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Bloody Elbow September 2008 MMA Meta-Rankings: Middleweight

Fighter Points Promotion Last Rank
1. Anderson Silva 525 UFC 1
2. Paulo Filho 496 WEC 2
3.Yushin Okami 432 UFC 5
4. Robbie Lawler 423 Elite XC
5. Dan Henderson 422 UFC 6
6. Nathan Marquardt 353 UFC 7
7. Rich Franklin 340 UFC 3
8. Kazuo Misaki 299 WVR/Strikeforce 8
9. Matt Lindland 280 Affliction 9
10. Frank Trigg 244 WVR/Strikeforce 10
11. Gegard Mousasi 238 DREAM 11
12.Yoshihiro Akiyama 200 DREAM 12
13. Thales Leites 179 UFC 13
14. Patrick Cote 166 UFC 14
15. Michael Bisping 149 UFC 16
16. Ronaldo Souza 127 DREAM 17
17. Demian Maia 118 UFC 20
18. Martin Kampmann 117 UFC 18
19. Jason Miller 117 DREAM 15
20. Jorge Santiago 108 WVR/Strikeforce 19
21. Melvin Manhoef 82 DREAM NR
22. Chris Leben 79 UFC NR
23. Cung Le 78
24. Joey Villasenor 75 EliteXC 21
24. Chael Sonnen 75 WEC 25

Obviously these don't reflect last night's DREAM tournament finals. I have no doubt that Gegard Mousasi will be in the top 10 next month and quite possibly the top 5. I think a drum beat for him to come to the UFC and face Anderson Silva could really liven up the division.

It's also interesting to see Yushin Okami surging to #3, most of that is due to Rich Franklin being removed from the division by several rankers. If Okami were about to get a title shot, I think he could have passed Paulo FIlho who's at #2 out of inertia more than anything else right now.

Dan Henderson and a revitalized Nate Marquardt seem to be on a collision course and I think there's a real chance that either fighter could do much better in a rematch with Silva.

We'll see if Kazuo Misaki's underwhelming performance against Joe Riggs affects him in the ratings. What it does do for sure is set up a marquee match up for Strikeforce star Cung Le in early 2009. Le is sneaking into the bottom of the rankings and I expect him to continue to surge as the hype builds for his return to MMA next year.

And Strikeforce has quietly build quite a nice division around Cung. In addition to #11 Misaki, they've got #10 Frank Trigg and #20 Jorge Santiago. Not to mention Frank Shamrock and Trevor Prangley. If Cung beats Misaki, plus Trigg or Santiago in 2009, he'll be very well positioned to move to the UFC, perhaps to an immediate title shot. A rematch with Shamrock on CBS or Showtime is also a very live possibility.

It will be interesting to see how Santiago does in the WVR/Sengoku middleweight tournament. The field is second tier, but has enough talent to be meaningful. Particularly with Nakamura cutting down to 185 and Shooto champ Siyar Bahadurzada getting a second crack at top level competition after his loss to Misaki.

Meanwhile, poor Matt Lindland is wasting away in Affliction. We'll see if he gets some more nice pay days out of them, but I fear Lindland's days as a force in the division are over due to failings of the business more than failings within the ring. Robbie Lawler is similarly trapped at EliteXC. He's already cleaned out their weak 185 field and I see no compelling fights on the horizon for the talented fighter.

Explanations of the methodology are in the full entry. The main thing to know is that the Meta-rankings are not the opinions of the BloodyElbow staff, rather they're a compilation of the rankings of 19 leading MMA web sites. The goal is not to tell you who we think are the best fighters, but rather to inform you how the MMA blogosphere rates the top fighters.

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 43 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: FightMatrix, Fight Magazine, MMA 4 Real, Total-MMA, Houston Chronicle/Brawl Sports, MMA/VT (Japan), Inside MMA/HDNet, MMA Playground, Five Ounces of Pain, MMA On Tap, CagePotato, Sherdog, MMA Weekly, 411 Mania, Inside Fighting, TAGG Radio, Full Contact Fighter, MMA-ELO, MMA Fighting, and WAMMA. Figure 4 Online hadn't updated -- or if they had I couldn't find the column.

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.

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