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Fun With Rankings: Welterweight

411 Mania Sherdog MMA Weekly Irish Whip
Georges St. Pierre Matt Serra Matt Serra Georges St. Pierre
Matt Hughes Georges St. Pierre Georges St. Pierre Matt Hughes
Josh Koscheck Matt Hughes Matt Hughes B.J. Penn
Matt Serra Josh Koscheck Josh Koscheck Matt Serra
Diego Sanchez Diego Sanchez Karo Parisyan Hayato Sakurai
Nick Diaz Jon Fitch Diego Sanchez Diego Sanchez
Karo Parisyan Karo Parisyan Jon Fitch Karo Parisyan
Jon Fitch Shinya Aoki Jake Shields Josh Koscheck
Jake Shields Jake Shields Carlos Condit Shinya Aoki
Chris Lytle Carlos Condit Akira Kikuchi Jon Fitch

The Matt Serra upset over GSP has thrown this division into disarray, with two of the rankers putting Serra at #1, and 411 and Irish Whip both putting him at #4. I gotta go with the latter assessment. Serra certainly earned a top 10 spot with his absolute demolition of the man everyone had ranked as the best welterweight and many had at the best P4P but I don't think one impressive win propels a 9-4 fighter who's really too small for this division to the #1 spot.

Everyone agrees that Matt Hughes is next, but only Irish Whip has B.J. in the pack. Pretty hard to justify having him at #3 when he hasn't won a fight in this division in years.

Everyone else has Koscheck in the top four but IW has him way down at 8. I think that's a bit low as his decision over Diego should at least put him ahead of the nightmare and Karo. 411 has Nate Diaz overrated at #5. No one else has Diaz even in the top 10. MMA Weekly for some reason has Karo over Diego, got to beg to differ there. Fitch is on everyone's list but the Whip and 411 have him a bit underrated at 10 and 8 respectively.

Jake Shields makes 3/4 of the lists but IW bumps him to make room for Hayato Sakurai whom they're overrating at 5. Carlos Condit only barely makes 2 of the 4 lists, 411 bumps him for Chris Lytle (??) and IW makes room for Shinya Aoki. Sherdog has Aoki at #8. I think you could make a case for him but honestly I think he'd have better luck at 155 than in the UFC's 170lb division where he'd be mauled. MMA Weekly's #10 Akira Kikuchi would have a better shot in this division than Aoki.

If you believe the Sakurai rumors, Zuffa has 9 of these 14 fighters signed. Delaying the next title fight until the end of the year to hype their next TUF series is a lame move and really backs things up. Hughes gets the title shot, and presumably the winner of GSP/Kos gets first crack (although Kos best watch out, if he ekes out another snooze fest decision I think the Arlovski rule will be applied on his happy ass.) Fitch/Diego has title implications as well. And poor Karo is out in the wilderness waiting his turn. Maybe he'll get to welcome Sakurai back to the UFC.

Nick Diaz is a ronin, fighting unknowns for EliteXC. He was a big loser in the PRIDE buy out. Shields is with his teammate on the Showtime fights, but he's facing tougher competition. Condit is owning the WEC, I imagine he'll get a UFC title shot in 2008 if he keeps winning at the smaller org. No word on where Aoki and Kikuchi end up, but I'll give you good odds they sign with Heros despite Aoki's claims of staying faithful to PRIDE.

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