Breaking Down the UFC Welterweight Division

The Champion: Georges St. Pierre

The Top Contender:  B.J. Penn & Thiago Alves

The Next Tier:

·         Jon Fitch

·         Josh Koscheck

·         Diego Sanchez

·         Karo Parisyan

·         Martin Kampmann

·         Mike Swick

·         Matt Hughes

·         Matt Serra

 

On the Rise: 

·         Yoshiyuki Yoshida

·         Dong Hyun Kim

·         Dan Hardy

·         Dustin Hazelett

 

Other Notables:

·         Marcus Davis

·         Chris Lytle

·         Yoshiyuki Yoshida

·         Chris Wilson

·         Dustin Hazelett

·         Ryo Chonan

·         Dong Hyun Kim

·         Akihiro Gono

·         Luigi Fiorvanti

·         Dan Hardy

·         Jonathan Goulet

·         Tamdan McCrory

·         Kevin Burns

·         Anthony Johnson

·         Rory Markham

·         Paul Taylor

·         Roan Carneiro

·         Brad Blackburn

·         Pete Sell

 

Scheduled Fights:

·         Josh Koscheck vs. Yoshiyuki Yoshida at UFC Fight Night 16 on December 10

·         Mike Swick vs. Jonathan Goulet at UFC Fight Night 16 on December 10

·         Luigi Fiorvanti vs. Brodie Farber at UFC Fight Night 16 on December 10

·         Ben Saunders vs. Brandon Wolff at UFC Fight Night 16 on December 10

·         Steven Bruno vs. Johnny Rees at UFC Fight Night 16 on December 10

·         Anthony Johnson vs. Kevin Burns at TUF 8 Finale on December 13

·         Brad Blackburn vs. Ryo Chonan at UFC 92 on December 27

·         Marcus Davis vs. Chris Lytle at UFC 93 on January 17

·         B.J. Penn vs. Georges St. Pierre at UFC 94 on January 31 (For Title)

·         Jon Fitch vs. Akihiro Gono at UFC 94 on January 31

·         Karo Parisyan vs. Dong Hyun Kim at UFC 94 on January 31

·         Matt Arroyo vs. Dan Cramer at UFC 94 on January 31

·         Matt Hughes vs. Matt Serra April 2009

 

Match Ups I’d Like to See:

·         Dustin Hazelett vs. Chris Wilson

·         Martin Kampmann vs. Pete Sell

·         Thiago Alves vs. Georges St. Pierre/B.J. Penn

 

Other Thoughts:

·         When people talk about staked divisions they think of the UFC welterweight division.  The best welterweights are here.  There may be a handful of decent welterweights outside the UFC including Jake Shields, WEC’s Carlos Condit, Hayato Sakurai, Jay Hieron and Nick Thompson.

·         Jake Shields will likely land in the UFC.  That is what he wants and where he wants to be.  There are a lot of potential match ups here for him.

·         Thiago Alves will get a title shot in 2009 against the winner of Penn vs. St. Pierre.

·         Martin Kampmann signed a new contract and should fight at 170

·         B.J. Penn very well could become a fixture at 170 as he could vacate his lightweight title win or lose against St. Pierre.

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MMABlog’s Welterweight MMA Rankings

Rank

Name

Organization

Next Fight

1

Georges St. Pierre

UFC

Penn (LW #1) 1/31

2

Jon Fitch

UFC

 

3

Jake Shields

EliteXC?

 

4

Josh Koscheck

UFC

Alves (#5), 9/25

5

Thiago Alves

UFC

Koscheck (#4), 9/25

6

Carlos Condit

WEC

 

7

Diego Sanchez

UFC

 

8

Karo Parisyan

UFC

1/31

9

Matt Hughes

UFC

Serra (#10) 4/?

10

Matt Serra

UFC

Hughes (#9), 4/?

11

Mike Swick

UFC

Goulet (NR) 12/10

12

Marcus Davis

UFC

 

13

Hayato Sakurai

 

 

14

Nick Thompson

EliteXC?

