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Bloody Elbow August 2008 MMA Meta-Rankings: Lightweight

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Fighter Points Promotion Last Rank
1. B.J. Penn 498 UFC 1
2. Takanori Gomi 474 WVR 2
3. Eddie Alvarez 439 DREAM/Elite XC 7
4. Shinya Aoki 425 DREAM 3
5.Gesias Calvancante 400 DREAM 4
6. Joachim Hansen 386 DREAM 9
7. Sean Sherk 336 UFC
5
8. Tatsuya Kawajiri 297 DREAM 6
9. Josh Thomson 283 Strikeforce 8
10. Kenny Florian 214 UFC 11
11. Gilbert Melendez 206 Strikeforce 10
12. Vitor Ribeiro 164 DREAM(?) 12
13. Mitsuhiro Ishida 155 DREAM 14
14. Tyson Griffin 141 UFC 15
15. Joe Stevenson 136 UFC 17
16. Caol Uno 130 DREAM 16
17. Eiji Mitsuoka 111 WVR NR
18.Roger Huerta 108 UFC 13
19. Frank Edgar 102 UFC 18
20. Jamie Varner 96 WEC 25
21. Andre Amade 93 DREAM 19
22. Gray Maynard 89 UFC 20
23. Nate Diaz 86 UFC 22
24.Takashi Nakakura 79 Shooto 23
25. K.J. Noons 76 EliteXC 21
25. Hermes Franca 76 UFC NR
25. Kotetsu Boku 76 DREAM NR

Lots of movement in the Meta-rankings this month even though Florian vs Huerta and the opening round of the Sengoku lightweight tourny were the only major events. But what's shaking up the rankings is the fallout from the DREAM tournament. Despite a muddled conclusion with alternate Joachim Hansen coming in at the end to win it all, the DREAM tournament seems to be regarded as THE lightweight event of the year. Its certainly made Eddie Alvarez a star even though he had to drop out before the finals. He shot up to #7 last month and now he's #3. Meanwhile Shinya Aoki drops a little but not a lot -- if he'd managed to beat Hansen he might be contending for #1, instead he's at #4. We can look forward to Hansen defending his belt against Alvarez or JZ Calvancante at the end of the year.

Meanwhile the UFC lightweight division continues to play catch-up. Their approach of building a division from fighters with little big-time experience certainly hasn't hurt the fans but has held their contenders back in the rankings. Sure virtually everyone thinks B.J. Penn is the best, but after that there's a big fall-off. #7 Sean Sherk vs #14 Tyson Griffin should get the winner some respect but won't break anyone into the top 5. Kenny Florian breaks into the top 10 after his win over Roger Huerta but he won't be getting a title shot this year. A rumored Florian vs Joe Stevenson fight should clarify things as well.

Josh Thomson's upcoming non-title fight against Ashe Bowman (?!?) pretty much tells you all you need to know about Strikeforce's shallow talent pool. If Strikeforce and EliteXC have to co-promote any more shows due to Frank Shamrock's contract, I sure hope they mix and match Thomson and Melendez against EliteXC's division of Nick Diaz and Eddie Alvarez.

Meanwhile the surprisingly fun Sengoku tournament propels first round winner Eiji Mitsuoka to #17. Mitsuoka is looking good after a win over BJJ ace Rodrigo Damm and his earlier win over Joachim Hansen. I expect Satoru Kitaoka to break into the top 25 if he keeps winning as well. No one in the WVR field would be my first choice to face #2 Takanori Gomi but at least he won't be getting cans.

The WEC's Jamie Varner was very impressive in his demolition of challenger Marcus Hicks and rises accordingly. Call me a dreamer but I'd love to see the WEC sign Shooto ace Takashi Nakakura to take on Varner.

And lastly, I've never been as tempted to manipulate the results of the meta-rankings calculations as I was when Kotetsu Boku showed up tied for #25. I doubt Boku will be squeaking into the top 25 again next month.

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 38 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, FightMatrix, MMA Playground, HDNet/Inside MMA, MMAVT (Japan), Total MMA, Fighters.com, MMA Weekly, 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.