Hendricks vs Lawler: Post-GSP World Shifts Lineal Title Landscape

Hello there lineal title fans! It’s that time again. With the big Welterweight title bout coming up this weekend between Hendricks and Lawler it got me excited for the changing lineal title landscape in a post-GSP world. What happens to GSP’s 25 titles? Who’s the new WW lineal king? Does it make us OCD because we care about this? All of these questions and MORE, answered below…

Of the 43 total lineal WW titles, GSP can lay claim to 25. That represents 58% unification of all available belts. Fourteen others currently claim some share of the WW title pie. These fighters include: Dong Hyun Kim (3), Ben Askren (2), Matt Brown (2), Steve Carl (WSOF), George Sullivan (RFA), Jon Fitch (CFA), Rashid Magomedov (M-1), Jake Shields (Jungle Fight), Aslambak Saidov (KSW), Patrick Cote (Cage Fury), Eddy Ellis (BAMMA), Tarec Saffiedine (PXC), Hernani Perpetuo (Superior Challenge), and Akihiro Murayama (Sengoku).

However, GSP has retired (at least for now) and the WW landscape has changed. As with any retiring champion, we have two possible paths for the lineal title to follow. One is that the belt retires along with the fighter. This is the case for any belts for which the respective promotion has only issued one iteration or version of the belt. One easy way to remember what "iteration" means is to think of what the UFC is doing now with the WW belt. GSP has retired, so they are, in a sense, creating a new version of the belt and putting it up for grabs in the Hendricks vs. Lawler fight.

Here’s how the new landscape breaks down. Of course, those fighters listed above that currently hold a piece of the WW title pie maintain their status as champion. However, they also have a chance to add to their share. Of the 25 belts that GSP owned 13 will need to be retired. This list includes the following lineal titles: Deep, Reality Fighting, WEC, Dream, EliteXC, Cage Rage, Icon Sport, TKO, Bodog, Rumble on the Rock, WFA, Spirit MC, and Ironheart Crown. The reason for these retirements vary; some represented the only iteration of the belt ever issued, others had 2nd or 3rd iterations that also dead end at GSP, and still others had later iterations that dead end at a different weight class or at some other fighter’s retirement.

Of course, that leaves 11 titles that have survived the retirement of GSP! Let’s find out where they are headed:

1. Pancrase - Akihiro Murayama (4th iteration, 2008)

Lineal History: Takuya Wada => Keita Nakamura => Akihiro Murayama

2. Shooto – Dong Hyun Kim (Final iteration, 2010)

Lineal History: Luis Ramos => Roan Carneiro => Tommy Depret => Siyar Bahadurzada => Dong Hyun Kim

3. King of the Cage – Dong Hyun Kim (6th iteration, 2010)

Lineal History: Quinn Melhern => Jason High => Erick Silva => Dong Hyun Kim

4. Ring of Combat - Ryan LaFlare ( 3rd iteration, 2010)

Lineal History: Ryan LaFlare defeated Justin Haskins

5. Gladiator Challenge - Tarec Saffiedine (3rd iteration, 2009)

Lineal History: Jake Paul => Josh Burkman =>Jordan Mein => Tyron Woodley => Nate Marquardt => Tarec Saffedine

6. MFC – Ben Askren (2nd iteration, 2010)

Lineal History: Douglas Lima => Ben Askren

7. Tachi Palace – Dong Hyun Kim (2nd iteration, 2010)

Lineal History: John Alessio =>Siyar Bahadurzada => Dong Hyun Kim

8. Cage Warriors – Dong Hyun Kim (4th iteration,2010)

Lineal History: Pascal Krauss => John Hathaway => Dong Hyun Kim

9. Sport Fight – Ben Askren (2nd iteration, 2007)

Lineal History: Ed Nuno => Douglas Lima => Ben Askren

10. Strikeforce - Tarec Saffiedine (2nd iteration, 2012)

Lineal History: Nate Marquardt => Tarec Saffiedine

11. Shark Fight – Matt Brown (2nd iteration, 2011)

Lineal History: Josh Neer => Mike Pyle => Matt Brown

And here’s our new Leaderboard at WW:

1. Dong Hyun Kim (7 titles, 24%)

2. Ben Askren (4 titles, 14%)

3. Tarec Saffiedine (3 titles, 10%)

4. Matt Brown (3 titles, 10%)

5. Akihiro Murayama (2 titles, 7%)

Ten Fighters are tied with 1 title each for a total of 15 fighters claiming a share of the WW title pie.

