USAT/SBN November 2009 MMA Consensus Rankings: Welterweight

Rankings compiled by Richard Wade.

Rank Fighter % Promotion Last Rank
1 Georges St. Pierre 100 UFC 1
2 Jon Fitch 95 UFC 2
3 Thiago Alves 92 UFC 3
4 Josh Koscheck 83 UFC 4
5 Mike Swick 78 UFC 5
6 Matt Hughes 75 UFC 6
7 Paulo Thiago 54 UFC 9
8 Carlos Condit 50 UFC 8
9 Jake Shields 45 Strikeforce 7
10 Paul Daley 42 UFC 11
11 Dan Hardy 41 UFC 13
12 Martin Kampmann 40 UFC 10
13 Marius Zaromskis 34 DREAM/Strikeforce 12
14 Jay Hieron 28 Strikeforce 15
15 Karo Parisyan 27 UFC 16
16 Anthony Johnson 23 UFC 22
17 Hayato Sakurai 22 DREAM 19
18 Matt Serra 22 UFC 17
19 Nick Diaz 22 Strikeforce 14
20 Dan Hornbuckle 21 WVR 18
20 Chris Lytle 21 UFC 24
20 Marcus Davis 21 UFC 21
23 Mike Pierce 20 UFC 25
24 Dustin Hazelett 20 UFC 20
25 Brad Blackburn 20 UFC NR

#1 Georges St Pierre's tyranny over the Welterweight division has been on hold since he tore an abductor muscle in his victory over #3 Thiago Alves at UFC 100 in July. Word is he'll be able to return in March where he'll face #11 Dan Hardy (note that these rankings don't account for Hardy's win over #5 Mike Swick at UFC 105). GSP may be looking past Hardy, however, he's putting on weight and talking about moving up to face middleweight champ Anderson Silva.

Hardy's rapid rise is a testament to the role of luck in MMA. Had multiple injuries not intervened, Swick would have faced #12 Martin Kampmann at UFC 103 for the title shot and Hardy would have fought #30 Dong Hyun "Stun Gun" Kim in a fight with no title implications. But luck can only do so much, and once he was given the opportunity, Hardy seized the initiative. Time will tell if the hard-hitting Brit is ready for the powerful and well-rounded GSP.

Speaking of (bad) luck, #2 Jon Fitch was going to face #3 Alves at UFC 107, in an epic fight that could very well have put the winner right back into immediate title contention. But then Alves hurt his knee. Instead he'll face the tough but utterly unheralded Mike Pierce in a fight with no upside for Fitch beyond a pay day.

#4 Josh Koscheck has a chance to make people forget his losses to Alves and #7 Paul Thiago when he faces #16 Anthony Johnson in the co-main event at this weekend's UFC 106. Johnson is much hotter than his ranking reflects and the high profile nature of the fight will bring a lot of momentum to the career of the winner. In fact, I wouldn't be surprised at all to see the winner of this fight get a title shot -- provided that they win in spectacular fashion.

#6 Matt Hughes was rumored to be facing Renzo Gracie in a senior circuit match early in 2010 but that fight is not happening for whatever reason. That's too bad as that fight is perfect for Hughes at this point in his career. After two losses to GSP and a KO loss to Alves, it is clear that his days as a top contender are over and he has no interest in being used as a stepping stone by younger fighters.

#7 Thiago had his own bit of luck -- we'll see what he makes of it -- when his scheduled UFC 107 bout with Thiago Alves was changed. Instead, he'll face undefeated UFC newcomer Jacob Volkmann at UFC 106. I'm just glad I didn't have to live blog the battle of the two Thiagos.

#8 Carlos Condit gets a chance to recapture the momentum he brought into the UFC from the WEC when he tackles #10 Paul Daley at UFC 108

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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