 

15

Brock Larson

WEC

 

16

Chris Lytle

UFC

 

17

Jay Hieron

Affliction

 

18

Dustin Hazelett

UFC

McCrory (NR) 11/15

19

Chris Wilson

UFC

 

20

Yoshiyuki Yoshida

UFC

Koscheck (#4) 12/10

21

Dan Hardy

UFC

 

22

Ryo Chonan

UFC

Blackburn (NR), 12/27

23

Akihiro Gono

UFC

 

24

Dong Hyun Kim

UFC

 

25

Luigi Fiorvanti

UFC

Farber (NR), 12/10

Best Non-UFC Fighters

Here are the best non-UFC fighters.  This shows where the UFC is stacked and where they lack.  There competition is mainly in Affliction at heavyweight and DREAM at lightweight.  Here are the best non-UFC guys that the UFC should look to sign if possible. 

Rank

Heavyweight

Light Heavy

Middleweight

Welterweight

Lightweight

1

Fedor Emelianenko

Antonio Rogerio Nogueira

Paulo Filho

Jake Shields

Takanori Gomi

2

Andrei Arlovski

Ricardo Arona

Matt Lindland

Carlos Condit

Shinya Aoki

3

Josh Barnett

Rafael Feijao

Robbie Lawler

Jay Hieron

JZ Calvancante

4

Tim Sylvia

Vladimir Matyushenko

Kazuo Misaki

Nick Thompson

Eddie Alvarez

5

Ben Rothwell

Babalu Sobral

Gegard Mousasi

Mach Sakurai

Mitsuhiro Ishida

6

Mirko Cro Cop

Tito Ortiz

Vitor Belfort

Mike Pyle

Joachim Hansen

7

Roy Nelson

Steve Cantwell

 “Jacare” de Sousa

 

Tatsuya Kawajiri

8

Aleks Emelianenko

Brian Stann

Jason Miller

 

Josh Thomson

9

Antonio Silva

 

Melvin Manhoef

 

Gilbert Melendez

10

Alistair Overeem

 

Murilio Rua

 

Vitor Ribeiro

11

 

 

Cung Le

 

Jamie Varner

12

 

 

Denis Kang

 

Ryan Schultz

13

 

 

Joey Villasenor

 

KJ Noons

14

 

 

Frank Shamrock

 

Nick Diaz

15

 

 

Yoshihiro Akiyama

 

Caol Uno

16

 

 

Jorge Santiago

 

 

17

 

 

Chael Sonnen

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

What’s Next For Carlos Condit?

Carlos Condit is coming off of a great win over a tough challenger in Hirumitsu Miura at WEC 35.  Most people cosndier Condit a top ten welterweight in the world and some rank him as a top 5.  He has the distinction, along with Jake Shields of being the best welterweights outside the UFC.  The UFC clearly has a monopoly of fighters in the welterweight divison and the light heavyweight divison.  If someone wants to fight the best guys and prove themselves in that way, the UFC is the place for 170 and 205 lb fighters.  Kevin Iole at Yahoo! Sports poses the interesting thought in his blog about what is next for Condit.  Here is what Condit had to say:

There are a lot of tough guys – a lot of them, believe me – but you just have to fight whoever they tell you to fight, I’m proud to be the WEC champion and whoever I fight, whenever I fight, wherever I fight, I’ll do it as the WEC champion.

In the WEC Condit holds wins over Miura, Carlo Prater, John Alessio, Brock Larson and Kyle Jensen.  Who else is there to fight in the WEC?  Larson probably regained number 1 contender status with his defeat of Carlo Prater, but why give him the re-match?  Condit admitetd he would like to avenge loses to Jake Shields, Pat Healy, and Satoru Kitaoka.  Perhaps the WEC could work one of those fights out.  The Jake Shields fight is unlikely because he is locked up the EliteXC, although I have to believe Shields would like to be the UFC fighting tougher talent.  They could sign one of the other guys for Condit to avenge, but what else is there?  Nothing.  No one thinks Healy or Kitaoka is an overall better fighter than Condit.  I do not know what Condit wants, but if he wants to prove himself as a top welterweight Zuffa is going to have to move him over to the UFC.  It looks like a fight between some of the WEC guys and UFC guys could take place some time.  It also had been said by Dana White that he’d like to make the WEC devoted to lighter weights and would move the WEC 185 and 205 divisons over the the UFC.  All that would give the UFC would be Brian Stann, Steven Cantwell, Mark Munoz, Paulo Filho, Chael Sonnen and Brian Bowles and maybe Steve Steinbeiss, Jake Rosholt and Shane Roller. The bottom line is that Condit should be in the big leagues and not the minors.  He should be fighting against the St. Pierres and Fitchs of the world and not the Larsons.  He can keep amassing wins in the WEC a la Urijah Faber, but until he fights St. Pierre, Fitch or Penn we will never know how good he really is.  Here is what I suspect.  I suspect Condit needs 2 or 3 more wins before he has to be moved.  I suspect a re-match with Brock Larson and I also suspect that with one more win Shane Roller could challenge him.  I guess time will tell, but I’d like to see him in the UFC.  He deserves it.  He would get more money there.  He would get better and bigegr name fights there.  He would get more focus there.  I am sure if he pushed it he could get it.  He is a star and Zuffa will give him what he wants if he asks in the right way.

