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USAT/SBN January 2011 MMA Consensus Rankings: Heavyweight

Rank Fighter % Promotion Last Rank
1 Cain Velasquez 99 UFC 1
2 Brock Lesnar 91 UFC 2
3 Fedor Emelianenko 89 M-1 Global / Strikeforce 3
4 Fabricio Werdum 87 Strikeforce 4
5 Junior Dos Santos 85 UFC 5
6 Shane Carwin 82 UFC 6
7 Alistair Overeem 77 Strikeforce 8
8 Frank Mir 75 UFC 7
9 Antonio Rodrigo Nogueira 69 UFC 9
10 Antonio Silva 54 Strikeforce 10
11 Josh Barnett 46 Strikeforce 11
12 Brett Rogers 39 Strikeforce 12
13 Brendan Schaub 36 UFC 13
14 Roy Nelson 34 UFC 14
15 Cheick Kongo 29 UFC 15
16 Ben Rothwell 26 UFC 17
17 Andrei Arlovski 25 Strikeforce 16
18 Pedro Rizzo 25 Impact Fighting Championship 18
19 Cole Konrad 21 Bellator 21
20 Mirko Filipovic 21 UFC 19
21 Gabriel Gonzaga 20 UFC 19
22 Tim Sylvia 19 CageFX 23
23 Mike Russow 18 UFC 22
24 Stefan Struve 17 UFC 24
25 Jon Madsen 14 UFC 28

Rankings compiled by Richard Wade.

With #1 Cain Velasquez out for up to eight months with rotator cuff surgery, the UFC had to do something big in the heavyweight division.

Especially since Strikeforce is suddenly making moves with their heavyweight tournament.

But Dana White came through big time by signing #2 Brock Lesnar and #5 Junior dos Santos to coach the next season of The Ultimate Fighter and then face off in a #1 contender's match.

#3 Fedor Emelianeko will kick off the Strikeforce tournament in February against #10 Antonio Silva.

#17 Andrei Arlovski will face Sergei Kharitonov on that same card in the opposite tournament bracket.

#4 Fabricio Werdum and #7 Alistair Overeem will be the other first round bout in the Fedor/Silva bracket. No date has been set yet although April seems likely. Strikeforce boss Scott Coker has talked openly of holding that round in Canada or possibly even Japan.

If #11 Josh Barnett can face #12 Brett Rogers in Japan that will post-pone Barnett's day of reckoning with American fighting commissions.

#8 Frank Mir is on to face #14 Roy Nelson at UFC 130.

#6 Shane Carwin and #15 Cheick Kongo are both rumored to be looking at returning at UFC 131, possibly against one another.

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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