FanPost

My post GSP look at the Welterweight Division

State of the Division: GSP's departure opens up the top of the division, and there are a ton of great fights to make. This division is the deepest in the UFC, and new prospects are constantly emerging. By my count, UFC has eleven Welterweights signed and yet to make their promotional debut (they have 28 FLW's total). Behind the handful of guys in the mix for title shots, rising prospects like Gunnar Nelson, Brandon Thatch and Kelvin Gastelum look primed to make runs into the top 20 over the next 12 months. This division is also stacked full of quality veterans that could emerge as contenders, and ensure that no prospect gets an easy run toward the title.

In the Mix:

(1) Johny Hendricks fights (3) Robbie Lawler for the title on 15 March. Hendricks is good for either a Big KO (Fitch, Kampmann, Sadollah, Waldbuger), or a very close and controversial decision (Pierce, GSP, Condit, Koscheck) when he fights. Either way it drives discussion. Lawler has looked great since returning to Welterweight, and while some might argue that Carlos Condit deserves the shot, I think UFC made the right choice here.

(2) Carlos Condit is going to fight against an opponent to be named on the same UFC 171 card as Hendricks and Lawler. If either man should go down injured, Condit will be the first choice to step into the title shot.

(5) Jake Shields vs. (9) Hector Lombard also meet on the UFC 171 card and the winner is going to be right in the discussion for a title shot. UFC in no way, shape or form wants to give Shields and his unpopular, by effective style another title shot, but he could be a serious option with a win here. Lombard looked like a monster in his UFC Welterweight debut against Nate Marquardt, and it is easy to forget that he is 2-2 in his last four, mostly at Middleweight.

(9) Matt Brown was carving out a journeyman career before he launched on his current 6 fight winning streak. He looks like he will be out for a little while with his back injury, but he could be one win from a title shot.

Key Fights -

(1) Johny Hendricks vs. (3) Robbie Lawler - 15 Mar - Title Fight

(4) Rory MacDonald vs. (6) Demian Maia - 22 Feb - While neither man is in the mix right now coming off of losses, either could get right back in the picture with a big victory here.

(5) Jake Shields vs. (9) Hector Lombard - 15 Mar - At worst the winner will be in a number 1 contender fight his next time out.

(11) Tarec Saffiedine vs. (34) Hyun Gyu Lim - 4 Jan - Injuries and inactivity have robbed Saffiedine of all the momentum he had leaving Strikeforce as its final WW Champion. Lim could announce his presence as a real player in the division with a win.

My UFC Rankings: No scientific formula here... just my opinion. Open to debate, let me know what you think.

