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USAT/SBN May 2010 MMA Consensus Rankings: Lightweight

Rank Fighter Points Promotion Last Rank
1 Frankie Edgar 369 UFC 1
2 B.J. Penn 361 UFC 2
3 Gilbert Melendez 332 Strikeforce 3
4 Kenny Florian 329 UFC 4
5 Eddie Alvarez 309 Bellator/DREAM 5
6 Gray Maynard 296 UFC 6
7 Shinya Aoki 286 DREAM/Strikeforce 7
8 Tatsuya Kawajiri 277 DREAM 8
9 Tyson Griffin 199 UFC 9
10 Sean Sherk 178 UFC 10
11 Diego Sanchez 159 UFC 12
12 Benson Henderson 145 WEC 14
13 Jim Miller 139 UFC 13
14 Mizuto Hirota 134 WVR 11
15 George Sotiropoulos 120 UFC 15
16 Joe Stevenson 103 UFC 16
17 Takanori Gomi 87 UFC 17
18 Kurt Pellegrino 72 UFC 19
19 Gesias Cavalcante 64 DREAM 20
20 Jorge Masvidal 59 J-Rock Promotions 21
21 Gleison Tibau 54 UFC 27
22 Kazunori Yokota 53 WVR 23
23 Luis Palomino 52 G-Force Fights 24
24 Josh Thomson 51 Strikeforce 25
25 Joachim Hansen 50 DREAM 18

Rankings compiled by Richard Wade.

After enduring a colossal shake up in April, the lightweight rankings were mostly static in May. #1 Frank Edgar will have to rematch #2 B.J. Penn for his first title defense at UFC 118. Good luck Frankie.

#4 Kenny Florian will face #6 Gray Maynard in a #1 contender's match on the same card to determine who gets the winner of Penn/Edgar.

Meanwhile #3 Gilbert Melendez may or may not be suspended by the Tennessee authorities for his role in the Mayhem Miller post-fight brawl on CBS. There have been rumors of a possible co-promotional bout between Melendez and #5 Eddie Alvarez.

#7 Shinya Aoki is expected to finally face #8 Tatsuya Kawajiri at DREAM.16. It's too bad Kawajiri didn't get his shot at Aoki sooner. A rematch of Kawajiri vs Melendez would have made for a great fight on CBS.

#9 Tyson Griffin gets the tough but unranked Evan Dunham at UFC 115.

I have no idea what's next for #10 Sean Sherk. He's been forced to cancel several scheduled bouts due to various injuries.

#11 Diego Sanchez will fight John Hathaway at welterweight this Saturday at UFC 114. If B.J. loses to Edgar in the rematch, Diego might regret his decision to leave the division.

#12 Benson Henderson is a living testament to the power of a championship in a small promotion to inflate a fighter's standing. He's a tough kid, but I have no illusions that he's ready to contend in the UFC or DREAM/Strikeforce right now.

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.

We are now moving to what JCS of Fight Matrix has described as assumed rankings in an attempt to rank fighters who move between weight classes. This has been the biggest problem with the consensus rankings and we believe this new methodology will rectify that.

Let's take Anderson Silva for instance. 87% (13 of 15) of our panelists have him at Light Heavyweight and 100% (15 of 15) at Middleweight. On the 13 ballots that ranked Silva at 205, we took the average (21.2). We then reduced that number by half the percentage of Light Heavyweight ballots that he was not included on. Say he's not on 30% of them, then we do a 15% penalty on the average that we found in the previous step. That number is then used instead of the usual "normalization number" to provide points from those not ranking the fighter in the weight class in question. This avoids fighters being excessively penalized by confusion about which weight class they belong.

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