FightLines: UFC Welterweights

Ufc_ww_june_09_thumb_medium

JOHNSON <> BURNS
HUGHES <> ST PIERRE

LINK TO IMAGE

Wow!  Outside of the two splits, we have no loops for what I believe is the first time ever.  Essentially, guys are beating who they should be beating.  There are exceptions, of course (i.e. the case of a guy in his UFC debut beating an established veteran).

The first thing you'll notice after viewing the image is the sheer scope of the division.  By my count, the graph represents just over 100 fighters.  It's a monster, and I imagine it's more than a little overwhelming at first glance.  You can blame the Serra/Hughes season of TUF for part of the influx.

The UFC's welterweight division is about to be put into an interesting spot.  If Georges St. Pierre beats Thiago Alves at UFC 100, he will have joined Anderson Silva in virtually cleaning out a division.  There's no standout challengers waiting in the wings.

However, if Alves pulls off the upset, it will be interesting to see how Zuffa handles it.  Will they give GSP the auto rematch?  Do they make amends to Jon Fitch if he gets by Paulo Thiago at the same card?  Do we get a title rematch with Matt Hughes?  Certainly, much of this will depend on how the GSP/Alves fight plays out.  If Thiago beats him up convincingly, St. PIerre will probably have to earn his way back.

Coming out of UFC 99, I think a fight with Dan Hardy and Mike Swick makes a lot of sense right now.  Swick got a cupcake at UFC 99, Hardy's looking to move up the ranks, and both guys are at a similar spot in the division.

One guy I glanced over is Martin Kampmann.  He would also be a nice fight for either Hardy or Swick.  I could also get into a bout with Brock Larson.  Regardless, Kampmann's right in the title picture if he beats a top-15 type of fighter next.

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