SB Nation MMA rankings: Welterweight


The SB Nation rankings panel takes another look at the the 170-pound division after the recent shakeup.

The last division that the SB Nation rankings panel examined was the 170-pound weight class. So why are we doing it again so quickly? Well, mostly because everything went crazy in the wake of UFC 171. Only one fighter held his rank from our last look at the division just over three weeks ago.

As usual, our panel consists of two members from each of the three SB Nation MMA sites - Ariel Helwani and Dave Doyle from MMA Fighting; Thomas Myers and Alex Giardini from MMA Mania; and finally, Dallas Winston and yours truly from Bloody Elbow. Here's the usual fancy chart:


(Scoring: Fighters are given 10 points for a first-place vote, nine points for a second, etc., down to one point for 10th place. The results are then tallied up and presented here. Official SB Nation rankings policy: Fighters under commission suspension are ineligible to be ranked during the duration of their suspension or if they have licensing issues. At the moment, this does not affect any fighters generally considered in the discussion for a top 10 welterweight spot. Also, now that Nick Diaz has stated his intention to return to the sport, he is once again eligible to be ranked.)

The top guy should come as no surprise - new UFC welterweight champion Johny Hendricks. His win at UFC 171 solidified his hold on the division, but an injury is going to put him on the shelf for a while. Coming in at second is the man he narrowly defeated, Robbie Lawler. In at third is the fighter who picked up the biggest win of his career over Carlos Condit, Tyron Woodley. Condit dropped to fourth, with Rory MacDonald taking the final spot in the top five.

Jake Ellenberger sits in the six spot, and was the final guy to receive votes from all six panelists. Hector Lombard comes in at seven despite being unranked by one panelist. Jake Shields dropped to eight after his loss to Lombard, and two rankers didn't even think he was a top 10 fighter anymore. Nick Diaz returns to the list at number nine, based on the strength of just two voters. And Matt Brown rounded out the top ten.

Other fighters that received votes but couldn't crack the top ten included Tarec Saffiedine, Martin Kampmann, Dong Hyun Kim, and Ben Askren.

Upcoming matchups for ranked fighters

Jake Ellenberger (6) vs. Tarec Saffiedine (NR) - UFC 172, April 26th

Matt Brown (10) vs. Erick Silva (NR) - UFC Fight Night: Cincinnati, May 10th

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