It’s inevitable that when talking about the UFC welterweight champion Georges St. Pierre, phrases like “Cleaned out the division” and “super fight” will come up.
Georges St. Pierre (22-2) successfully defended his title for a UFC welterweight record sixth consecutive time by defeating Jake Shields by unanimous decision at this weekend’s UFC 129. The beloved Canadian improved his record to 9-2 in UFC title fights and a staggering 17-2 overall in the UFC.
Leading up to the fight talk of a potential super fight with the middleweight champion Anderson Silva was already running rampant. During the post fight press conference the question of St. Pierre facing Silva was quickly posed to UFC President Dana White. Being just moments after the biggest UFC event in history, White would only say that it’s a possibility.
Later in the press conference the name Nick Diaz (Strikeforce welterweight champion) was brought up as a possibly fight for St. Pierre, to which White replied “interesting”. White would later go on to say that he hasn’t sat down with either St. Pierre or Silva about the possible super fight as well.
So with nothing in the works for a super fight currently and Anderson Silva schedule to fight Yushin Okami at UFC 134 in August, St. Pierre needs an opponent. Let’s take a look at five potential opponents for the welterweight champion’s next title defense.
Following ZUFFA’s purchase of Strikeforce Nick Diaz (25-7 1NC) has been the consensus number one pick by many fans should the fight with Silva not happen. The fight would be also considered a super fight due both fighters being champions in welterweight division. Both fighters are on long winning streaks with multiple title defenses but are polar opposites in practically everything else. Diaz can do what Shields was unable to do in the stand up game and has the high level BJJ should the fight go to the ground. If ZUFFA were to make a co-promotion fight between the UFC and Strikeforce this would make the most sense. Diaz wants a bigger challenge (payday) and who better to give him that then Georges St. Pierre.
The Winner of Carlos Condit vs. Dong Hyum Kim
Should the Nick Diaz option fall through the bout between Carlos Condit and Dong Hyum Kim at UFC 132 in July could easily become a number one contenders match. The former WEC welterweight champion Condit (26-5) is on a three fight winning streak after knocking out Dan Hardy at UFC 120 last October. Between the WEC and UFC Condit is 8-1 with wins over Rory MacDonald and Jake Ellenberger before Hardy. The undefeated Kim (14-0-1, 1NC) is coming of an impressive unanimous decision victory over Nate Diaz at UFC 125 in January. After the fight Kim said he was ready for a title shot, but the South Korean will have to get past Condit before even being considered.
Having already faced St.Pierre once, losing by a one-sided unanimous decision, Jon Fitch (23-3-1) had since won five in a row. That put him in a welterweight title elimination bout against former champion BJ Penn at UFC 127. The bout ended in a majority draw prompting a rematch that was later scratched when Fitch withdrew from the fight with a shoulder injury. With currently no set date has been made for his return, his rematch with Penn and more importantly St. Pierre is on hold.
Story (12-3) is 5-1 in the UFC and after losing his debut against John Hathaway he has won five in a row. Coming off a unanimous decision win over Johny Hendricks in December, Story also holds wins over Dustin Hazelett and Jake Ellenberger. “The Horror” has a major test in front of him though at UFC 130 in Thiago Alves that he must get past before being even being considered as a possibly candidate for St. Pierre.
Coming off a dominate performance at Saturday’s UFC 129 in which he knocked out Sean Pierson just 2:42 into the fight, Jake Ellenberger (25-5) appears ready to challenge the divisions top fighters. He was supposed to get that top-level competition at UFC 126 against Jon Fitch, but the UFC switched the fight removing Fitch to face BJ Penn at UFC 127. Ellenberger went onto defeat Carlos Eduardo Rocha but had his chance at possibly defeating arguably the #2 in the division. Currently on a four fight winning streak, Ellenberger needs a fight against a top five guy in the welterweight division to seal his title consideration.
Honorably mention: Diego Sanchez, Mike Pyle, and Rory MacDonald