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USAT/SBN April 2009 MMA Consensus Rankings: Light Heavyweight

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Rank Fighter % Promotion Last
1 Rashad Evans 99 UFC 1
2 Quinton Jackson 94 UFC 2
3 Lyoto Machida 92 UFC 3
4 Forrest Griffin 89 UFC 4
5 Mauricio Rua 78 UFC 8
6 Keith Jardine 67 UFC 7
7 Wanderlei Silva 60 UFC 6
8 Antonio Rogerio Nogueira 58 Affliction 9
9 Renato Sobral 53 Strikeforce 10
10 Chuck Liddell 48 UFC 5
11 Thiago Silva 46 UFC 11
12 Dan Henderson 45 UFC 12
13 Luiz Cane 44 UFC 13
14 Rich Franklin 29 UFC 14
15 Tito Ortiz 25 Unsigned 15
16 Vladimir Matyushenko 21 Free Agent
16
17 Brandon Vera 19 UFC 17
18 Matt Hamill 18 UFC 18
19 Steve Cantwell 15 UFC 19
20 Sokoudjou 14 Affliction 20
20 Rafael Cavalcante 14 Strikeforce 21
22 Jason Brilz 13 UFC 25
22 Jon Jones 13 UFC 22
24 Muhammed Lawal 13 WVR 23
24 Jared Hamman 13 Strikeforce 23

Rankings compiled by Richard.

It's not quite a #1 vs #2 match, but May 23rd's UFC 98 Light Heavyweight title fight between #1 Rashad Evans and #3 Lyoto Machida will just have to do. The winner will likely get #2 Quinton "Rampage" Jackson later in the year. A Machida win over Evans will gum up the simmering feud between Evans and Jackson that erupted after Rampage's win over #6 Keith Jardine.

#4 Forrest Griffin will next fight #1 middleweight Anderson Silva at UFC 102. #11 Thiago Silva was expected to get Griffin, but he'll get Jardine instead. No word on who's next for #5 Mauricio "Shogun" Rua after his UFC 97 TKO of #10 Chuck Liddell. #13 Luiz Cane is a strong possibility for Rua after his own UFC 97 win over #19 Steve Cantwell.

#7 Wanderlei Silva will face #14 Rich Franklin at UFC 99 in June in a catchweight fight. Wanderlei is headed down to 185 and Franklin seems to be in utter limbo -- he's staying at 205 but Wanderlei will be his 2nd straight opponent who's more of a factor at middleweight -- #12 Dan Henderson being the first. A Wanderlei win will likely put him in quick contention for the 185lb belt. His incipient feud with Anderson Silva will hopefully be brought to a satisfying conclusion in a title fight.

Franklin is the #11 middleweight due to many sites continuing to rank him at 185. Henderson has the same problem to a lesser extent. He's ranked #5 at middleweight. As many have pointed out, the situation of fighters moving between divisions distorts the consensus rankings a bit as Franklin is consistently ranked higher than #14 at Light Heavy by those sites who rank him at 205lbs.

The UFC continues to utterly dominate this the premier division in MMA with 17 of the top 25 under contract. Strikeforce is doing the best they can but were recently foiled in their attempts to book their champion #9 Renato "Babalu" Sobral against rising star #20 Rafael "Feijao" Calvalcante at their June show. Feijao will instead face #24 Jared Hamman with the winner probably getting Babalu in August.

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Based on the premise that all MMA rankings are subjective but that it’s still useful and informative to know who the online MMA community as a whole ranks as the best fighters in MMA, we collect and average the rankings of the top MMA websites to produce our consensus rankings.

We compile the top MMA rankings from each of our sources and award 25 points 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. This formula ensures that each ranking site awards the same number of total points regardless of how many fighters they choose to rank. Each fighter’s total is divided by the number of possible points to determine their standing in the Consensus Rankings.