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Bloody Elbow August 2008 MMA Meta-Rankings: Middleweight

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Fighter Points Promotion Last Rank
1. Anderson Silva 500 UFC 1
2. Paulo Filho 469 WEC 2
3. Rich Franklin 431 UFC 3
4. Robbie Lawler 413 Elite XC
5.Yushin Okami 402 UFC 5
6. Dan Henderson 382 UFC 6
7. Nathan Marquardt 297 UFC 7
8. Kazuo Misaki 295 WVR/Strikeforce 9
9. Matt Lindland 292 Affliction 8
10. Frank Trigg 248 WVR/Strikeforce 10
11. Gegard Mousasi 195 DREAM 11
12.Yoshihiro Akiyama 193 DREAM 13
13. Thales Leites 189 UFC 12
14. Patrick Cote 142 UFC 14
15. Jason Miller 131 DREAM 17
16. Michael Bisping 130 UFC 15
17. Ronaldo Souza 128 DREAM 18
18. Martin Kampmann 120 UFC 16
19. Jorge Santiago 112 WVR/Strikeforce 19
20. Demian Maia 95 UFC NR
21. Joey Villasenor 82 EliteXC 20
22. Vitor Belfort 81 Affliction 25
23. Denis Kang 75
23. Murilo Rua 75 EliteXC 23
25. Chael Sonnen 74 WEC 22

This division remains a mess! Despite a wealth of talented fighters and seven major promotions (UFC, WEC, EliteXC, DREAM, WVR, Afflictiong and Strikeforce) booking top fighters, there's more confusion than clarity at 185. First off, Anderson Silva has cleaned out the UFC middleweight division so brutally that he has literally no interesting fights left there.

Sure I was looking forward to Silva/Okami but I wasn't expecting it to be too competitive. And now that Okami's out of UFC 90 with a broken hand, I have to say I find the Silva/Cote matchup mostly sad. Cote's meta-ranked at #14 but I think there's a good bit of inflation going on because he's got a title shot coming up.

Then you've got Rich Franklin moving up to 205 after having lost badly twice to Silva. It's too bad as I'd much rather see Franklin take on the other contenders in the UFC 185 than move up . There's no way he contends at 205 and I think Anderson might be moving out of the division. Let's see who the second best at 185 is. We're missing out on scads of good fights -- Franklin vs Henderson/Marquardt/Leites/Bisping/Kampmann are all more intriguing than Franklin/Hamill.

They seem to be building Henderson back up by giving him a fight against BJJ ace Rousimar Palhares at UFC 88 -- a fight Dan should win, although Palhares is a very promising young fighter. Meanwhile Marquardt and Kampmann will face off at the same event. Marquardt lost to Thales Leites, but it hasn't hurt him too much in the meta-rankings and I think it raised his profile with the fans quite a bit. Nate the Great is now a certified heel. Kampmann was on the fast-track to a title shot before sitting out many months with injuries. He's already beat Leites so a win over Marquardt should get him very close to a title shot. I don't think he can do it though.

Demian Maia bursts into the rankings after his impressive win over gatekeeper Jason McDonald. If Michael Bisping can beat Chris Leben, the two of them might be on a collision course. Leites is up against former light heavyweight Goran Reljic for his next fight, that winner will also be in the mix.

Paulo Filho is at a put-up or shut up moment when he rematches Chael Sonnen. The undefeated PRIDE veteran looked bad in the first match and his subsequent break due to depression and drug problems didn't help his reputation any. Rumors persist that Zuffa will be folding the WEC's 185lb division into the UFC so even if Filho gets past Sonnen, he's looking at being another undersized BJJ ace in a division that's packed with them. Is he better than Maia, Leites, or Palhares? We might find out.

Robbie Lawler didn't draw eyeballs as the headliner for EliteXC's second CBS show. He won't be getting top competition challenging for his belt anytime soon either. The best EliteXC can do is #21 Joey Villasenor who Lawler beat in 2006 and Murilo Rua who lost to Lawler in 2007.

DREAM's middleweight tournament should propel Mousasi and Souza further up the standings -- provided they win in the next round. Sadly, the word is that a desperate for ratings DREAM is looking at matching the hated Akiyama up against a heavyweight instead of letting him fight the tournament winner at the end of the year. Jason "Mayhem" Miller has certainly benefited from his exposure in Japan, despite losing to Souza, his rankings have only risen.

World Victory Road and Strikeforce have overlap on several fighters -- Misaki, Trigg, and Santiago. Misaki will be fighting Joe Riggs at Strikeforce's upcoming Playboy Mansion show. That fight could lead to matches against Cung Le or Frank Shamrock for the "Grabaka Hitman." There's also talk of a rematch with Frank Trigg who's also talking Le or Shamrock. The upcoming WVR/Sengoku middleweight tournament shouldn't be ignored either as it will include #19 Jorge Santiago against a decent field including Shooto champ Siyar Bahadurzada, veterans Yuki Kondo and Yuki Sasaki, plus the always fun Cyborg Santos. No word on whether or not Misaki or Trigg will participate.

Meanwhile poor Matt Lindland is awfully lonely fighting for Affliction. His ranking continues to erode and now instead of fighting #22 Vitor Belfort, he'll be fighting Trevor Prangley in what could be a tough match with almost no upside for Lindland.

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 40 fighters were ranked in the top 25 by one source or another. For reasons of sanity I only track the top 25 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. Each site consulted awards a total of 325 points. Fuller explanation below.

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

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

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

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.