|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|
|6. Joachim Hansen||386||DREAM||9|
|7. Sean Sherk||336||UFC
|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|
|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|
|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: