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Independent World MMA Rankings – January 15, 2010

By Zach Arnold | January 14, 2010

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From the office of the Independent World MMA Rankings

January 15, 2010: The January 2010 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.

In addition to the numerous MMA web sites that publish the Independent World MMA Rankings, you can also access the rankings at any time by going to

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); Jim Murphy (The Savage Science); 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 (Head Kick Legend).

January 2010 Independent World MMA Rankings
Ballots collected on January 12, 2010

Heavyweight Rankings (206 to 265 lbs.)
1. Fedor Emelianenko (31-1, 1 No Contest)
2. Brock Lesnar (4-1)
3. Frank Mir (13-4)
4. Antonio Rodrigo Nogueira (32-5-1, 1 No Contest)
5. Shane Carwin (11-0)
6. Brett Rogers (10-1)
7. Junior dos Santos (10-1)
8. Alistair Overeem (32-11, 1 No Contest)
9. Cain Velasquez (7-0)
10. Fabricio Werdum (13-4-1)

Light Heavyweight Rankings (186 to 205 lbs.)
1. Lyoto Machida (16-0)
2. Mauricio “Shogun” Rua (18-4)
3. Rashad Evans (14-1-1)
4. Quinton Jackson (30-7)
5. Anderson Silva (25-4)
6. Gegard Mousasi (27-2-1)
7. Forrest Griffin (17-6)
8. Antonio Rogerio Nogueira (18-3)
9. Dan Henderson (25-7)
10. Thiago Silva (14-2)

Middleweight Rankings (171 to 185 lbs.)
1. Anderson Silva (25-4)
2. Nathan Marquardt (29-8-2)
3. Dan Henderson (25-7)
4. Vitor Belfort (19-8)
5. Demian Maia (11-1)
6. Jake Shields (24-4-1)
7. Chael Sonnen (24-10-1)
8. Yushin Okami (23-5)
9. Robbie Lawler (16-5, 1 No Contest)
10. Ronaldo “Jacare” Souza (11-2, 1 No Contest)

Welterweight Rankings (156 to 170 lbs.)
1. Georges St. Pierre (19-2)
2. Jon Fitch (21-3, 1 No Contest)
3. Thiago Alves (16-6)
4. Josh Koscheck (14-4)
5. Dan Hardy (23-6)
6. Matt Hughes (43-7)
7. Paulo Thiago (12-1)
8. Mike Swick (14-3)
9. Marius Zaromskis (13-3)
10. Paul Daley (23-8-2)

Lightweight Rankings (146 to 155 lbs.)
1. B.J. Penn (15-5-1)
2. Shinya Aoki (23-4, 1 No Contest)
3. Eddie Alvarez (19-2)
4. Kenny Florian (12-4)
5. Tatsuya Kawajiri (26-5-2)
6. Gray Maynard (9-0, 1 No Contest)
7. Frankie Edgar (11-1)
8. Diego Sanchez (21-3)
9. Joachim Hansen (19-8-1)
10. Gilbert Melendez (17-2)

Featherweight Rankings (136 to 145 lbs.)
1. Jose Aldo (16-1)
2. Mike Brown (23-5)
3. Urijah Faber (23-3)
4. Hatsu Hioki (20-4-2)
5. Bibiano Fernandes (7-2)
6. Raphael Assuncao (14-2)
7. “Lion” Takeshi Inoue (17-3)
8. Manny Gamburyan (10-4)
9. Marlon Sandro (15-1)
10. Michihiro Omigawa (9-8-1)

Bantamweight Rankings (126 to 135 lbs.)
1. Brian Bowles (8-0)
2. Miguel Torres (37-2)
3. Masakatsu Ueda (10-0-2)
4. Dominick Cruz (14-1)
5. Joseph Benavidez (11-1)
6. Takeya Mizugaki (12-4-2)
7. Damacio Page (12-4)
8. Scott Jorgensen (8-3)
9. Wagnney Fabiano (13-2)
10. Akitoshi Tamura (14-8-2)

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 | 26 Comments » | Permalink | Trackback |

26 Responses to “Independent World MMA Rankings – January 15, 2010”

  1. Jeremy says:

    I just can’t see placing Rogers above JDS at this point.

  2. Jeff says:

    Why is Dan Henderson still getting ranked at LHW?

  3. Mark Kerr says:

    JDS and Velasquez should both be above Carwin.

  4. Isaiah says:

    Mir and Carwin’s rankings are just ridiculous. No justification for them other than hype, pure and simple.

  5. Justin says:

    Mizugaki lost to Jorgenson and is still ranked above him?

  6. 45 Huddle says:

    I looked it up…. Dan Henderson beat Rich Franklin on 01/17/10, so he technically could still be ranked at Light Heavyweight. He shouldn’t be ranked next month.

