This is an excerpt for discussion (hopefully) from a larger piece I've put together at a fansite where I'm going to be publishing a lot more in the way of MMA editorial cartooning soon, FightGeist.com -- I've been tinkering with it for a while now, but this is the first time I've ever linked to it.
I'm a huge fan of "The Wire," and ever since the young guns of welterweight started showing their teeth and taking out the old guard of the division I haven't been able to shake the feeling it reminds me of the way the streets of Baltimore changed hands in the later seasons of that show.
One one side, you have the established crew -- GSP, Fitch, Koscheck, Penn, Alves, Rumble, Shields et al.
It's the same story you hear in most gangster movies -- one faction who have the respect, a 'piece of the action' (main-card action in this case), and are starting to settle in with the status quo of running things.
Then you have hungrier upstarts -- Diaz, Condit, Hendricks, Ellenberger, Story, MacDonald, Brenneman:
Guys on the come-up who are willing to take it a step further to disrupt the status quo and 'natural order' of things, by whatever means they need to.
This is a fictional framework, but it's absolutely the theme of 170 lbs right now: you don't just run up on Jon Fitch and blast him with your first punch. You don't chase BJ Penn around the octagon with your boxing, he chases you. You don't take a flush shot from Thiago Alves and keep coming forward. The entire division is in a state of "don't you know who I am, bro?" and it's really fucking exciting to watch.
Anyway, what follows is a fairly nerdy but hopefully entertaining breakdown of this "welterweight takeover." The full graphic and a longer form post are viewable HERE *»
*I'd love to get your thoughts and feedback on both the poster and the site in this fanpost thread -- hopefully splitting things this way doesn't violate fanpost guidelines, but... well, please let me know if it does. For further yuks check out my 'infinity belt rankings,' an attempt at completely unempirical categorization of the reasons this sport is awesome, (and something I could desperately use some help with).