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USAT/SBN April 2009 MMA Consensus Rankings: Middleweight

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Rank Fighter % Promotion Last Rank
1 Anderson Silva 100 UFC 1
2 Yushin Okami 87 UFC 2
3 Nate Marquardt 85 UFC 3
4 Gegard Mousasi 81 DREAM 5
5 Dan Henderson 80 UFC 4
6 Robbie Lawler 78 Strikeforce 6
7 Jorge Santiago 72 WVR 8
8 Demian Maia 71 UFC 7
9 Thales Leites 45 UFC 9
10 Vitor Belfort 45 Affliction 11
11 Rich Franklin 43 UFC 10
12 Yoshihiro Akiyama 37 UFC 12
13 Michael Bisping 32 UFC 14
14 Kazuo Misaki 29 WVR 16
15 Paulo Filho 29 DREAM 13
16 Frank Trigg 28 Strikeforce 17
17 Chael Sonnen 26 UFC 15
18 Ronaldo Souza 20 DREAM 18
19 Patrick Cote 18 UFC 19
20 Cung Le 17 Strikeforce 20
21 Wilson Gouveia 16 UFC 24
22 Dan Miller 16 UFC 21
23 Melvin Manhoef 14 DREAM 22
23 Matt Lindland 14 Affliction 23
25 Scott Smith 14 Strikeforce 42

Rankings compiled by Richard.

The middleweight title fight at UFC 97 between #1 Anderson Silva and #9 Thales Leites didn't do anyone any favors -- well maybe it turned out alright for Silva since he'll get a nice payday against #4 Light Heavyweight Forrest Griffin at UFC 102.

Meanwhile #2 Yushin Okami has to fight a very dangerous but virtually unknown opponent -- #22 Dan Miller -- at UFC 98 in May and there's no reason to believe a win will get him any closer to the title.

Rumors have swirled that #3 Nate Marquardt and #8 Demian Maia may face off at some point, possibly at UFC 103, but those are very unconfirmed at this point. Maia is being written off for a title shot in the aftermath of Thales Leites' underwhelming performance, but that strikes me as being really unfair. Leites backed into his title shot with a less than impressive string of wins -- notably a win over Marquardt due to penalty points. Maia on the other hand has been very impressive, demolishing #17 Chael Sonnen most recently. UPDATE: Marquardt vs Maia has been signed for UFC 102.

The current season of TUF is building heat for the UFC 100 showdown between #5 Dan Henderson and #13 Michael Bisping. The winner of that bout is virtually assured an immediate title shot. That event will also see the UFC debut of Japanese/Korean superstar #12 Yoshihiro Akiyama against #29 Alan Belcher. We'll see if Belcher can spoil Akiyama's Octagon debut like he did Denis Kang's.

The highest ranked non-UFC middleweight -- #4 Gegard Mousasi -- is abandoning his DREAM title to move up to 205lbs. #18 Ronaldo "Jacare" Souza will face #39 Jason "Mayhem" Miller for the title at DREAM.9 on May 26th.

#6 Robbie Lawler will fight for the Strikeforce belt at a catchweight of 183lbs against #4 welterweight Jake Shields at Strikeforce's June 6 show. If Strikeforce can bring back Sengoku champ #7 Jorge Santiagoback to their organization (he won their 2008 middleweight tournament) along with #14 Kazuo Misaki they'd really have something. I'm not holding my breath for that or for #20 Cung Le's return to MMA action.

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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.