UFC’s Welterweight Divison

UFC 79 had huge implications in the welterweight divison.  Georges St. Pierre won the interim title and assured himself a fight with Matt Serra.  In doing so he bumped Matt Hughes down the list and maybe caused him to consider retirement.  The problem with the welterweights is that too many people are lined up for a title.  Serra and St. Pierre will fight in April then who will get the first shot.  It has to be Jon Fitch if he wins at UFC 82 against Akihiro Gono as the rumors report.  Karo says that he was promised a title shot, but I don’t think he is the next guy deserving.  Is he waiting for the shot?  Maybe.  You still have to respect Josh Koscheck in that divison as well as Diego Sanchez.  In my opinion while you have an almost undisputed top seven in welterweight (Serra, St. Pierre, Fitch, Hughes, Koscheck, Parisyan and Sanchez) it gets weak after that.  TUF didn’t help the welterweights much.  Danzing dropped to lightweight.  George is a good fighter and may eventually contend as will Tommy Speer.  I look to see them rematch.  Matt Arroyo is a good fighter as well, but after that there aren’y any contenders.  You have a second tier of Marcus Davis, Mike Swick, Gono, Hazelett and Thiago Alves. 

   I would really like to see the UFC add another name to this divison.  Perhaps Mach Sakurai, Jake Shields or Carlos Condit.   Maybe a guy like BJ Penn could move up and fight some here.  This would ruin my title predictions for the year because if BJ beats Stevenson and defends against Sherk well, he could get a title shot at welterweight. 

My predictions for the welterweight divison…

  • Georges St. Pierre beats Matt Serra for the undisputed title.  I bet Matt Serra blames it on the injury
  • Matt Hughes fights Matt Serra and shuts Serra’s mouth hopefully!
  • Jon Fitch gets a title shot over Karo Parisyan. 
  • Parisyan could get his shot by the end of 2009, but I think he needs to beat a good fighter to get it.  Maybe Koscheck vs. Parisyan in the summer for a winter title shot.  I would pick Kos to win that fight. 
  • Koscheck continues to improve as a fighter and puts himself into position to get a title shot by the end of the year or start of 2009
  • Marcus Davis will beat a big name fighter soon.
  • Someone from the second tier will emerge stronger.
  • Some of the top TUF middleweight contenders will drop to welterweight.

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