Bloody Elbow July 2008 MMA Meta-Rankings: Light Heavyweight

Fighter Points Promotion Last Rank 1. Forrest Griffin 464 UFC 4 2. Quinton Jackson 451 UFC 1 3. Lyoto Machida 429 UFC 2 4.…

By: Nate Wilcox | 15 years ago
Bloody Elbow July 2008 MMA Meta-Rankings: Light Heavyweight
Bloody Elbow 2.0 | Anton Tabuena
Fighter Points Promotion Last Rank
1. Forrest Griffin 464 UFC 4
2. Quinton Jackson 451 UFC 1
3. Lyoto Machida 429 UFC 2
4. Chuck Liddell 427 UFC 3
5. Mauricio Rua 386 UFC 5
6. Wanderlei Silva 377 UFC 6
7. Keith Jardine 313 UFC 7
8. Rashad Evans 281 UFC 10
9. Thiago Silva 265 UFC 9
10. Rameu Thierry Sokoudjou 255 UFC 11
11. Dan Henderson 191 UFC 8
12. Antonio Rogerio Nogueira 185 Affliction 14
13. Tito Ortiz 145 ??? 13
14. Vladimir Matyushenko 120 IFL/??? 12
15. Goran Reljic 115 UFC NR
16. Renato Sobral 112 Affliction/Strikeforce 16
17. Stephan Bonnar 97 UFC 15
18. Brandon Vera 92 UFC NR
18. Luis Arthur Cane 92 UFC NR
19. Ricardo Arona 90 Unsigned 17
20. Glover Teixeira 81 PFC NR
21. Wilson Gouveia 79 UFC NR
22. Rafael Calvacante 76 EliteXC NR
23. Kazuhiro Nakamura 75 ??? NR
24. James Irvin 74 UFC NR
24. Matt Hamill 74 UFC NR

Very interesting to see how carrying the Meta-rankings out to the top 25 fighters changes how one sees the division. In addition to the guys who make the bottom rung of the odd top 10 list or two — Matyushenko, Little Nog, Arona, Ortiz, Babalu Sobral — you get an interesting mix of up and comers — Cane, Teixeira, Calvacante — and guys on their way down — Irvin, Gouveia, Nakamura.

The UFC’s utter domination of this division is impressive to behold. They’ve got 18 out of 25 and ALL of the top 11. That is one deep division. I wonder if they’ll bring Vladdy over from the IFL. He really deserves to finish his career fighting the best, but I wonder if they’ll be interested in an aging wrestler with a hard-to-spell name and a strictly business personality.

If Tito really does sign with Affliction, he’ll be going to the second best 205lb division out there — if Babalu and Little Nog constitue a division that is. Babalu vs Tito is a fight the UFC should have put on years ago, but I’ll still be happy to see it. I’d enjoy seeing both/either fight Little Nog as well.

Naturally Forrest Griffin’s win over Rampage sent him to the top of the rankings, but its far from unanimous. Rampage is a strong second, but his recent mental breakdown and rumors of a third fight with Wanderlei make me wonder how long he’ll hold on at the upper reaches. Machida and Liddell are the next tier with a lot of sites differing over who should be more highly rated — the undefeated rising star or the aging former champ.

Wandy and Shogun are the next tier, with Jardine, Rashad, Thiago Silva and Sokoudjou bunched closly behind them. Dan Henderson hangs on despite having been out of the division for over 18 months almost a year (thanks to BE reader “turdburgler” for the catch — yes BE does have the brightest readers in MMA, despite their choice of handles) . I’m surprised to see how highly regarded Goran Reljic is, but an undefeated record and a KO win in your UFC debut will do wonders for your standing.

I think Glover Teixeira is rising more on account of his having beaten Sokoudjou a few years back than anything else. I wonder if the UFC will sign him up. Rafael Calvacante will clearly have a hard time finding decent challengers for his EliteXC belt.

Also, don’t sleep on the Welterweight meta-rankings I posted on Saturday.

More on methodology in the full article.

Based on the premise that opinions are like assholes, everybody has one and they all stink. instead of putting up our own subjective fighter rankings, we compile and average the rankings of every source we could find online.

The goal is to show how the MMA community rates the fighters, not to bore you with our opinions.

Be sure and look at the points, they’re a much more telling number than the ranking. There’s clearly a huge gulf between the top 9 fighters and those that follow.

A total of 42 fighters were ranked in the top 25 by one source or another, for reasons of sanity I only track the top 25 (26 due to a tie) most highly rated fighters.

25 points are awarded 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. Fuller explanation below.

Rankings were compiled from the following sites: TAGG Radio, MMA News, Sherdog, Cage Potato, MMA On Tap, Five Ounces of Pain, Houston Chronicle’s Brawl Sports, WAMMA, MMA Fighting, MMA-ELO, FCFighter, 411 Mania, MMA Madness, FightMatrix, MMMA Playground, HDNet/Inside MMA, MMAVT (Japan), and Total MMA. Figure 4 Online hadn’t updated their rankings for July.

The normalization scheme as explained by JCS of FightMatrix is here:

The “normalization number” (new name) would be:

divided by
(Total Fighters Found in Any List minus 10)

Every fighter found somewhere else, but on a Top 10 list would be assigned this number.

The “normalization” number would not apply to a fighter not found on a Top 25 list. They would simply get 0.

So the process would be:

Do all of the Top 25 lists first, #1 = 25, #2 = 24…. #24 = 2, #25 = 1
Do all of the Top 10 lists, same scoring structure.. stops at #10 = 16

Figure out that normalization variable.

Fill in the normalization variable to all fighters not found in the Top 10 lists, but found elsewhere.

Do your totals and rank.

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About the author
Nate Wilcox
Nate Wilcox

Nate Wilcox is the founding editor of As such he has hired every editor and writer to work for the site. Wilcox’s writing for BE is known for its emphasis on MMA history, the evolution of fighting techniques and strong opinions. Wilcox developed the SBN MMA consensus rankings which were featured in USA Today from 2009 to 2011. Before founding BE, Wilcox was a political operative working for such figures as Senators John Kerry and Mark Warner and an early political blogger. He is the co-author of Netroots Rising, a history of the political blogosphere from 2003 to 2007. Wilcox also hosts the Let It Roll podcast on music history for the Pantheon Podcast Network.

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