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USAT/SBN September 2009 MMA Consensus Rankings: Middleweight

Rank Fighter % Promotion Last Rank
1 Anderson Silva 100 UFC 1
2 Nate Marquardt 93 UFC 3
3 Dan Henderson 93 UFC 2
4 Yushin Okami 85 UFC 4
5 Jorge Santiago 79 WVR 6
6 Demian Maia 78 UFC 5
7 Vitor Belfort 70 UFC 8
8 Robbie Lawler 65 Strikeforce 7
9 Yoshihiro Akiyama 56 UFC 10
10 Chael Sonnen 47 UFC 9
11 Kazuo Misaki 32 WVR 12
12 Michael Bisping 27 UFC 14
13 Paulo Filho 26 DREAM 11
14 Ronaldo Souza 21 DREAM/Strikeforce 17
15 Hector Lombard 20 Bellator 21
16 Patrick Cote 19 UFC 13
17 Alessio Sakara 19 UFC 15
18 Thales Leites 18 MFC 16
19 Jake Shields 18 Strikeforce 22
20 Nate Quarry 18 UFC 31
20 Nick Diaz 18 Strikeforce 18
22 Ricardo Almeida 17 UFC 19
23 Jason Miller 17 DREAM/Strikeforce 27
24 Alan Belcher 16 UFC 23
25 Cung Le 16 Strikeforce 20

Rankings compiled by Richard Wade.

Ah the muddled middleweight division. #1 Anderson Silva has finally been given a credible and marketable opponent in #7 Vitor Belfort.

Belfort's 195lb catchweight KTFO win over Rich Franklin at UFC 103 has done what it was supposed to -- justify giving Belfort a title shot against Silva at UFC 108.

Meanwhile #2 Nate Marquardt and #3 Dan Henderson seem destined to meet in a #1 contender bout as soon as the UFC and Henderson's management can come to terms. Hopefully they can get that signed because it should be a hell of a fight and the winner will have made a strong case to merit a rematch against the Silva...or Belfort.

Meanwhile #4 Yushin Okami will face a very formidable #10 Chael Sonnen at UFC 104 -- on the undercard. Talk about no respect.

#5 Jorge Santiago must still be bitter over the collapse of the Affliction: Trilogy card that cost him his shot at Belfort. His consolation prize is a tune-up defense of his Sengoku belt against TBA at Sengoku 11. He is also a loser in the DREAM/Strikeforce alliance since he won the Strikeforce middleweight tournament a while back but is now with the wrong Japanese promotion to pick up any more Strikeforce fights.

Rumors are about that #9 Yoshihiro Akiyama will be the official welcomer for Wanderlei Silva's arrival in the middleweight division at UFC 108. Cross your fingers fight fans, that fight will be money. Although Marquardt and Henderson better hope that Akiyama doesn't win in dramatic fashion -- there could be an immediate title shot in it for Sexiyama.

In the nearer term, #12 Michael Bisping and Denis Kang -- who could likely mop the floor with most of the top 20 in the division -- will get a chance to redeem themselves at UFC 105. I have a hard time seeing either man really making a run at the title, but the winner should be a factor for the other contenders to deal with. I'd love to see the winner of Bisping/Kang get the winner of Okami/Sonnen.

As muddled as the UFC middleweight division is, the Strikeforce middleweight division is even worse. Ironically middleweight ought to be Strikeforce's strongest. Former champ Cung Le finally gave up the belt to focus on his movie career at least. The November 7 titlefight between #19 Jake Shields and #23 Jason "Mayhem" Miller should clarify things a bit. I still can't help wishing that #8 Robbie Lawler had sent Shields back to the welterweight division, but Shields certainly earned that win.

A Mayhem win does create the possibility of a rubber match of the ill-fated series between Miller and #14 Ronaldo "Jacare" Souza. The combination of a less-than-thrilling initial match and a no-contest in bout number two has taken a ton of luster off that one.

It's too bad #15 Hector Lombard is tied into a contract with Bellator and can't jump into the Strikeforce or UFC mix. His announced filler fight with Kalib Starnes in Australia's CFC has apparently been postponed indefinitely -- kind of like his first defense of the Bellator belt.

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.