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USAT/SBN January 2011 MMA Consensus Rankings: Middleweight

Rank Fighter % Promotion Last Rank
1 Anderson Silva 100 UFC 1
2 Yushin Okami 89 UFC 3
3 Chael Sonnen 88 UFC 2
4 Nate Marquardt 82 UFC 4
5 Demian Maia 80 UFC 5
6 Vitor Belfort 70 UFC 6
7 Jorge Santiago 61 WVR 8
8 Ronaldo Souza 58 Strikeforce 9
9 Michael Bisping 52 UFC 11
10 Dan Henderson 50 Strikeforce 7
11 Robbie Lawler 47 Strikeforce 12
12 Wanderlei Silva 45 UFC 13
13 Hector Lombard 43 Bellator 15
14 Alan Belcher 37 UFC 16
15 Jake Shields 35 UFC 10
16 Chris Leben 33 UFC 14
17 Brian Stann 29 UFC NR
18 Mamed Khalidov 26 WVR 18
19 Yoshihiro Akiyama 23 UFC 17
20 Alessio Sakara 22 UFC 19
21 Thales Leites 18 Superior Challenge 20
22 Rousimar Palhares 17 UFC 21
23 Tim Kennedy 16 Strikeforce 22
24 Maiquel Jose Falcao Goncalves 13 UFC 23
25 Jorge Rivera 10 UFC 24
25 Matt Horwich 10 Xtreme Fight Night 26

Rankings compiled by Richard Wade.

#1 Anderson Silva is set to face #6 Vitor Belfort at UFC 126. If Silva wins he may very well be rewarded with a mega-fight against welterweight champ Georges St Pierre.

That will leave #2 Yushin Okami on the shelf, but Okami has come to expect this sort of thing.

#3 Chael Sonnen is on the shelf too, but for different reasons. His felony money laundering conviction has prompted the UFC to freeze Sonnen's contract for the time being.

#8 Ronaldo "Jacare" Souza will defend his Strikeforce middleweight title against #11 Robbie Lawler at Strikeforce: Diaz vs Cyborg this weekend.

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.