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USAT/SBN July 2010 MMA Consensus Rankings: Middleweight

Rankings compiled by Richard Wade.

Rank Fighter Points Promotion Last Rank
1 Anderson Silva 350 UFC 1
2 Chael Sonnen 329 UFC 2
3 Jake Shields 299 UFC 3
3 Nate Marquardt 299 UFC 4
5 Vitor Belfort 280 UFC 5
6 Demian Maia 272 UFC 6
7 Dan Henderson 269 Strikeforce 7
8 Yushin Okami 231 UFC 8
9 Jorge Santiago 219 WVR 9
10 Robbie Lawler 171 Strikeforce 10
11 Ronaldo Souza 150 Strikeforce/DREAM 15
12 Chris Leben 149 UFC NR
13 Wanderlei Silva 140 UFC 13
14 Alan Belcher 137 UFC 12
15 Michael Bisping 132 UFC 14
16 Thales Leites 95 MFC 16
17 Mamed Khalidov 93 WVR 17
18 Yoshihiro Akiyama 86 UFC 11
19 Alessio Sakara 74 UFC 18
20 Paulo Filho 74 Impact FC 19
21 Hector Lombard 62 Bellator 20
22 Kazuo Misaki 58 WVR 22
23 Rousimar Palhares 55 UFC 23
24 Tim Kennedy 53 Strikeforce 25
25 Patrick Cote 41 UFC 24

Cross your fingers fight fans, #2 Chael Sonnen has made a lot of promises about his title shot against #1 Anderson Silva at UFC 117, with the most important one being that he's got the skill set to force Silva to fight rather than goof around in the cage.

That's what Silva did in his title defenses against #6 Demian Maia, #16 Thales Leties and #25 Patrick Cote. We'll just have to wait and see what kind of performance Sonnen can tease out of the mercurial champ.

#3 Jake Shields made news this month by (finally) signing with the UFC. But apparently they feel that welterweight champ Georges St Pierre is in even more dire need of a challenge than Anderson Silva because Shields will be fighting at 170lbs in the big show.

#8 Yushin Okami will be fighting Mark Munoz at UFC on Versus 2 this Sunday. A win could possibly put Okami back in the title hunt.

#9 Jorge Santiago will rematch #22 Kazuo Misaki at Sengoku Raiden Championships 14 on August 22. Strikeforce boss Scott Coker has spoken openly about wanting the winner to participate in his might still happen middleweight tournament.

But before the tournament, #11 Ronaldo "Jacare" Souza will face #24 Tim Kennedy for the title at Strikeforce: Houston.

The biggest jump this month is #12 Chris Leben who's back-to-back come from behind wins over Aaron Simpson and #18 Yoshihiro Akiyama at the TUF 11 Finale and UFC 116 respectively have propelled him into the rankings and into title contention. Akiyama will face #15 Michael Bisping at UFC 120 in London this fall.

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.