    “Mir and Carwin’s rankings are just ridiculous. No justification for them other than hype, pure and simple.”

    Mir beat Nogueira and deserves that ranking. Carwin at #5 is a joke.

    Just for perspective… Most rankings I have seen average about 52 to 54 Zuffa fighters. This ranking has 48. A little anti-Zuffa skewed, even compared to the other online rankings. Not a surprise with some of the people they have voting on the rankings.

  7. Isaiah says:

    Yes, you’ve explained your crazy ranking system before. But realistically, there’s no way someone should go from fringe top 20 to No. 2 on the basis of one fight. There’s too much randomness in results for that to make sense, and given that he was uncompetitive in defeat in his very next fight, that jump looks even more unjustifiable.

  8. 45 Huddle says:

    In his last 5 fights, He has a win over the guys ranked #2 and #4. I think that speaks for itself.

  9. Isaiah says:

    Brock was 1-0 when Mir beat him. And Brock’s current high ranking is mostly the result of him beating Mir.

  10. Ultimo Santa says:

    The new ‘logic’ from some MMA geniuses is that since they don’t like Frank Mir’s personality and attitude during interviews, he’s not a top 10 fighter.

    He was the first and only person to stop Noguaira, one of the greatest fighters of all time. He stopped current heavyweight champion Brock Lesnar in R1. He just stopped a very tough Cheick Kongo in R1 and handed him is first career submission loss.

    Grow up and get over it, kiddies.

    Mir deserves the ranking.

  11. Isaiah says:

    Jeez. Yeah, everyone who doesn’t think Mir is great must hate him personally. Even though he somehow jumped from the lower edge of the top 20 to No. 2 with one win over a shot-looking ex-great and then lost badly in his next fight and then beat a non-top-20 opponent. The fact is, Mir’s record is just not top-10 quality, all things considered. If you put enormous weight on the anomalous Nog fight (anomalous for both guys), then you can justify him in the top 10, but there’s no justification for a No. 3 ranking except for hype.

  12. Isaiah says:

    It’s really sad how low the level of discourse on this subject is. It’s simply impossible for many or most people to have a rational discussion about it because of the widespread promotional propaganda and counter-propaganda wars.

  13. 45 Huddle says:

    We have given you the mechanical approach, which is who beats who method. That puts Mir into the Top 3. We have given you the “what has he done lately” logic, which still puts him into the Top 3.

    Seems you just don’t like any system that puts Mir into the Top 3.

    I’m not Mir fan. He is growing on me, but I was one of those people who wrote him off and said he was finished. But the guy is #3 in the world. It takes a lot of bias to think differently, which is something you obviously bring to the discussion.

    This has nothing to do with what organization he fights for. I think we all agree Fedor is ranked the #1 Heavyweight. Shinya Aoki is either #1 or #2, depending on how you rank things. Both are outside of the Zuffa banner.

    Mir has a proven track record that he has gotten past his previous problems and is a new fighter, with the wins on his record to prove it.

  14. Isaiah says:

    The “mechanical approach” is an attempt to avoid any thought, and leads to absurdities like Mir being ranked third. And this “wah wah wah bias” argument is very annoying. I explained why I don’t think Mir should be ranked third. Perhaps you can try responding to that.

  15. Ultimo Santa says:

    @ Isaiah,

    I think 45 made a pretty compelling argument…I’m not sure what else there is to say?

    Your argument is by far the weakest on this subject.

    Your first post was: “No justification for them other than hype, pure and simple.”

    Hype? So YOU are saying people rank Mir based on how much they like him.

    “If you put enormous weight on the anomalous Nog fight (anomalous for both guys), then you can justify him in the top 10”

    1. No, this was not ‘anomalous’ for either fighter. It was consistent with both of their recent performances, and they way they’re heading in their careers.

    Nogueira has taken enormous punishment over the years and is slowing down (as displayed vs. Couture and Sylvia), and Mir’s striking is improving (as seen vs. Kongo and Noguaira).

    2. Yes, when someone stops one of the best and highest-ranked fighters in the world, it does mean something, and it requires our attention.

    And yes, even though it upsets you, it DOES affect ranking.

    You don’t dismiss a fight because, in your opinion, the result was unexpected. I didn’t expect Buster Douglas to KO Tyson, but I didn’t phone the boxing commission saying “This was an ANOMALY! Give Tyson the belt back!”

  16. Isaiah says:

    You don’t give the belt back to Tyson, but certainly you don’t have to say that Douglas should be the No. 1 ranked HW in the world.