WEC 35 Thoughts and Recap

Quick Results

  • Carlos Condit def. Hiromitsu Miura via TKO (strikes) in Round 4
  • Steve Cantwell def. Brian Stann via TKO (punches) in Round 2
  • Jamie Varner def. Marcus Hicks via TKO (strikes) in Round 1
  • Brian Bowles def. Damacio Page via submission (guillotine choke) in Round 1
  • Josh Grispi def. Micah Miller via TKO (strikes) in Round 1
  • Brock Larson def. Carlo Prater via TKO (strikes) in Round 1
  • Blas Avena def. Dave Terrel via TKO (strikes) in Round 1
  • Shane Roller def. Todd Moore via submission (guillotine choke) in Round 1
  • Mike Budnik def. Greg McIntyre via submission (triangle choke) in Round 3 
  • Scott Jorgensen def. Kenji Osawa via unanimous decision
    • I thought WEC put on another outstanding card
    • Jamie Varner looked impressive and perhaps I underestimated his talent.  He looked dominant against a very game Marcus Hicks.  It appears he will fight the winner of the McCullough/Cerrone fight in Septmeber. 
    • Josh Grispi may be a good challenge for Urijah Faber, but Faber must get through Brown first
    • Brian Stann showed he is one dimensional and Steve Cantwell showed he has a vast array of striking skills.  I think Stann will get a rubber match soon though.
    • Brian Stann though he losses showed that he was a class act.  He put the belt around Cantwell and he did nothing but show humility in defeat.  I like Brian Stann for that.
    • Carlos Condit vs. Hirumitsu Miura was the fight of the night and one of the best I have seen.  I underestimated Miura.  He showed good ground game in reversing Condit numerous times and excellent Judo skills.  He also showed very tough striking.  I enjoyed the chess match here.
    • Condit showed why he is the champ.  His conditioning is what proved to be the difference.  I have no problem with the stoppage as Mirua laid there for a while after the fight.  The question for Carlos Condit is where does he go now?
    • The WEC showcased some newer and upcoming talent like Josh Grispi, Brian Bowles, Mike Budnik and Shane Roller

    MY WEC 35 Predictions

    Brian Stann vs. Steve Cantwell

    Some people say that this fight will have a different outcome than their last fight and I agree.  I think the fight will last a little longer, but I don’t see Brian Stann losing.  Brian Stann is a star in the making.  I think he has all the goods to be a great fighter.  I like Brian Stann.  I think he will come off victorious in this fight by KO late in round 1.

    Jamie Varner vs. Marcus Hicks

    The 155 divison in the WEC is very weak, and Jamie Varner is the most likely champion in display at this event to lose.  Marcus Hicks is a good fighter and he could very well beat Jamie Varner.  I still think Varner wins this fight.  I think Varner will win by decision.

    Carlos Condit vs. Hirumitsu Miura

    Carlos Condit is a great fighter.  I think he is up there with the top fighters at welterweight.  He should be mentioend in the same breath as St. Pierre, Fitch, Alves and Shields.  I cannot imagine Condit losing this fight.  Carlos Condit has great striking and awesome submissions.  He doesn’t have a weakness.  I think Condit wins this one in round 1 by submission.

    Brian Bowles vs. Damacio Page

    Brian Bowles is a talented fighter that can go a  long way in the UFC.  He is one of the ten guys in the WEC that I believe stack up well agaisnt UFC level talent.  I look for him to win here.

    Micah Miller vs. Josh Grispi

    Cole’s brother will pull out the unanimous deicison win here.

