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Independent World MMA Rankings – September 25, 2009

By Zach Arnold | September 24, 2009

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From the office of the Independent World MMA Rankings

September 25, 2009: The August 2009 Independent World MMA Rankings have been released. These rankings are independent of any single MMA media outlet or sanctioning body, and are published on multiple web sites.

Some of the best and most knowledgeable MMA writers from across the MMA media landscape have come together to form one independent voting panel.

Some of the best and most knowledgeable MMA writers from across the MMA media landscape have come together to form one independent voting panel. These voting panel members are, in alphabetical order: Zach Arnold (Fight Opinion); Nicholas Bailey (MMA Ratings); Jared Barnes (Freelance), Jordan Breen (Sherdog); Jim Genia (Full Contact Fighter, MMA Memories, and MMA Journalist Blog); Jesse Holland (MMA Mania); Robert Joyner (Freelance); Todd Martin (CBS Sportsline); Zac Robinson (Sports by the Numbers MMA); Leland Roling (Bloody Elbow); Michael David Smith (AOL Fanhouse); Jonathan Snowden (; Joshua Stein (MMA Opinion), Ivan Trembow (Freelance); and Dave Walsh (Total MMA).

Josh Thomson is not currently eligible to be ranked due to the fact that he has been inactive for over 12 months.

September 2009 Independent World MMA Rankings
Ballots collected on September 22, 2009

Heavyweight Rankings (206 to 265 lbs.)

1. Fedor Emelianenko (30-1, 1 No Contest)
2. Brock Lesnar (4-1)
3. Frank Mir (12-4)
4. Antonio Rodrigo Nogueira (32-5-1, 1 No Contest)
5. Randy Couture (16-10)
6. Brett Rogers (10-0)
7. Shane Carwin (11-0)
8. Alistair Overeem (29-11, 1 No Contest)
9. Junior dos Santos (9-1)
10. Andrei Arlovski (15-7)

Light Heavyweight Rankings (186 to 205 lbs.)

1. Lyoto Machida (15-0)
2. Quinton Jackson (30-7)
3. Rashad Evans (13-1-1)
4. Anderson Silva (25-4)
5. Mauricio “Shogun” Rua (18-3)
6. Forrest Griffin (16-6)
7. Gegard Mousasi (26-2-1)
8. Dan Henderson (25-7)
9. Antonio Rogerio Nogueira (17-3)
10. Thiago Silva (14-1)

Middleweight Rankings (171 to 185 lbs.)

1. Anderson Silva (25-4)
2. Nathan Marquardt (29-8-2)
3. Dan Henderson (25-7)
4. Yushin Okami (23-4)
5. Jorge Santiago (21-7)
6. Vitor Belfort (19-8)
7. Demian Maia (10-1)
8. Robbie Lawler (16-5, 1 No Contest)
9. Chael Sonnen (23-10-1)
10. Yoshihiro Akiyama (13-1, 2 No Contests)

Welterweight Rankings (156 to 170 lbs.)

1. Georges St. Pierre (19-2)
2. Jon Fitch (19-3, 1 No Contest)
3. Thiago Alves (16-4)
4. Jake Shields (23-4-1)
5. Matt Hughes (43-7)
6. Josh Koscheck (13-4)
7. Mike Swick (14-2)
8. Paulo Thiago (11-1)
9. Carlos Condit (23-5)
10. Paul Daley (22-8-2)

Lightweight Rankings (146 to 155 lbs.)

1. B.J. Penn (14-5-1)
2. Shinya Aoki (21-4, 1 No Contest)
3. Eddie Alvarez (17-2)
4. Kenny Florian (11-4)
5. Tatsuya Kawajiri (24-5-2)
6. Gray Maynard (8-0, 1 No Contest)
7. Diego Sanchez (21-2)
8. Frankie Edgar (10-1)
9. Mizuto Hirota (12-3-1)
10. Sean Sherk (33-4-1)

Featherweight Rankings (136 to 145 lbs.)

1. Mike Brown (22-4)
2. Urijah Faber (22-3)
3. Wagnney Fabiano (12-1)
4. Jose Aldo (15-1)
5. Hatsu Hioki (20-3-2)
6. Leonard Garcia (13-4)
7. “Lion” Takeshi Inoue (16-3)
8. Raphael Assuncao (13-1)
9. Josh Grispi (13-1)
10. Norifumi “Kid” Yamamoto (17-2)

Bantamweight Rankings (126 to 135 lbs.)

