With Georges St-Pierre out of the picture, the welterweight division is wide open and our SB Nation rankings reflect that. New champion Johny Hendricks might be out until the late fall but many guys are jockeying for that first title shot. We update these rankings more than any other division, and it's no wonder why.
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. As of this writing, this does not affect any welterweights of note. Also, since St-Pierre relinquished his title and walked away from the sport without any guarantee of returning, he will be regarded as a retired fighter for rankings purposes and is ineligible).
Surprisingly, our top three were all unanimous. Johny Hendricks remains in the top spot, followed by Robbie Lawler and Rory MacDonald. Tyron Woodley sits in the four spot, with the injured Carlos Condit currently at five.
The rest of the division is sort of chaotic in terms of rankings. Matt Brown is in the six spot, with rankings everywhere from four to nine. Hector Lombard is at seven and wasn't even unanimously picked. In fact, no one outside of top six were picked by every panelist. Dong Hyun Kim comes in at eight, with Demian Maia and Jake Ellenberger tied for nine along with Ben Askren. Two fighters - Jake Shields and Tarec Saffiedine - received votes but couldn't crack the top 10.
Upcoming matchups for ranked fighters
Robbie Lawler (2) vs. Matt Brown (6) - UFC on Fox 12, July 26th
Tyron Woodley (4) vs. Dong Hyun Kim (8) - UFC Fight Night: Macau, August 25th