    L.C. Davis vs. Hiroyuki Takaya

    Carlo Prater vs. Brock Larsen

    Blas Avena vs. Dave Terrell

    Shane Roller vs. Todd Moore

    Kenji Osawa vs. Scott Jorgensen

    Mike Budnik vs. Greg McIntyre

    Mid Year MMA Awards

    Best Knockout

    Honorable Mention: Luis Arthur Cane KO Jason Lambert, Shane Carwin KO Christian Wellish, Murilio Rua TKO Tony Bonello, Matt Wiman KO Thiago Tavares

    5. Anthony Johnson KO Tommy Speer

    4. Wilson Gouveia KO Jason Lambert

    3. Brian Stann KO Doug Marshall

    2. James Irvin KO Houston Alexander

    1. Wanderlei Silva KO Keith Jardine

    Best Submission

    Honorable Mention: Antonio Nogueira submits Tim Sylvia by Guillotine, Yoshiyuki Yoshida submits Jon Koppenhaver by Anaconda choke, Nate Diaz submits Kurt Pellegrino, Cole Miller Submits Jorge Gurgel by Triangle Choke

    5. Demian Mia Submits Ed Herman by Triangle Choke

    4. Frank Mir Submits Brock Lesnar by Kneebar

    3. Rousimar Palhares Submits Ivan Salaverry by Armbar

    2. Dustin Hazelett Submits Josh Burkman by Armbar

    1. Shinya Aoki Submits Katsuhiko Nagata by Aokiplata

    Best Fight

    Honorable Mention: Shinya Aoki vs. Gesias Calvancante, Cung Le vs. Frank Shamrock

    5. Antonio Rodrigo Nogueira vs. Tim Sylvia

    4. Urijah Faber vs. Jens Pulver

    3. Robbie Lawler vs. Scott Smith

    2. Quinton Jackson vs. Forrest Griffin

    1. Miguel Torres vs. Yoshiro Maeda

    Best Fight Card

    5. WEC 34: Faber vs. Pulver

    4. UFC 80: Rapid Fire

    3. UFC 81: Breaking Point

    2. DREAM 4

    1. UFC 84: Ill Will

    Upset of The Year:

    Honorable Mention: Jason Day over Alan Belcher,

    5. Thiago Alves over Karo Parisyan

    4. Kevin Burns over Roan Carneiro

    3. Fabricio Werdum over Gabriel Gonzaga

    2. Josh Thomson over Gilbert Melendez

    1. Forrest Griffin over Quinton Jackson

    Fighter Of The Year:

    Honorable Mention: Anderson Silva, Antonio Rodrigo Nogueira, Michael Bisping, Georges St. Pierre, Diego Sanchez

    5. Miguel Torres

    4. Forrest Griffin

    3. Thiago Alves

    2. Shinya Aoki

    1. B.J. Penn (2 Impressive wins over Sean Sherk and Joe Stevenson)

    Best UFC Newcomer:

    Honorable Mention: Shane Carwin, Brock Lesnar

    5. Rousimar Palhares

    4. Dong Hyun Kim

    3. Yoshiyuki Yoshida

    2. Goran Reljic

    1. Cain Velasquez

    Worst Calls By A Ref. or Judges

    5. Forrest Griffin over Quinton Jackson –  Not just that Forrest got the win, but that it was unanimous.  Many, including me scored the fight either a draw or to Jackson

    4. Brandon Vera vs. Fabricio Werdum- Dan Miragliotta stopped the fight in round 1 when Werdum was mounted on Vera throwing down punches.  There was just 10 seconds remaining and Vera seemed to be defending himself well. 

    3. Nate Marquardt vs. Thales Leites — Leites got the win, but lost the fight.  He lost the fight due to two points taken away from Marquardt.  One point was justified, but the other was due to elbow to the back of the ehad that wasn’t to the back of the head.  I will confess, that another point could have fairly been deducted for an illegal slam, but I hated to see Marquardt get a loss on his record that I feel he won

    2. Phantom split decisions — How was Evan Tanner vs. Kendall Grove a split deicsion?  How was Heath Herring vs Cheick Kongo a split decision?  The right person got the decision, but how was it split?

    1. Kimbo Slice vs. James Thompson – Dan Miragliotta stopped the fight in the 3rd round while Thompson was still standing and failed to stop it when Thompson was mounted on Kimbo raining down elbows