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How Do You Rank MMA Fighters?

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I've been thinking about this for a while and I need help figuring this out. I've been visiting a lot of different websites with their own fighter rankings posted and I just can't believe some of the stuff I'm reading. I've been waiting in hopes that some of the sites just hadn't updated their rankings or something, but I guess that just isn't the case. The bias in some of them is unbelievable! I'm going to pose a few questions, and feel free to chime in with your thoughts.

  • How in the world is Lyoto Machida ranked as the #2 LHW in the world by some sites?

  • How in the world is Randy Couture ranked as the #3 HW in the world by some sites?

  • How in the world is Rampage Jackson ranked as low as the #5 LHW with Liddell ranked above him?

  • How in the world is Cro Cop still a top ten HW?

  • How in the world is Thiago Silva a top ten LHW?

I love Lyoto Machida and I think he's a great fighter, but he's not the #2 LHW in the world. First of all, the only top ten LHW he has really beaten is Sokoudjou. Beating Tito Ortiz doesn't count for a whole lot these days either. Also, Rampage Jackson has to be THE #2 LHW in the world...there's no way he can drop lower than #2 with losing a debatable split decision to Forrest Griffin.

Randy Couture was ranked #2 by a few websites just a couple of weeks ago...and he hasn't fought in a YEAR. More importantly, there's no way he can get KTFO by Chuck Liddell...sit out a year...then win 2 HW fights and just leap frog ahead of Josh Barnett. Please explain that one to me...

How can you rank Rampage Jackson at #5? Is it because of his legal problems and the possiblity of him not fighting for a while? If so...I could try to understand that rationale, but how in the world can someone have Liddell ranked above Rampage? Please remember that MMA math doesn't really work.

Is the HW talent pool so shallow that Cro Cop is still a top ten HW? Him going over to Japan(where his last fight was a gimme) doesn't do much in my opinion. In fact, Cro Cop hasn't beaten a ranked opponent in 2 years.

Thiago Silva...I love his style and aggressiveness, but he hasn't beaten anyone of note as of yet(Houston Alexander doesn't count). I can understand someone giving him the #10 slot with him being undefeated and all...but some of the Silva hype unwarranted at this point. However, Joe Silva has done some excellent match making at UFC 90 pitting Silva vs. Machida. That fight should answer a lot of questions.

There are some other instances where some of the selections don't sit well with me, but they are bearable. I understand that there isn't an exact science to ranking fighters, but some may want to re-visit how they come to their conclusions in my opinion. I mean what variables are being used to help determine fighter rankings? I'd like to know how YOU come up with your own fighter rankings...drop them in the comments section.