    Given the fact that anomalous results do occur, I think it is a huge mistake to have dramatic shifts in the rankings based on single fights. And, on top of that, why does someone move way up on the basis of a single win and not way down on the basis of a single loss? It seems that losses being far more rare among top fighters than wins, a loss should hurt more than a win helps.

    And, yes, of course a guy who has recently lost to Cruz, Vera and Lesnar beating the No. 2 HW in the world is anomalous and so is the No. 2 HW in the world losing to that guy.

  17. JRN says:

    People move way up on the basis of single wins when they beat someone much higher ranked. They move way down on the basis of single losses when they lose to someone much lower ranked. I don’t see what ought to be controversial about that.

    Whether or not a result is anomalous depends not only on the results that came before it, but also on the results that follow. If Mir continues to generally beat top fighters and Nogueira to generally lose to them, then it’s not an anomaly, it’s the beginning of a trend. (Nog may have already indicated that this is not the case with his win over Couture, but it’s still too early to say.)

    If it’s an anomaly, then the rankings will right themselves over time. But until then, you reserve judgment and count the fight the same as you would any other. That’s my take, anyway.

  18. Isaiah says:

    Mir’s next fight after the win over Nog was a one-sided loss and Nog’s next fight was a one-sided win over Couture. So yes, I agree that the extent to which a result is anomalous is partly determined by what happens after, but I don’t agree that that consideration improves Mir’s case.

    And I also agree that people should move up on the basis of a single result. The discussion is about the extent of that bump. Mir moved from the lower part of the top 20 all the way up to No. 2 on some lists. I think that’s ridiculous. And then he just drops one spot by losing to Brock? Doesn’t add up to me.

    And finally, I agree with you once again that the rankings should eventually right themselves. Mir has another very overrated opponent up next, but after that, he’ll probably lose to the next decent opponent he faces. If that just drops him one spot, and whoever beats him moves to No. 3, we’ll have another discussion.

  19. JRN says:

    Mir did get soundly beaten the next time out, but it was to a top 10 opponent, since Lesnar had just beaten Couture (who I think we can agree was a top heavyweight at the time). So even though it was a lopsided loss, it wasn’t a terrible loss in ranking terms.

    Out of curiosity: if you think Mir is too high, where would you put Lesnar and Nogueira?

  20. Isaiah says:

    I’d put Nog at or near the top (after Fedor, who is pretty much hors concours). He’s recently beaten Sylvia, Barnett, Herring, and Couture and just has the loss to Mir. Plus he was a top guy before that run.

    Brock has had three straight decent wins, and the loss is forgivable because it was just his second pro fight. He’d have to go behind Nog (given the similarity of their recent records and Nog’s vast superiority in the time I’m considering “pre-recent”). If Barnett is off the list for inactivity, Nog is the only guy who is definitely ahead of Brock. You could argue about JDS or Rogers.

  21. Dave says:

    It’s funny, every month it is BLARG~!!! OVEREEM TOO HIIIIIIIIIIIGH and this time around it is Mir?!!?

    I can understand not liking Overeem’s position, I really can. Is he on my list? Absolutely, on the fringe of it as I feel the HW division really isn’t that great, but you know.

    Dissing Mir, though? Regardless of HOW he beat Nog, he beat Nog.

  22. klown says:

    A fighter shouldn’t drop if he loses to a fighter ranked higher than he is. When that happens, the rankings should stay exactly the same. The outcome has merely confirmed what the rankings told: that the #1 guy is better than the #2 guy, according to the record.

  23. Alan Conceicao says:

    At some point, though, someone who keeps losing (even if to higher ranked competition) will need to drop. Rarely can you find direct comparisons with *all* the guys around them above and below – we rate lots of these guys off imagined performance. Look at Kenny Florian; What ties him to being clearly better than Kawajiri? Nothing. Its guesswork.

  24. Alan Conceicao says:

    Lemme put this another way: The ratings aren’t linear. Never were, can’t be. There is no original number 8 lightweight in the world that we track back to in terms of performance. The only thing that can be traced in a linear fashion are champs.

  25. Isaiah says:

    The No. 2 guy should still drop if he loses to the No. 1 guy because of the inherent uncertainty in the rankings. It’s better to picture a guy’s position as a cloud than a point on a graph. If he loses to anyone, your best guess of his ceiling becomes reduced, while the floor remains the same.

    Also, a loss is a real and negative event, and if rankings are to be based on accomplishments, negative accomplishments like losses need to be figured in.

  26. Where the fuck is nick diaz in your rankings? Embarassing frank shamrock and scott smith to the point it appeared they didn\’t belong in the same ring with him doesn\’t put him top 10? Keep in mind he fights at ww so he outclassed two guys who fight a weightclass up. Come on.


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