Shaking down the UFC welterweight Division, Post UFC 158

| March 19, 2013 | 4:42 pm | Reply

UFC 158 Welterweights

Saturday’s UFC 158 was filled with welterweight action, capped off by the UFC welterweight champion Georges St. Pierre successfully defending his title against Nick Diaz. The fight card had a total of six welterweight bouts in all and the nights outcomes altered the direction of many of the division’s top fighters.

Other notable welterweight fighters in action at UFC 158 included, Johny Hendricks, Carlos Condit, Jake Ellenberger, Nate Marquardt, Patrick Cote and Rick Story. Following the event the UFC updated their rankings across the board and within the welterweight division; Jake Ellenberger (up) and Nick Diaz (down) saw the biggest change. The current UFC welterweight top ten along with the outcome of their most recent fight are a follows:

[Champion] Georges St. Pierre (Defeated Nick Diaz by UD at UFC 158)

1. Johny Hendricks (Defeated Carlos Condit by UD at UFC 158)

2. Carlos Condit (Lost by UD to Johny Hendricks at UFC 158)

3. Rory MacDonald (Defeated BJ Penn by UD at UFC on FOX)

4. Jake Ellenberger (Defeated Nate Marquardt by 1st rd KO at UFC 158)

5. Demian Maia (Defeated Jon Fitch by UD at UFC 156)

6. Nick Diaz (Lost by UD to Georges St Pierre at UFC 158)

7. Martin Kampmann (Lost by 1st rd KO to Johny Hendricks at UFC 154)

8. Tarec Saffiedine (Defeated Nate Marquardt by UD at Final Strikeforce event)

9. Robbie Lawler (Defeated Josh Koscheck by 1st rd KO at UFC 157)

10. Josh Koscheck (Lost by 1st rd KO to Robbie Lawler at UFC 157)

So now that the dust has settled from this past weekend’s fights, where do the UFC welterweight division top ranked fighters go from here?

At the top of the division things are a bit clearer than the rest. After being passed over for Nick Diaz, Johny Hendricks (#1) will finally get his chance at Georges St. Pierre (C). Defeating Carlos Condit was the icing on the cake and there is no way the UFC can deny him the opportunity. The two will hopefully meet this year after they have healed up from injuries.

Speaking of Carlos Condit (#2), he was originally scheduled to rematch Rory MacDonald (#3) at UFC 158 until an injury forced MacDonald off the card. The Canadian really wanted to avenge his loss to Condit back in 2010 and the UFC could still make that fight. With Condit coming off back to back losses though the promotion might want to put MacDonald up against someone coming off a win. Jake Ellenberger (#4) made a big jump after UFC 158 and could be who the UFC decides to put in front of MacDonald next. Ellenberger has won two in a row but questions on if he really should be ranked that high have already surfaced. A fight with Robbie Lawler (#9) who is coming off a big win in his return to the UFC would also make for a very fun fight, while also testing each other.

Since moving down to welterweight Demain Maia (#5) has defeated Dong Hyun Kim, Rick Story and Jon Fitch and appears ready for a run at the title. A number one contender match against MacDonald is possible but so is a fight against Ellenberger. Either fight would be another tough matchup for Maia and help determine who could be next in line for a title shot.

Coming off his second straight loss in a title fight, Nick Diaz (#6) once again talked retirement from MMA. He hasn’t stepped away from the sport thus far so it probably safe to assume he won’t be this time. The veteran wants big fights and doesn’t want to fight the new blood within the division. A rematch against Condit immediately comes to mind but a dark horse could be a fight against Josh Koscheck (#10). Both fighters have lost two in a row and Koscheck is a big name who also wants big fights and has talked about wanting to fight Diaz in the past. Question is would Diaz want a fight with Koscheck?

The remaining two ranked fighters are Martin Kampmann (#7) and the former Strikeforce welterweight champion Tarec Saffiedine (#8). Kampmann is just one fight removed from defeating Jake Ellenberger and was one the doorstep of a title shot before his fight with Hendricks. Saffiedine defeated Nate Marquardt in the last Strikeforce event but has yet to make his UFC debut. While matching these two up is a possibility, putting Kampmann against Patrick Cote and Saffiedine versus Rick Story would be better for the division. Both are coming off wins at UFC 158 the UFC could line them up against Kampmann and Saffiedine on a main card for an upcoming free event on FUEL TV.

The web of potential directions for the welterweight division could go in any direction and this is just a few of them. Who would you like to see the likes of Carlos Condit, Rory MacDonald and the rest of the top welterweight fighter take on next?

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Category: Featured, MMA, Opinion, UFC

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