The Welterweights have been stewing for some time now with the absence of GSP, the inclusion of the interim belt, and Strikeforce’s Nick Diaz immediate entry in to the title picture off one fight in the division.
It’s a relief to shift focus on all the news of fighters pulling out of fights through injury and personal priorities. Bringing the UFC back to true form, enter the welterweight division in its most exciting state to date.
1 George “Rush” St Pierre is still uncontestably the best in the welterweight division but has started to lose his hold on paper and in the hearts of fans. After a string of boring fights and a long layoff due to injury, he will be reentering the fight game on November 17 at home in Montreal at UFC 154 to face interim champ Carlos Condit.
2 Carlos “The Natural Born Killer” Condit has been the honorary champ since he snagged a technical decision against Nick Diaz to earn him the interim belt and a guaranteed shot at the champ. Hopefully he will make a fight out of it since GSP has simply been able to exploit every one of his opponent with his ability to take them down at will. If Condit stops GSP’s first take down, things may get interesting fast.
3 Johny Hendricks was able to survive the shake up after he floored John Fitch and watched Jake Ellenberger and Nick Diaz fall out of title contention due to Jake’s loss and Nick’s drug violation. If he beats Kampmann on the same card headlined by GSP and Condit, he won’t have to wait long to find out his next opponent.
4 Martin Kampann can never be counted out in a fight and that’s how he managed to rocket his way up the rankings after a couple close losses to an amazing comeback submission performance against Thiago Alves and then an equally impressive comeback knockout of Ellenburger of whom at the time was directly in line for a title shot. If he gets past Hendricks he’s most likely next himself.
5 Rory MacDonald has had an interesting career. Initially he was thrown to the wolves early with a tough fight against veteran and current interim champ in Carlos Condit. These days he has been fed newbies. Nothing against the likes of Che Mills but he has yet to face a top five opponent on this list and win yet here he sits with a fight coming up against BJ “The Prodigy” Penn who isn’t ranked and frankly passed his prime. If Rory wants to enter legitimate contendership talks, his next opponent should be Nick Diaz in my opinion. I would love to see Nick take the angle of avenging his brother’s beat down. The Diaz’s are the most entertaining when they feel disrespected and hopefully UFC matchmaker Joe Silva capitalizes on the situation.
Watch the video below as Rory Macdonald explains his reasoning for calling out MMA superstar Bj Penn.
VIDEO COURTESY OF MMA UNCENSORED LIVE AND SPIKE TV..
6 Nate “The Great” Marquardt has risen from TRT controversy and the bowls of “non UFC obscurity” to take Strikeforce gold at his new weight class in the welter weight division. Now he’s a serious threat to anyone who happens to fall in to a contract with Strikeforce. Unfortunately, if he can’t find his way back in to the UFC, I doubt his chances at remaining this high on the rankings list will last. I’m sure his next opponent in Strikeforce will provide him with challenges, but similar to former MMA super star Fedor Emelianenko and current SF super stars in Luke Rockhold and Gilbert Melendez, he better not lose if he wants to remain a top draw in the sport of MMA. It’s unfair but everyone knows it’s the bitter truth for many fighters these days.
7 Nick Diaz is highly over rated in my opinion for two simple reasons. His style leaves him open to be out pointed by more technical fighters and his wrestling defense is simply poor. Other than that he’s definitely one of the most exciting and dynamic fighters in MMA. Upon returning to the UFC, I hope he does well and earns a title shot. But if anyone has been more susceptible to falling prey to GSP’s takedowns, it’s definitely Nick.
8 Jake “The Juggernaut” Ellenberger is still on this list after his devastating knockout loss against Kampmann since he was definitely winning that fight up until he got caught by knees to the face, ending yet not erasing the legitimacy in his 5 fight win streak. To remain in the title picture in the near future, he will have to win his next fight against Jay Heiron at UFC on Fox on October 5. An interesting side note, he fought Hieron earlier in his career and lost. I don’t like Hieron’s chances in this one though.
9-10 Josh Koscheck and John Fitch round out the rankings so feel free to argue where they place against each other. Both are still dangerous threats in the welter weight division and neither have grabbed gold in the UFC even though they both have controlled most of the division for years now. If Martin Kampann can climb the ranks again, don’t count the likes of these guys out either.