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USAT/SBN April 2009 MMA Consensus Rankings: Lightweight

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Rank Fighter % Promotion Last Rank
1 B.J. Penn 98 UFC 1
2 Shinya Aoki 88 DREAM 2
3 Kenny Florian 86 UFC 3
4 Sean Sherk 83 UFC 4
5 Eddie Alvarez 81 Bellator 5
6 Joachim Hansen 76 DREAM 6
7 Gesias Cavalcante 75 DREAM 7
8 Josh Thomson 63 Strikeforce 8
9 Satoru Kitaoka 54 WVR 9
10 Diego Sanchez 48 UFC 11
11 Tatsuya Kawajiri 41 DREAM 10
12 Gray Maynard 40 UFC 12
13 Mitsuhiro Ishida 32 DREAM 13
14 Takanori Gomi 27 WVR 15
15 Tyson Griffin 24 UFC 14
16 Jamie Varner 24 WEC 16
17 Gilbert Melendez 23 Strikeforce 17
18 Frankie Edgar 23 UFC 21
19 Eiji Mitsuoka 22 WVR 18
20 Vitor Ribeiro 21 DREAM 30
21 Clay Guida 21 UFC 20
22 Caol Uno 20 UFC 19
23 Roger Huerta 17 UFC 22
24 Spencer Fisher 16 UFC 23
25 Joe Stevenson 15 UFC 24

Rankings compiled by Richard.

This is probably the division that the UFC has the weakest grip on. Only four of the top ten fighters are signed to Zuffa and only 11 of the top 25.

While we wait for #1 B.J. Penn to defend his UFC lightweight title against #3 Kenny Florian at UFC 101, #2 Shinya Aoki fought an exhibition sambo match against #1 heavyweight Fedor Emelianenko. We'll have to wait until July for Aoki to get a rubber match against #6 Joachim Hansen at DREAM.10. At stake will be Hansen's DREAM title. To help the time pass, #7 Gesias "JZ" Calvalcante will face #11 Tatsuya Kawajiri at DREAM.9 in a bout to determine who will next challenge for the DREAM belt.

A man who made his name in the DREAM tourny that crowned Hansen, #5 Eddie Alvarez is currently working his way through the Bellator tournament on ESPN's spanish language channel. #28 Jorge Masvidal is competing in the same tourny and we may see the two meet. I hope those guys are getting paid well because they're effectively fighting on a parallel Earth.

Strikeforce champ #8 Josh Thomson injured his ankle badly and had to miss a rematch with #17 Gilbert Melendez on Strikeforce's April 11th card. Melendez wants to fight again before Thomson heals up. He would most like a revenge bout with #13 Mitsuhiro Ishida who has fought for Strikeforce before.

On the UFC side of the street, #4 Sean Sherk will meet #18 Frank Edgar at UFC 98 on May 23rd. Sherk is griping about the lengthy gaps between B.J. Penn's title defenses. Fightlinker points out the hypocrisy there.

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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.