USAT/SBN October 2009 MMA Consensus Rankings: Welterweight

Rank Fighter % Promotion Last Rank
1 Georges St. Pierre 100 UFC 1
2 Jon Fitch 94 UFC 2
3 Thiago Alves 92 UFC 3
4 Josh Koscheck 81 UFC 4
5 Mike Swick 76 UFC 7
6 Matt Hughes 75 UFC 4
7 Jake Shields 72 Strikeforce 6
8 Carlos Condit 60 UFC 8
9 Paulo Thiago 47 UFC 10
10 Martin Kampmann 44 UFC 11
11 Paul Daley 36 UFC 9
12 Marius Zaromskis 35 DREAM/Strikeforce 15
13 Dan Hardy 34 UFC 12
14 Nick Diaz 27 Strikeforce 18
15 Jay Hieron 27 Strikeforce 16
16 Karo Parisyan 27 UFC 13
17 Matt Serra 22 UFC 26
18 Dan Hornbuckle 22 WVR 14
19 Hayato Sakurai 21 DREAM 16
20 Dustin Hazelett 21 UFC 22
21 Marcus Davis 20 UFC 19
22 Anthony Johnson 20 UFC 29
22 Brock Larson 20 UFC 25
24 Chris Lytle 19 UFC 21
25 Mike Pierce 18 UFC 19

Rankings compiled by Richard Wade.

The MMA world waits to hear when #1 Georges St Pierre will be recovered from the groin injury suffered in his UFC 100 title defense. We're also waiting to see if an even semi-credible challenger will emerge. It appears that #5 Mike Swick will get the shot if he beats #13 Dan Hardy at UFC 105. It's less clear whether or not Hardy will be in line for a title shot if he beats Swick.

Of course that title shot was supposed to have been decided by Swick vs #10 Martin Kampmann at UFC 103. But Swick pulled up injured and Kampmann got KTFO'd by late substitute #11 Paul "Semtex" Daley. Daley, who has a recent loss to #7 Jake Shields, is going to have to beat #8 Carlos Condit at UFC 108 and probably another top fighter before the UFC will let him get anywhere near a title shot. The memory of Daley getting snuggled by Strikeforce's Shields is something Dana White will want to expunge before they let the always dangerous Daley in the cage with GSP.

The one very bright spot of promised clarity to look forward to in the division is the UFC 107 rematch between #2 Jon Fitch and #3 Thiago Alves. Fitch mauled Alves back in 2006 at UFN 5, but the rematch promises to be a very different affair. A dramatic win by either fighter will immediately propel the winner back into title contention. I'm glad to see the UFC taking this tack. They usually keep title contenders on parallel tracks so as not to mess up a potential title fight. Both Fitch and Alves have had their shot at GSP and lost so there is little to risk and much to gain in the form of a rehabilitated challenger.

#4 Josh Koscheck is feeling frisky coming off his annihilation of #34 Frank Trigg at UFC 103 and called out champ GSP while tweeting that he would be fighting #25 Mike Pierce at UFN 20. But he's gone 4-2 since facing GSP in a non-title fight back in 2007, so I think he'll have to clear some pretty high hurdles to get a shot anytime soon.

#6 Matt Hughes appears determined to make the most of his elder statesman status and is only looking to take fights against established names that will make him good money. He refuses to be a stepping stone for the likes of Fitch, Swick or Koscheck. Not sure who will tickle Hughes' fancy, but its clear he won't be a factor in the title picture going forward.

#9 Paulo Thiago dodged a bullet with the reshuffling that resulted in Fitch/Alves 2, as he was booked to fight Thiago Alves at UFC 107 and now will instead face undefeated UFC newcomer Jacob Volkmann at UFC 106. Volkmann might very well be a very tough challenge, but he's not the #3 welterweight in the world. Thiago has already survived the equivalent of a hazing by Joe Silva and the UFC brass, being given #2 Jon Fitch and #4 Josh Koscheck in his first two UFC fights. Miraculously he emerged with a 1-1 UFC record having KO'd Koscheck and taken Jon Fitch to a decision in a loss.

#12 Marius Zaromskis continues to rise, picking up yet another dramatic head kick KO win over Myeon Ho Bae at DREAM.12. Keep an eye out for Zaromskis in Strikeforce. He would be an excellent solution to their welterweight title fight dilemma. #15 Jay Hieron is on ice since #14 Nick Diaz has rendered himself unbookable by CBS and maybe even Showtime with his last drug test related antics. A Hieron-Zaromskis title fight would get the hardcore fans buzzing and make a nice 2nd fight on a Showtime card.

Based on the premise that all MMA rankings are subjective but that it’s still useful and informative to know who the online MMA community as a whole ranks as the best fighters in MMA, we collect and average the rankings of the top MMA websites to produce our consensus rankings.

We compile the top MMA rankings from each of our sources and award 25 points for a first place ranking, 16 for a 10th place ranking, 1 for a 25th place ranking. A formula is used to "normalize" the data so all fighters are awarded points from those lists that do not include a full 25 fighters. This formula ensures that each ranking site awards the same number of total points regardless of how many fighters they choose to rank. Each fighter’s total is divided by the number of possible points to determine their standing in the Consensus Rankings.

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