Notes of Interest about our Leaderboard:

· Dong Hyun Kim added 2 titles to his collection with his spinning elbow victory over Hathaway

· Ben Askren will have a chance to add to his collection with a title shot in his new promotional home, ONE FC. Too bad he’s not elite enough to fight in the UFC…

· Tarec Saffiedine added 1 title to his collection with his recent victory over previous PXC champion Lim and will risk all three titles against Jake Ellenberger in April

· Matt Brown will put his titles on the line in Cincinnati when he fights Erick Silva who himself coughed up a lineal title to Dong Hyun Kim

· Akihiro Murayama will put his 2 titles on the line against Thiago Goncalves at the end of March

Of course, we are due for a shakeup once the UFC installs their new champion. But, whoever wins that fight will have to survive the Stun Gun if they want to be considered the new lineal king at Welterweight.

Almost forgot…yeah, it’s kinda OCD…

Previous Lineal Title Posts:

UFC 170

Rousey vs Tate


The Mouse King

Defunct Promotions

GSP vs Hendricks

Jones vs Gus

Aldo vs Zombie

Silva vs Weidman

Bigfoot vs Velasquez

Rockhold vs Belfort

Bendo vs Gil

Lineal Title Leaderboard:

Until I hear that GSP is retired for good, I'm including him in the overall leaderboard. In the upcoming bouts section, you'll see that there are 3 bouts on Saturday's card in which a lineal title is up for grabs. Shields puts his Jungle Fight title up against Hector Lombard; Bermudez vs Hettes is for the Legacy FC FW title; while Campuzano vs Scoggins is for Will's Legacy FC Flyweight title. You will also notice some additions to the board in the lighter women's weight classes. I'm ramping up for another WMMA lineal title post to analyze the titles that will be on the line in the TUF house for season 20!

Lineal Leaderboard
# Name # of Titles Unify
1 Cain Velasquez 30 79%
1 Anthony Pettis 30 73%
2 Georges St. Piere 25 58%
3 Chris Weidman 20 54%
4 Jon Jones 19 56%
5 Jose Aldo 12 39%
6 Ronda Rousey 8 47%
7 Mighty Mouse 5 33%
7 Dominick Cruz 5 19%
7 Bibiano Fernandes 5 19%
7 Daniel Straus 5 16%
7 Vitor Belfort 5 13%
7 Jacare Souza 5 13%
8 Claudia Gadelha 4 50%
8 Alexis Davis 4 22%
8 Marlon Moraes 4 15%
8 Gegard Mousasi 4 13%
8 Akira Corassani 4 13%
8 Georgi Karakhanyan 4 13%
9 Cyborg Justino 3 100%
9 Michelle Waterson 3 100%
9 Rin Nakai 3 17%
9 Dong Hyun Kim 3 7%
10 Thirteen fighters tied with two each 2
Upcoming Unification Bouts # Date
Attila Vegh vs Emanuel Newton 3 titles 21-Mar
Jon Jones vs Glover Texiera 19 titles 26-Apr
Chris Weidman vs Lyoto Machida 21 titles 24-May
Other Titles on the Line # Date
Daniel Straus vs Pat Curran 5 titles 14-Mar
Jake Shields vs Hector Lombard 1 title 15-Mar
Dennis Bermudez vs Jim Hettes 1 title 15-Mar
Will Campuzano vs Justin Scoggins 1 title 15-Mar
Norman Parke vs Leonardo Santos 2 titles 23-Mar
Marlon Moraes vs Josh Rettinghouse 5 titles 29-Mar
Steve Carl vs Paul Harris 1 title 29-Mar
Chris Gruetzemacher vs John Gunderson 1 title 29-Mar
Akihiro Murayama vs Thiago Goncalves 1 title 30-Mar
Vitaly Minakov vs Cheick Kongo 2 titles 4-Apr
Thales Leites vs Trevor Smith 1 title 11-Apr
Akira Corassani vs Dustin Poirier 4 titles 16-Apr
Patrick Cote vs Kyle Noke 1 title 16-Apr
Rafael dos Anjos vs Nurmagomedov 2 titles 19-Apr
Derrick Lewis vs Jack May 1 title 19-Apr
Yoel Romero vs Brad Tavares 1 title 19-Apr
Phil Davis vs Anthony Johnson 2 titles 26-Apr
Tarec Saffiedine vs Jake Ellenberger 1 title 26-Apr
Anthony Birchak vs Kevin Croom 1 title 9-May
Louis Smolka vs Chris Cariaso 1 title 10-May
Matt Brown vs Erick Silva 2 titles 10-May
Stipe Miocic vs Junior Dos Santos 1 title 24-May
Chris Holdsworth vs Kyung Ho Kang 1 title 24-May

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