Serra <> St. Pierre
Wilson > Markham > Blackburn > Wilson
Heleno > Miller > Blackburn > Heleno
|1||Georges St. Pierre||38||0|
Welterweight may have the deepest talent pool of any division in MMA right now. Unfortunately, the entire division has been cuckolded by one Georges St. Pierre. Dana White has hinted that St. Pierre could fight Anderson Silva if he gets by Lightweight Champ B.J. Penn, but I hope that plan gets put on hold for a potential clash with Thiago Alves first. St. Pierre beating Josh Koscheck, Jon Fitch, Penn, and Alves within three calendar years would be one of the more impressive runs through a division the sport has seen.
Should Penn pull off the upset (and I don't think it would be that big of an upset), FightLines would have an interesting look to it. Immediately after the fight up until March 6th (when their first fight falls through the window), the weltweight champ would have a split with St. PIerre and a loss to Matt Hughes. From March 7th on, he would just have a loop with St. PIerre and Hughes (via others). Meaning, a Penn win would introduce a graph where the champ failed to make the top 10.
Speaking of Hughes, I've been a critic for awhile on his status in most rankings. Here's what he's done in the past 3 years:
W - Royce Gracie*
W - Penn
L - St. Pierre
W - Lytle
L - St. Pierre
L - Alves*
* - fight was at a catchweight of 175 lbs.
The losses don't bother me here. It's no shame to lose to fighters in the top 3 of the division. That said, what has he accomplished since late 2005? A win over an aging legend of the sport who was coming off a draw to a guy who now fights at 145, a solid victory over Penn, and a decision over a guy who is the posterboy for "gatekeeper."
Looking at the rest of the division, you still have Jake Shields floundering outside of the Big Show. With EliteXC's pending sale, it may be awhile for us to see how stacks up with the elite of the division. Mike Swick has done a good job building his foundation. It's too bad Diego Sanchez is moving down to 155 because I think that would be a nice logical step for Swick. I wouldn't mind seeing Swick fight the winner of Karo Parisyan/Dong Hyun Kim instead.
I've harped on this awhile, but Carlos Condit really needs a step up in competition. I can't say there is no reason for Zuffa to bury him in the WEC (because he's one of the few pseudo-draws they have at the moment), but he's really being wasted there. A fight with the aforementioned Swick would be a very good bit of matchmaking.
Power Rankings Explanation
I've removed displaying the rating numbers and instead decided to show the raw beatwins/losses instead. This serves two purposes: 1) it provides more meaningful data to the reader and 2) it allows my top ten to be a secret sauce that only I know about.