1. Brian Bowles (8-0)
2. Miguel Torres (37-2)
3. Takeya Mizugaki (12-3-2)
4. Masakatsu Ueda (9-0-2)
5. Dominick Cruz (14-1)
6. Akitoshi Tamura (14-7-2)
7. Joseph Benavidez (10-1)
8. Rani Yahya (14-4)
9. Will Ribeiro (10-2)
10. Damacio Page (11-4)

The Independent World MMA Rankings are tabulated on a monthly basis in each of the top seven weight classes of MMA, from heavyweight to bantamweight, with fighters receiving ten points for a first-place vote, nine points for a second-place vote, and so on.

The rankings are based purely on the votes of the members of the voting panel, with nobody’s vote counting more than anybody else’s vote, and no computerized voting.

The voters are instructed to vote primarily based on fighters’ actual accomplishments in the cage/ring (the quality of opposition that they’ve actually beaten), not based on a broad, subjective perception of which fighters would theoretically win fantasy match-ups.

Inactivity: Fighters who have not fought in the past 12 months are not eligible to be ranked, and will regain their eligibility the next time they fight.

Disciplinary Suspensions: Fighters who are currently serving disciplinary suspensions, or who have been denied a license for drug test or disciplinary reasons, are not eligible to be ranked.

Changing Weight Classes: When a fighter announces that he is leaving one weight class in order to fight in another weight class, the fighter is not eligible to be ranked in the new weight class until he
has his first fight in the new weight class.

Catch Weight Fights: When fights are contested at weights that are in between the limits of the various weight classes, they are considered to be in the higher weight class. The weight limits for each weight class are listed at the top of the rankings for each weight class.

Special thanks to Eric Kamander, Zach Arnold, and Joshua Stein for their invaluable help with this project, and special thanks to Garrett Bailey for designing our logo.

Topics: Media, MMA, Zach Arnold | 25 Comments » | Permalink | Trackback |

25 Responses to “Independent World MMA Rankings – September 25, 2009”

  1. Steve says:

    Fair rankings but…

    Too high – Mir, Forrest, Shields, Hughes, Aoki.

    Too Low – Gergard, Vitor, Jose Aldo

    And where’s Joe Warren?

    This is just my broad subjective opinion, however.

  2. prefernottosay says:

    ^^mousasi too low? he beat babalu who was
    9 or 10 at that time

    i do agree on aldo tho

  3. Garret says:

    So if Hansen beats Aoki in two weeks, does he jump to the number two spot?

  4. klown says:

    The rankings are close to being logically linear, with one or two exceptions per weight class. Examples: in HW, my only quibble is Overeem whose ranking is vastly unwarranted. In LHW, Mousasi, Nogueira, and Thiago Silva are all inflated. None of them has beaten anyone of note in the division in the last few years.

  5. Zack says:

    How is Couture top 5 with no wins in over 2 years? How is Florian top 5 with no top 10 wins in his entire career?

  6. Isaiah says:

    Couture obviously benefits a lot from having a good promoter and being a proven draw. Griffin’s spot can also be best explained that way.

    Throughout the list there appears to be a huge, and hugely misguided, emphasis on head-to-head results. The easiest way to get and stay ranked is to beat a guy who has legitimately earned a high ranking and then fight top competition afterward so your losses will be ignored.

  7. Is it M-1 or Strikeforce that pays to have Brett Rogers moved up in the rankings prior to his Fedor fight? And how do I get in on some of that sweet lucre?

  8. Alan Conceicao says:

    I personally wouldn’t rank Randy in my top 10 (I hypothesize the only guy he can beat is Mir, and I’m not wholly convinced he can). I’m pretty much agree with all the others.

  9. Isaiah says:

    Rogers moved up after beating the No. 2 or No. 3 HW in the world. He didn’t move up as high as Mir did for the same accomplishment, despite the fact that there were fewer questions about the win and the fact that his record prior to that win was significantly better than Mir’s.

    Consider, too, the comparison with Carwin, who also has a bunch of stoppages of a bunch of less-highly regarded opponents and one decent win. Beating Rogers is a considerably greater accomplishment than beating Gonzaga, though, so it makes sense that he’d be ranked higher.

    Basically, to not rank Rogers where he’s ranked would require inconsistently
    applied standards.

    Finally, looking at the panel, the only guy who I could believe is in the pocket of any promoter would be Roling, and that promoter certainly wouldn’t be Coker. I haven’t read much of his stuff, but I lurked on a discussion where he was rather obnoxiously defending his pick of Babalu over Mousasi after the fight in an argument with someone who got it right.

  10. Bob says:

    Dan H. over Paul Daley in the WW rankings

    H. = Hardy or Hornbuckle

    Hornbuckle > Thompson > Daley

  11. @Isaiah: What? Are you high? Rogers was ranked 9th in July after beating Andrei. Then in August he moved to 8th when they pulled Josh off the list, and in September he moves to 6th by leapfrogging Carwin when they dropped Overeem. How did he get better than Carwin without either of them having a fight? Were the guys on that list just catching up on their feeds?