Name

Next fight

Last fight

1

Johny Hendricks

Robbie Lawler, 15 Mar

l/ Georges St. Pierre, 16 Nov

2

Carlos Condit

TBD

W/ Martin Kampmann, 28 Aug

3

Robbie Lawler

Johny Hendricks, 15 Mar

w/ Rory MacDonald, 16 Nov

4

Rory MacDonald

Demian Maia, 22 Feb

l/ Robbie Lawler, 16 Nov

5

Jake Shields

Hector Lombard, 15 Mar

w/ Demian Maia, 9 Oct

6

Demian Maia

Rory MacDonald, 22 Feb

l/ Jake Shields, 9 Oct

7

Jake Ellenberger

TBD

l/ Rory MacDonald, 27 Jul

8

Matt Brown

TBD

W/ Mike Pyle, 17 Aug

9

Hector Lombard

Jake Shields, 15 Mar

W/ Nate Marquardt, 19 Oct

10

Dong Hyun Kim

TBD

W/ Erick Silva, 9 Oct

11

Tarec Saffiedine

Hyun Gyu Lim, 4 Jan

w/ Nate Marquardt, 12 Jan

12

Tyron Woodley

TBD

W/ Josh Koscheck, 16 Nov

13

Martin Kampmann

TBD

L/ Carlos Condit, 28 Aug

14

Nick Diaz

TBD

l/ Georges St. Pierre, 16 Mar

15

Mike Pyle

TJ Waldburger, 22 Feb

L/ Matt Brown, 17 Aug

16

Rick Story

TBD

w/ Brian Ebersole, 16 Nov

17

Mike Pierce

TBD

L/ Rousimar Palhares, 9 Oct

18

Erick Silva

Nate Loughran, 15 Feb

L/ Dong Hyun Kim, 9 Oct

19

Thiago Alves

TBD

l/ Martin Kampmann, 3 Mar

20

Josh Koscheck

TBD

L/ Tyron Woodley, 16 Nov

21

Siyar Bahadurzada

John Howard, 28 Dec

l/ Dong Hyun Kim, 3 Mar

22

Nate Marquardt

TBD

L/ Hector Lombard, 19 Oct

23

Sean Pierson

TBD

w/ Kenny Robertson, 15 Jun

24

Adlan Amagov

Jason High, 15 Jan

W/ T.J. Waldburger, 19 Oct

25

Gunnar Nelson

Omari Akhmedov, 8 Mar

w/ Jorge Santiago, 16 Feb

26

Brandon Thatch

TBD

W/ Paulo Thiago, 9 Nov

27

Court McGee

Ryan LaFlare, 14 Dec

w/ Robert Whittaker, 28 Aug

28

Jason High

Adlan Amagov, 15 Jan

w/ Anthony Lapsley, 16 Nov

29

John Hathaway

TBD

w/ John Maguire, 29 Sep

30

Jordan Mein

TBD

L/ Matt Brown, 20 Apr

31

Dan Hardy

TBD

w/ Amir Sadollah, 29 Sep

32

Sergio Moraes

TBD

W/ Neil Magny, 3 Aug

33

Kelvin Gastelum

TBD

W/ Brian Melancon, 28 Aug

34

Hyun Gyu Lim

Tarec Saffiedine, 4 Jan

W/ Pascal Krauss, 31 Aug

35

Stephen Thompson

TBD

W/ Chris Clements, 21 Sep

36

John Howard

Siyar Bahadurzada, 28 Dec

w/ Uriah Hall, 17 Aug

37

Kyle Noke

Patrick Cote

w/ Charlie Brenneman, 22 Sep

38

Patrick Cote

Kyle Noke

w/ Bobby Voelker, 16 Mar

39

Seth Baczynski

TBD

w/ Neil Magny, 6 Nov

40

Brian Ebersole

TBD

l/ Rick Story, 16 Nov

41

TJ Waldburger

Mike Pyle, 22 Feb

L/ Adlan Amagov, 19 Oct

42

Bobby Voelker

William Macario, 28 Dec

L/ Robbie Lawler, 27 Jul

43

Claude Patrick

TBD

l/ Brian Ebersole, 10 Dec

44

Dan Miller

TBD

l/ Jordan Mein, 16 Mar

45

Yoshihiro Akiyama

TBD

l/ Jake Shields, 25 Feb

46

Yan Cabral

TBD

w/ David Mitchell, 9 Oct

47

Ryan LaFlare

Court McGee, 14 Dec

w/ Santiago Ponzinibbio, 9 Nov

48

Omari Akhmedov

Gunnar Nelson, 8 Mar

W/ Thiago Perpetuo, 9 Nov

49

Nicholas Musoke

Viscardi Andrade, 15 Feb

W/ Alessio Sakara, 26 Oct

50

Robert Whittaker

TBD

l/ Court McGee, 28 Aug

51

Alex Garcia

Sean Spencer, 15 Mar

W/ Ben Wall, 7 Dec

52

Sean Spencer

Alex Garcia, 15 Mar

w/ Drew Dober, 30 Nov

53

Paulo Thiago

TBD

L/ Brandon Thatch, 9 Nov

54

Amir Sadollah

TBD

l/ Dan Hardy, 29 Sep

55

Pascal Krauss

Adam Khaliev, 25 Jan

L/ Hyun Gyu Lim, 31 Aug

56

Lance Benoist

TBD

l/ Sean Pierson, 22 Sep

57

