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USAT/SBN January 2010 MMA Consensus Rankings: Middleweight

Rank Fighter % Promotion Last Rank
1 Anderson Silva 100 UFC 1
2 Nate Marquardt 95 UFC 2
3 Dan Henderson 92 Strikeforce 3
4 Demian Maia 80 UFC 4
5 Chael Sonnen 77 UFC 6
6 Vitor Belfort 74 UFC 5
7 Jake Shields 68 Strikeforce 7
8 Yushin Okami 53 UFC 8
9 Yoshihiro Akiyama 52 UFC 9
10 Robbie Lawler 41 Strikeforce 12
11 Jorge Santiago 38 WVR 11
12 Mamed Khalidov 38 WVR 10
13 Paulo Filho 31 DREAM 13
14 Michael Bisping 27 UFC 14
15 Nick Diaz 25 Strikeforce 17
16 Ronaldo Souza 25 DREAM/Strikeforce 16
17 Melvin Manhoef 25 K-1 32
18 Alan Belcher 24 UFC 22
19 Patrick Cote 22 UFC 19
20 Thales Leites 21 MFC 20
20 Scott Smith 21 Strikeforce 38
22 Ikuhisa Minowa 21 K-1 NR
23 Tim Kennedy 20 Strikeforce 36
24 Ricardo Almeida 20 UFC 22
25 Rich Franklin 19 UFC 26

Rankings compiled by Richard Wade.

We'll have to wait until April to see #1 Anderson Silva defend his UFC middleweight belt against #6 Vitor Belfort at UFC 112.

Fans of top-flight middleweight action will have to be satisfied with #2 Nate Marquardt vs #5 Chael Sonnen at UFC 109 in February. That match is a double-pinkie- swear-no-take-backs #1 contenders match too.

UFC 109 will also see #4 Demian Maia tested against the very tough but unranked Dan Miller.

#7 Jake Shields is expected to defend his Strikeforce middleweight belt against #3 Dan Henderson, possibly on their April CBS card.

#8 Yushin Okami will return to action against Lucio Linhares at UFC Fight Night 21, presumably on the undercard.

#9 Yoshihiro Akiyama is apparently still in the deep freeze. At one point he was apparently set to face Wanderlei Silva at UFC 110, but that fight went to #14 Michael Bisping instead. No word on when fans can expect to see the Sexy One again.

#10 Robbie Lawler will face #17 Melvin Manhoef at this Saturday's Strikeforce: Miami event on Showtime.

#11 Jorge Santiago will defend his Sengoku belt against #12 Mahmed Khalidov -- the man who beat him in a non-title fight at Sengoku 11 -- in March.

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.