 when he's showing no indication of ever fighting at 205 again.

The UFC continues to utterly dominate this division with 17 of the top 25 and all of the top 11 signed to Zuffa. But you have to hand it to Affliction, they've went out and signed the best available light heavyweight -- #14 Vladdy Matyushenko -- and are putting him in against Little Nog (#11) in October. Hopefully the winner will face Sobral at the third Affliction show. It's too bad Tito thinks he's priceless because I'd much rather see Babalu vs Tito than Babalu vs Bobby Southworth Anthony Ruiz.

The upcoming Liddell/Evans bout will either get Chuck one last title run or establish Rashad as a real contender. I'm much less intrigued by the Rich Franklin/Matt Hamill match. It's not a good matchup for either fighter. IMO with Anderson Silva talking about moving up to 205 to fight Chuck Liddell et al, Franklin should be consolidating his position as the 2nd best middleweight in the world. I'd much rather see Rich vs Dan Henderson than Franklin/Hamill or Henderson/Palhares.

Does anyone know if the Wilson Gouveia/Jeremy Horn fight will be at 205 or 185? There's another fight that makes no sense unless the UFC just wants to give a gimme to Gouveia.

UFC 89 on the other hand will have a huge impact on the rankings. You've got #4 Lyoto Machida vs #9 Thiago Silva in a battle of the undefeated fighters. It'll be hard to keep the winner away from a title shot in 2009. Plus #7 Keith Jardine vs #16 Brandon Vera in a bout that could send the loser's career into a death spiral. And #10 Sokoudjou vs #20 Luiz Cane in what should be a war and should establish the winner as a contender for a 2009 title shot.

Then of course you've got the rumored Rampage vs Shogun rematch in December. The UFC clearly still sees Shogun as a marketable fighter with a big future. My question is what's next for Wanderlei? And with Liddell (or maybe Evans), Shogun or Rampage and Wanderlei all likely to get title shots, how long will the winner of Machida/Thiago Silva have to wait for a shot?

And lastly, is anyone ever going to sign Ricardo Arona?

Based on the premise that opinions are like assholes, everybody has one and they all stink. instead of putting up our own subjective fighter rankings, we compile and average the rankings of every source we could find online.

The goal is to show how the MMA community rates the fighters, not to bore you with our opinions.

Be sure and look at the points, they're a much more telling number than the ranking. There's clearly a huge gulf between the top 9 fighters and those that follow.

A total of 45 fighters were ranked in the top 25 by one source or another, for reasons of sanity I only track the top 25 (26 due to a tie) most highly rated fighters.

25 points are awarded 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. Fuller explanation below.

Rankings were compiled from the following sites: WAMMA, MMA Fighting, MMA-ELO, Full Contact Fighter, TAGG Radio, MMA News, 411 Mania, MMA Weekly, Sherdog, Cage Potato, MMA On Tap, Five Ounces of Pain, FightMatrix, MMA Playground, HDNet/Inside MMA, MMA/VT (Japan), Houston Chronicle's Brawl Sports, Total-MMA, Fighters.com, and Figure 4 Online.

The normalization scheme as explained by JCS of FightMatrix is here:

The “normalization number” (new name) would be:

120
divided by
(Total Fighters Found in Any List minus 10)

Every fighter found somewhere else, but on a Top 10 list would be assigned this number.

The “normalization” number would not apply to a fighter not found on a Top 25 list. They would simply get 0.

So the process would be:

Do all of the Top 25 lists first, #1 = 25, #2 = 24…. #24 = 2, #25 = 1
Do all of the Top 10 lists, same scoring structure.. stops at #10 = 16

Figure out that normalization variable.

Fill in the normalization variable to all fighters not found in the Top 10 lists, but found elsewhere.

Do your totals and rank.