Mike Swick

TBD

l/ Matt Brown, 8 Dec

58

Kenny Robertson

TBD

l/ Sean Pierson, 15 Jun

59

Viscardi Andrade

Nicholas Musoke, 15 Feb

W/ Bristol Marunde, 3 Aug

60

Igor Araujo

Danny Mitchell, 8 Mar

w/ Ildemar Alcantara, 9 Oct

61

Ildemar Alcantara

Albert Tumenov, 15 Feb

l/ Igor Araujo, 9 Oct

62

David Mitchell

TBD

l/ Yan Cabral, 9 Oct

63

Chris Clements

TBD

L/ Stephen Thompson, 21 Sep

64

Neil Magny

Gasan Umalatov, 1 Feb

l/ Seth Baczynski, 6 Nov

65

Marcelo Guimaraes

TBD

l/ Hyun Gyu Lim, 3 Mar

66

William Macario

Bobby Voelker, 28 Dec

L/ Leo Santos, 8 Jun

67

Manuel Rodriguez

TBD

l/ Ben Alloway, 15 Dec

68

Zak Cummings

TBD

W/ Ben Alloway, 28 Aug

69

Anthony Lapsley

TBD

l/ Jason High, 16 Nov

70

Santiago Ponzinibbio

TBD

l/ Ryan LaFlare, 9 Nov

71

Ben Wall

TBD

L/ Alex Garcia, 7 Dec

72

Andreas Stahl

TBD

W/ Abusupiyan Magomedov, 23 Mar

73

Adam Khaliev

Pascal Krauss, 25 Jan

w/ Magomed Magomedkerimov, 11 Aug

74

Hernani Perpetuo

TBD

w/ Tommy Depret, 25 Aug

75

Kiichi Kunimoto

Luiz Dutra Jr, 4 Jan

w/ Edward Faaloloto

76

Francisco Trevino

TBD

w/ Lester Batres, 15 Nov

77

Luiz Dutra Jr.

Kiichi Kunimoto, 4 Jan

W/ Pabulo Souza, 21 Apr

78

Danny Mitchell

Igor Araujo, 8 Mar

W/ Besam Yousef

79

Nate Loughran

Erick Silva, 15 Feb

w/ Kito Andrews, 14 Nov

80

Albert Tumenov

Ildemar Alcantara, 15 Feb

W/ Yasubey Enomoto, 26 Oct

81

Gasan Umalatov

Neil Magny, 1 Feb

w/ Gregor Herb, 20 Jun

82

Pawel Pawlak

TBD

W/ Mateusz Strzelczyk, 9 Nov

Fights to Make:

(2) Carlos Condit vs. (12) Tyron Woodley - A win for Condit would land him the first title shot against the Hendricks/Lawler winner. Woodley has two brutal KOs in his UFC run sandwiched around a forgettable decision loss to Jake Shields. This would be a great fight, and UFC would get a great contender out of it.

(7) Jake Ellenberger vs. (8) Matt Brown - Both men are recovering from injuries right now, and I have no doubt this fight would end with some awesome violence.

(10) Dong Hyun Kim vs. (29) John Hathaway - Hathaway has been bypassed by numerous fighters during his year -plus absence from the UFC scene. I've actually wanted to see this fight for a while.

(16) Rick Story vs. (17) Mike Pierce are two former training partners who have no love lost between them. They also have a very similar wrestle-boxing style.

(23) Sean Pierson vs. (26) Brandon Thatch - Pierson is a tough veteran with a good all around skill set. Thatch has looked dynamic so far against lower level competition, and this would be a great test.

Bellator Baramoter: (Strength of the Division Outside of UFC) (High / Moderate / Low)

I love the Welterweight division in MMA, but there is just so much competition for talent these days. UFC has over 80 fighters on the roster, and is signing more by the hour. WSOF is also competitive, and has some quality fighters on their roster. The loss of Ben Askren is a big hit for Bellator from a quality standpoint, but it is the best thing overall. Douglas Lima or Rick Hawn will provide Bellator with a Champion that is much more in line with the rest of their division. Askren was head and shoulders above the rest. This will lead to more compelling fights moving forward.

