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Bellator Performance Based Fighter Rankings: Heavyweights: Jan 9/19

MANCHESTER, UNITED KINGDOM – APRIL 21: A pensive Mirko Cro Cop of Croatia walks to the octagon before fighting Gabriel Gonzaga of USA in a Heavyweight bout of the Ultimate Fighting Championship at the Manchester Evening News Arena on April 21, 2007 in Manchester, England. (Photo by Gary M. Prior/Getty Images)


There is constant debate about fighter rankings, which are normally based on voting from a panel of journalists.  Such is the case with something as subjective as voting – it’s totally based on voter’s opinion, and biases are bound to seep through, whether intentional or no.  So to try to put a fresh, objective, data-driven spin on rankings, The MMA Manifesto has come up with a performance based ranking system, solely based on how a fighter has performed in the cage, this time for Bellator.  We’ll roll out a new weight class every Wednesday.  Next up: The Heavyweights.


*stipulations: 1) any fighter currently suspended or 2) inactive for at least 12 months (without an upcoming fight scheduled) are excluded from the rankings

  • Scoring based on a fighter’s past 10 Bellator performances (we use a seven year time limit, so if they have fought less than 10 times in past seven years, only the fights within that time frame are counted. For fighters who have also fought in the UFC during this time, those performances were counted also)
  • Points based on a fighter’s opponent’s Bellator win/loss record (ie strength of schedule – the more successful a vanquished opponent is, the more points awarded), extra points given for finishes, extra points given for title fight wins.  
  • Points are weighed so most recent fights are worth more (ie most recent fight counts the most, 10th most recent fight the least)
  • No points awarded for a loss


Stats Last Total
Rank Rank
1 1 Ryan Bader 405
2 NR Vitaly Minakov 285
3 2 Cheick Kongo 147.5
4 6 Javy Ayala 135.5
5 3 Fedor Emelianenko 93
6 4 Chael Sonnen 91
7 5 Matt Mitrione 89
8 7 Tyrell Fortune 66
9 NR Mirko Crop Cop 50
10 14 Adam Keresh 47.5
11 9 Roy Nelson 47
12 10 Quinton ‘Rampage’ Jackson 44
13 8 Wanderlei Silva 40
14 12 Valentin Moldavsky 34.5
15 NR Rudy Schaffroth 34
16 11 Frank Mir 29
17 13 Timothy Johnson 26
18 NR Domingos Barros 25
18 14 Steve Mowry 25
20 16 Ernest James 22.5
20 NR Karl Etherington 22.5
22 17 Sergei Kharitonov 19
23 25 Kirill Sidelnikov 0


Check back next Wednesday for our light heavyweight rankings 

Bellator Performance Based Rankings

Light Heavyweights
Women’s Featherweights
Women’s Flyweights
Pound for Pound


About Jeff Fox

Jeff Fox is a veteran sportswriter with over a decade experience, mainly concentrating on mixed martial arts and basketball. He is the editor-in-chief of The MMA Manifesto.

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