    So I ask again: when I start getting the Strikeforce kickbacks, will I be a 1099 and file quarterly, or do I get a check every month?

  12. Isaiah says:

    Hmm. It makes no sense for Carwin to have ever been ahead of him. Maybe a voter realized that he sent in a mistaken ballot or something. It’s ludicrous to suggest that he got bumped to his rightful place just for signing to fight someone.

  13. Isaiah says:

    To clarify: It makes no sense for Carwin to have ever been ahead of Rogers after the Arlovski fight.

  14. @Isaiah: No, it makes sense that the voters are vulnerable to the same marketing, the same hype, and the same fanboyism as everybody else. These lists are just top-tier fanboy consensus.

    (Where did Josh Barnett fight and lose to drop from #3 to OFF THE LIST?)

  15. Isaiah says:

    “Disciplinary Suspensions: Fighters who are currently serving disciplinary suspensions, or who have been denied a license for drug test or disciplinary reasons, are not eligible to be ranked.”

  16. Bah. I’m sorry that everyone was forced to face the painful but obvious realization that OF COURSE he’s been fighting in unregulated events because he’s still doping. Was that some kind of mystery?

    When Alistair Overeem gets busted, will that be news to anybody?

  17. Isaiah says:

    Eh. Josh wasn’t dropped for doping, he was dropped for being denied a license. And I really hope voters aren’t letting their suspicions about drug use guide their ranking decisions.

  18. Being denied a license doesn’t stop him from fighting in the same place he’s been fighting. I don’t see why they’d take him off the list for that.

  19. IceMuncher says:

    “Basically, to not rank Rogers where he’s ranked would require inconsistently
    applied standards.”

    No, some of us dispute the accuracy of the base rankings which you’re applying your standards too. In fact, the worst case of inconsistent applied standards was ranking AA so high in the first place (I had him at #7 when he fought Fedor). You don’t go from losing to Sylvia twice to becoming #2 in the world by beating Nelson, Rothwell and dancing with Werdum. I’m fairly certain Dos Santos could beat Nelson and Rothwell, but somehow I doubt I would see many websites make him the #2 HW if he did so. Same thing goes with Barnett’s ridiculously high ranking before he was scheduled to fight Fedor.

    In fact, when AA lost to Rogers, I thought it was proof positive that AA was so highly over-rated, but instead it seems like everyone just wants to make it like Rogers is a great fighter with amazing boxing (his boxing sucks, watch the Abongo fight, all arm punches and he’s stiff as a board). Rogers is going to be exposed Houston Alexander style, and in two years you’ll wonder why you bought into the hype.

    For now, Roger objectively has a #9 ranking from me, but I’m baring a miracle punch or two, that’s going to be a career high for him. If Thompson can take him down, guys like Velasquez will have a field day (Fedor will too for that matter), and I think a real striker like Kongo will knock him out easily.

  20. 45 Huddle says:

    I’m still waiting for a credible website to do two rankings…. UFC/WEC and Everything Else. That really is the only thing that makes sense. The UFC is a closed organization where it’s fighters only compete against other UFC fighters. Their schedule of fighting, both on frequency and difficulty, differs greatly compared to all other organizations. And they adhere to drug standard policies like other organizations don’t (like Sengoku).

  21. 45 Huddle says:

    “Eh. Josh wasn’t dropped for doping, he was dropped for being denied a license. And I really hope voters aren’t letting their suspicions about drug use guide their ranking decisions.”

    Suspicions? Josh Barnett was busted 3 times. That isn’t even suspicions anymore. That is a flat out cheater who should no longer be competing in the sport.

  22. 45 Huddle says:

    And to just further my point on UFC only rankings and then everything else. These rankings have 54 UFC fighters out of 70. How can anybody logically put fighters not in that structure into the rankings fairly? Nothing makes sense of it.

  23. Isaiah says:

    Try to follow the conversation before jumping in. Josh was dropped for being denied a license, which the ranking rules call for. Overeem is the guy who my previous interlocutor was suggesting should be written off on suspicion.

    Your promoter-segregated ranking suggestion is absurd and would just be another step toward the delegitimization of the sport.

    I’m not buying into any hype. I have no idea how good Rogers is, and I suspect you may be right about him being exposed in the future. For now, however, his accomplishments are sufficient to justify a No. 6 ranking. And your whining about Arlovski and Barnett’s ranking positions is beneath consideration, in my opinion.

  24. Cho says:

    quit crying 45

  25. […] is ranked #7 in the latest Independent World MMA rankings and Hardy is in the top […]


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