For the final mixed martial arts rankings of 2009, it makes sense to look back to where things stood at the start of the year.
Four fighters remain atop their respective divisions:
Taken as a whole, the welterweight and lightweight divisions remained the most consistent over the course of 12 months, where No. 2-ranked fighters
Which class stabilized the most? Probably heavyweight, where several young, talented fighters emerged. Which remains in flux? Despite the steadying influence of a focused No. 1, lightweight stands out as athletes excelled across multiple promotions.
This was the year lighter weight classes matured. It was a banner campaign at 145 and 135, and for the first time we included rankings at the 125-pound limit.
Expect much of the same in 2010, including the long-awaited and discussed debut of female rankings.
• Off an excellent victory against
• The bantamweight division underwent several significant updates.