Friday, July 17, 2009

Sherdog's Official Welterweight Rankings


1. Georges St. Pierre (19-2)
Another title defense, another elite contender, another dominant victory for St. Pierre. GSP's lopsided decision over an elite challenger in Thiago Alves at UFC 100 showed why St. Pierre is one of the sport's pound-for-pound kings and has caused many fans and pundits to begin demanding a move to middleweight. However, St. Pierre's next challenge will likely come from the winner of the September bout between Mike Swick and Martin Kampmann.

2. Jon Fitch (19-3, 1 NC)
Hardly flashy, but Fitch racked up yet another solid victory at UFC 100, taking a hard-fought unanimous decision over previously unbeaten Paulo Thiago. The victory moved Fitch's mark in the Octagon to an impressive 10-1.

3. Thiago Alves (16-4)
Though Alves struggled to muster much offense in his 25-minute decision loss to Georges St. Pierre at UFC 100, the Brazilian stalwart showed considerable grit by making it to the final bell against the vastly superior St. Pierre. The other silver lining for the "Pitbull"? He's only 25 years old.

4. Jake Shields (23-4-1)
He may have looked out of his depth for a minute or so, but Shields’ submission skills shined through once again June 6 against Robbie Lawler. The former EliteXC welterweight champion submitted the former EliteXC middleweight titleholder 2:02 into their Strikeforce bout, recording his 12th straight win. Shields’ unbeaten streak now spans almost five years.

5. Martin Kampmann (15-2)
Kampmann said he is only interested in big fights at 170. Fortunately for Denmark's top MMA export, he's got one: Kampmann will take on Mike Swick at UFC 103 on Sept. 19. The winner is likely to be next in line for a crack at Georges St. Pierre's welterweight throne.

6. Paulo Thiago (11-1)
Thiago finally got one put in the loss column at UFC 100. However, the still fairly unknown Brazilian did prove that he was tougher than previously thought following his upset over Josh Koscheck in February by dragging divisional elite Jon Fitch through three competitive rounds.

7. Josh Koscheck (12-4)
A foot injury deprived Koscheck of a chance to get back into action against Chris Wilson at UFC 98 in May. Koscheck’s next bout will be even sterner now. His opponent for UFC 103 on Sept. 19 is former UFC welterweight title challenger Frank Trigg, who returns to the promotion and the division after a run at middleweight.

8. Carlos Condit (22-5)
Condit was unsuccessful in his UFC debut in April, losing a hotly contested split decision to Martin Kampmann. However, the former WEC champ may have a crack at some extra money in his second Octagon appearance, as he'll take on regular "Fight of the Night" bonus recipient Chris Lytle at Sept. 16's UFC Fight Night card.

9. Mike Swick (14-2)
Having put together a 4-0 mark as a welterweight, Swick's big moment at 170 has arrived. The fleet-handed AKA product will take on Dane Martin Kampmann on Sept. 19 at UFC 103 with the winner likely gaining the right to challenge Georges St. Pierre.

10. Dan Hardy (22-6, 1 NC)
With his split decision over Marcus Davis at UFC 99 in June, Hardy has emerged as yet another contender in the UFC's startlingly deep welterweight division. The victory was his 11th in his last 12 fights, his lone loss in that span coming via contested disqualification against Yoshiyuki Yoshida in December 2007.

Other contenders: Marcus Davis, Jay Hieron, Matt Hughes, Karo Parisyan, Nick Thompson.

*With no wins in nearly 20 months, the currently suspended Karo Parisyan falls from sixth to the contenders list, just outside the top 10.

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