FIGHT! Rankings: Silva & Sonnen Trade Places After UFC 117

(It was a rough night for Silva, but it all turned out…ok? Go here to check out the full gallery.)

At FIGHT! Magazine, we believe there is a need for a completely objective and unbiased ranking system for fighters to replace the myriad subjective rankings that have become skewed, in many instances, by fighter popularity. In an effort to address this issue FIGHT! Magazine brings you its computerized rankings system which takes into account a fighters strength of opponent, strength of performance, and frequency of activity.

FIGHT!’s computerized ranking system has generated a lot of controversy over the last few years, but no ranking angered MMA fans more than when Chael Sonnen was installed as the #1 Middleweight after his demolition of Nate Marquardt. This was because Sonnen turned in more dominant performances against more highly-ranked middleweights in the last two years; Silva’s fights at 205 aren’t relevant to our rankings equation.

In the aftermath of UFC 117 two things are clear. First, that Anderson Silva deserves the top spot, and second, that our rankings were a lot more accurate than they were given credit for. Silva moves from #2 to #1 in FIGHT!’s Middleweight Rankings, while Sonnen moves to #2. High-ranking middleweight Jake Shields has been reassigned to 170 pounds because that is where he will compete in the UFC.

In the evening’s co-main event, Fitch vs. Alves II, fight fans got a replay of Fitch vs. Alves I. Fitch jumps from #6 to #3 in our Welterweight Rankings and moves back into line for a title shot at 170, while Alves drops from #3 to #8.

Clay Guida made a significant move back towards contention with his injury stoppage of Rafael Dos Anjos: Guida leaps from #27 to #8 in our Lightweight Rankings, Dos Anjos falls from #18 to #39.

In a result that surprised many, Matt Hughes stopped Ricardo Almeida easily and slid back into the top five at 170, moving from #7 to #4 in our Welterweight Rankings. Almeida drops from #8 to #16.

In maybe the evening’s most entertaining fight, Roy Nelson and Junior Dos Santos slugged it out for a chance to face the winner of Brock Lesnar vs. Cain Velasquez. Dos Santos landed bigger shots more frequently and took the decision, gaining one spot, from #8 to #7 in our Heavyweight Rankings, while Nelson falls just one spot, from #10 to #11.

On the undercard, Tim Boetsch jumps from #43 to #35 at Light Heavyweight with a decision win over unranked Todd Brown. Also at light heavyweight, two formerly unranked fighters logged their third qualifying fights – Phil Davis enters our rankings at #17 and Rodney Wallace enters our rankings at #49. Fast-rising, heavy hitting Rick Story moved from #25 to #14 with his stoppage of Dustin Hazelett, who falls from #33 to #53. Stefan Struve slides from #32 to #27 by knocking out unranked Christian Morecraft, and Johny Hendricks’s heavy hands helped him move from #40 to #23 at welterweight. Formerly unranked Charlie Brenneman takes up residence at #70 with the loss. In other welterweight action Dennis Hallman moves from #57 to #32 with a decision win over Ben Saunders, who falls from #18 to #46.

Also, FIGHT! continues to expand our rankings database by adding the best organizations from the regional MMA circuit. This weekend the following organizations debuted in our rankings database: M-1 Global, King of the Cage, and England’s Olympian MMA Championship and Ultimate Challenge MMA. You can expect to see much broader and deeper fighter rankings in the coming months.

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