Welterweight Division Cleared Out? Not So Fast…

In the UFC today from top to bottom there is no deeper, or more competitive division than the Lightweights. Not only are there over about 30 fighters that are well-known and have respectable records, it seems on any given night a lot of these fighters can defeat each other or make it an awfully close fight.

Not far behind though is the Welterweights. A year or two ago this division was so scarce after being cleaned out by champion George St. Pierre that it seemed like he had no more interesting fights on the horizon and the MMA world was pushing him to go up a weight class to challenge the middleweight champion and pound for pound king Anderson ” Spider ” Silva. If you look at the current roster now there are several fighters that can either challenge GSP or present real problems for him stylistically.

St. Pierre is currently recovering from surgery on his ACL so the UFC made the right decision and had a match for an interim belt so their could be a champion in GSP’s absence just in case he cannot return within the timetable the doctors and himself has set. Carlos Condit squared off with GSP’s biggest current rival Nick Diaz for that interim belt and Condit won a very close decision to capture that title. When St. Pierre returns he will face who ever is holding that belt to solidify who is the top guy at 170.

There are quite a few of other fighters that have been really been making their presence known over the past year or two. Names like Jake Ellenberger, Martin Kampmann, Johny Hendricks, and Rory McDonald are legit threats to GSP or whoever is holding the belt. There is also new names like the very talented and dangerous Siyar Bahadurzada and the reemergence of John Hathaway that can make for some very interesting matches in the future. Jon Fitch, Thiago Alves and Josh Koscheck are all guys that GSP has beaten in the past but can make for some serious competition for these up and comers who are trying to make names for themselves.

The second tier of the division is also very impressive too for example Diego Sanchez, Mike Pyle, Rick Story, Mike Pierce, Che Mills, Aaron Simpson, Dan Hardy, Josh Neer, Duane Ludwig, and Amir Sadollah all pose stiff competition for each other, and on any given night can beat each other. There are some young fighters like John Maguire, James Head and Matt Riddle that have looked impressive and very confident in their last few matches. This roster should keep GSP on his toes for some years to come and keep him where he wants to be and that is at 170.


1- George St. Pierre
2- Carlos Condit
3- Nick Diaz
4- Jake Ellenberger
5- Martin Kampmann
6- Rory McDonald
7- Johny Hendricks
8- Jon Fitch
9- Josh Koscheck
10- Diego Sanchez


1- Benson Henderson
2- Nate Diaz
3- Frankie Edgar
4- Anthony Pettis
5- Donald Cerrone
6- Gray Maynard
7- Jim Miller
8- Clay Guida
9- Mark Bocek
10- Evan Dunham


1- Anderson Silva
2- Jon Jones
3- George St. Pierre
4- Jose Aldo
5- Junior Dos Santos

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