The Welterweight division (157lbs – 170lbs) continues to be dominated by Georges “Rush” St-Pierre. However with a recent surge of young, new talent breaching the top ten, there is a chance we could see the French Canadian’s title-reign come to an end in the next 12-18 months.
1. Georges St. Pierre – St. Pierre is riding a 9 fight win streak and is one of the most dominant champions in the UFC. After listening to Nick Diaz question his injury at UFC 137, St. Pierre demanded that his fight with Carlos Condit be put on hold as he had some business with Nick Diaz. If St. Pierre needed motivation he has now found it and he has his wish on Superbowl weekend at UFC 143.
2. Nick Diaz – Easily the biggest winner at UFC 137, Diaz made the most out of his bad situation after being pulled from the title fight against GSP. Diaz put on a clinic in the 2nd and 3rd rounds on his way to a unanimous decision over BJ Penn. His post-fight call out of St. Pierre got the attention of the champion who demanded a fight against Diaz on Super Bowl weekend.
3. Carlos Condit – Condit has made the most of his lost opportunity at the UFC Welterweight title. You have to respect him for wanting to stay active as he puts his title fight on the line against Josh Koscheck at UFC 143. Perhaps Condit is hoping that once again he may get the chance to step in for Diaz at UFC 143.
4. Jon Fitch – The last time we saw Jon Fitch fight, it resulted in a draw against BJ Penn at UFC 127 in Australia. Fitch is coming back from a shoulder injury and is fighting Johny Hendricks on December 30 at UFC 141 in Vegas. This will be another chance for Fitch to prove that he is still at the top of the welterweight division and deserves another shot at the title.
5. Josh Koscheck – Koscheck is fully aware that he won’t be receiving any type of rematch with Georges St. Pierre any time soon, and because of that he is now looking for money fights. Koscheck is looking to spoil Carlos Condit’s title opportunity when the two fight at UFC 143 in February.
6. Jake Ellenberger – After his knockout victory over Jake Shields at UFC Fight Night back in September, Ellenberger has catapulted in the rankings. He is now expected to fight Diego Sanchez at the first ever UFC on Fuel TV in mid Feb. If he gets past Sanchez, we expect Ellenberger to be 1 fight away from a title shot.
7. BJ Penn –We may have seen BJ Penn at welterweight for the last time. After his recent loss to Nick Diaz at UFC 137, Penn told Joe Rogan that this would be the last time we would see him in the Octagon. Since then, Penn let his fans know that he was simply taking time away and would keep everyone posted on what he decides to do next.
8. Jake Shields – Shields will welcome Yoshihiro Akiyama to the Welterweight division at UFC 144 in February, when the UFC makes it’s first visit to Japan under Zuffa. Shields who is currently on a two fight losing streak will look to get back to his winning ways as he climbs back up the rankings.
9. Anthony Johnson – After two straight victories over Dan Hardy and Charlie Brenneman, Johnson has decided to go up in weight class to fight Vitor Belfort at middleweight at UFC 142 in Brazil. While we are not sure how long this stint in Middleweight will last, we do know that it should be a great fight with Belfort.
10. Ben Askren – The Bellator welterweight champion recently defended his title in a close split decision to Jay Hieron at Bellator 56. Askren was highly critical of his performance and we wouldn’t be surprised to see a rematch happen soon.
Brendan is a Brazilian Jiu Jitsu purple belt and boxing practitioner who has followed all things MMA since watching the first UFC event over 20 years ago. In addition to his professional career, Brendan is currently an MBA student at Montclair State University who enjoys spending time with his wife Meredith and their dog Cha'lie when he's not training.
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