Bellator

Name

Next fight

Last fight

TC

Douglas Lima

Rick Hawn

W/ Ben Saunders, 20 Sep

TC

Rick Hawn

Douglas Lima

W/ Ron Keslar, 22 Nov

Fighters

1

Andrey Koreshkov

TBD

L/ Ben Akren, 31 Jul

2

Ron Keslar

TBD

L/ Rick Hawn, 22 Nov

3

Nathan Coy

TBD

w/ Andy Ulrich, 20 Sep

4

Brent Weedman

TBD

l/ Rick Hawn, 18 Oct

5

Joe Riggs

TBD

w/ Mike Bronzoulis, 2 Nov

6

Paul Bradley

TBD

w/ Karl Amoussou, 18 Oct

7

War Machine

TBD

L/ Ron Keslar, 18 Oct

8

Karl Amoussou

TBD

l/ Paul Bradley, 18 Oct

9

Bryan Baker

TBD

L/ Douglas Lima, 21 Feb

10

Cristiano Souza

TBD

W/ Alejandro Garcia, 2 Nov

11

Adam McDonough

TBD

W/ Johnny Buck, 20 Sep

12

Vaughn Anderson

TBD

L/ War Machine, 20 Sep

13

Luis Melo

TBD

l/ Ron Keslar, 20 Sep

14

Herman Terrado

TBD

l/ Rick Hawn, 20 Sep

15

Justin Baesman

TBD

L/ Brent Weedman, 20 Sep

16

Mark Scanlon

TBD

W/ Alex Junius, 6 Jul

17

Cosmo Alexandre

TBD

w/ Josh Quayhagen, 9 Nov

18

Joe Williams

TBD

W/ Jamie Yager, 17 Jan

19

Sam Oropeza

TBD

W/ Chip Moraza-Pollard, 15 Nov

20

Gavin Sterritt

TBD

w/ Andy Murad, 13 Sep

World Series of Fighting: Jon Fitch was supposed to be the name to rule this division... then he lost to Josh Burkman... who then lost to Steve Carl. Carl is now the WSOF champion, but this division still feels very much up for grabs. Fitch and fellow UFC vet Gerald Harris will likely be in line for title shots over the next year.

WSOF

Next fight

Last fight

C

Steve Carl

TBD

W/ Josh Burkman, 26 Oct

1

Rousimar Palhares

TBD

W/ Mike Pierce, 9 Oct

2

Josh Burkman

TBD

L/ Steve Carl, 26 Oct

3

Jon Fitch

TBD

w/ Marcelo Alfaya, 26 Oct

4

Gerald Harris

TBD

w/ Jorge Santiago

5

Tyson Steel

TBD

L/ Steve Carl, 14 Jun

6

Aaron Simpson

TBD

L/ Josh Burkman

8

Jorge Santiago

TBD

l/ Gerald Harris, 10 Aug

7

Ryan Ford

TBD

W/ Brendan Tierney, 23 Mar

8

Marcelo Alfaya

TBD

l/ Jon Fitch, 26 Oct

9

Richard Patishnock

TBD

w/ Gregor Gracie, 14 Sep

10

Gregor Gracie

TBD

l/ Richard Patishnock, 14 Sep

OneFC: While I don't see a real challenge for Askren here, OneFC list UFC vet Yoshida on their website, but he has been fighting for other organizations recently. He would probably be the best available fight for him in the organization if they can make it happen.

OneFC

Next fight

Last fight

Ben Askren

TBD

W/ Andrey Koreshkov, 31 Jul

Yoshiyki Yoshida

TBD

W/ Won Sik Park, 24 Nov

Nobutatsu Suzuki

TBD

W/ Phil Baroni, 31 May

Adam Kayoom

TBD

W/ Zuli Silawanto, 2 Feb

Fabricio Monteiro

TBD

w/ Yuya Shirai, 31 Mar

Phil Baroni

TBD

L/ Nobutatsu Suzuki, 31 May

Igor Gracie

TBD

L/ Richard Patishnock, 23 Mar

Jung Hwan Cha

TBD

D/ Andrews Nakahara, 12 Oct

Kamal Shalorus

TBD

w/ Eduard Folayang, 31 May

Marcos Escobar

TBD

W/ Helio Vieira, 19 Apr

Yuya Shirai

TBD

D/ Akihiro Murayama, 20 Oct

Zuli Silawanto

TBD

L/ Nik Harris, 15 Nov

Agus Nanang

TBD

L/ Zuli Silawanto

Rodrigo Ribeiro

TBD

L/ Paul Daley, 10 May

Rodrigo Praxedes

TBD

w/ Froilan Sarenas, 1 Dec

Seok Mo Kim

TBD

l/ Gokhan Turkyilmaz, 4 Aug

Prospects: UFC has signed so many guys in the last few months, I'm still looking for what guys are the next best group of up and coming guys.

Irish fighter Cathal Pendred (13-2) was thought to be heading to UFC after his win over UFC vet Che Mills this summer, but instead is rumored to be part of the cast for TUF: 20. In addition to Pendred, the TUF cast is also rumored to have Dhiego Lima (9-1) the younger brother of Bellator Welterweight tournament winner Douglas Lima.

Mike Rhodes (6-1) is a Rofusport fighter, and the current RFA Welterweight champion. UFC is likely in his future, but he will probably need one or two more wins.

Nicolas Dalby (11-0) is an aggressive striker who will push the pace on his opponents. A native of Denmark, he would be a great fit for UFC's European expansion.

Marif Piraev (8-0) is a Russian fighter who is coming off the biggest win of his career. He just scored a first round submission over former UFC signee Benjamin Brinsa (13-1). He trains with the likes of UFC Flyweight Ali Bagutinov, and Bellator HW champ Vitaly Minakov.


\The FanPosts are solely the subjective opinions of Bloody Elbow readers and do not necessarily reflect the views of Bloody Elbow editors or staff.

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