B/R Official Rankings for May: The Top 10 Welterweights in MMA
With Georges St-Pierre and Carlos Condit waiting to fight later this year, names like Johny Hendricks and Jake Ellenberger are keeping busy while they wait.
This past month, a few big names in the welterweight division faced off and helped change up the welterweight landscape.
This past weekend, top-five welterweights from last month's rankings, Josh Koscheck and Johny Hendricks, squared off and did battle in New Jersey. Hendricks walked away with a slightly controversial split-decision victory.
Also, Bellator welterweight champion, Ben Askren, squared off and defended his title in April against Douglas Lima, which he won by unanimous decision.
These victories alone have helped shake up the welterweight division a little bit. Who ranks among the top 10 welterweights in MMA?
10. Diego Sanchez
Most recent fight: Unanimous decision loss to Jake Ellenberger (UFC on FUEL 1)
Next fight: TBA
Previous ranking: 10
Diego Sanchez got back into the cage after a year off and loss to Jake Ellenberger in the main event of the UFC's debut on FUEL TV.
Since his return to welterweight, he has gone 2-2 with wins over Martin Kampmann and Paulo Thiago. He may be 2-2, but out of the four fights in his return, he has earned Fight of the Night honors three times.
9. Ben Askren
Most recent fight: Unanimous decision victory over Douglas Lima (Bellator 64)
Next fight: TBA
Previous ranking: N/R
Much like Georges St-Pierre, Ben Askren gets chastised for his style of fighting as well. Askren is the current Bellator welterweight champion and the only man on this list not currently in the UFC.
In Askren's seven fights in Bellator, six have come by way of decision. Askren might not do a ton of damage when utilizing his superior wrestling, but the man wins and that gets him in these rankings.
8. Martin Kampmann
Most recent fight: submission victory over Thiago Alves (UFC on FX 2)
Next fight: vs. Jake Ellenberger (TUF 15 Finale)
Previous ranking: No. 9
In his last fight, Kampmann pulled a magical come-from-behind submission against Thiago Alves that immediately shot him back up the rankings.
Now Kampmann is riding a two-fight win streak that includes Alves and Rick Story. Kampmann is now expected to fight a top welterweight contender in Jake Ellenberger on the TUF Finale card in what is expected to be a great war between the two welterweights.
7. Jon Fitch
Most recent fight: Knockout loss to Johny Hendricks (UFC 141)
Next fight: TBA
Previous ranking: No. 6
Jon Fitch was sidelined for a year following his draw with B.J. Penn. Fitch then came back against Hendricks in what was expected to be another win for Fitch to get him back to face GSP for the title.
Well, things went differently than expected and Hendricks shocked the world by beating Fitch and now here we are four months later waiting to see who Fitch will face next after taking a dive in the rankings. Fitch is still one of the best fighters in the division and whoever he will face next could be a major turning point in his career.
6. Rory MacDonald
Most recent fight: TKO victory over Che Mills (UFC 145)
Next fight: TBA
Previous ranking: No. 8
Rory MacDonald came back to the cage with an emphatic win over Che Mills at UFC 145 that saw the young phenom rip through Mills.
MacDonald has jumped closer to the top of the pile since his big win against Nate Diaz in April of 2011 and has now cemented in most people's minds that he will be the next UFC welterweight champion.
5. Josh Koscheck
Most recent fight: Split decision loss to Johny Hendricks (UFC on FOX 3)
Next fight: TBA
Previous ranking: No. 4
Josh Koscheck didn't slip much in the rankings following his loss to Hendricks this past weekend. It was a tough fight for Koscheck who was fighting to avenge the loss of friend Jon Fitch, who was knocked out by Hendricks in December.
Koscheck was riding a two-fight win streak and now finds himself in a tough spot to get back to the front of the line in the welterweight division.
4. Johny Hendricks
Most recent fight: Split decision victory over Josh Koscheck (UFC on FOX 3)
Next fight: vs. winner of Georges St-Pierre/Carlos Condit (Date TBA)
Previous ranking: No. 5
Hendricks and Koscheck basically switch spots in the rankings following the outcome of their fight this past weekend. Hendricks is now riding a four-fight win streak including two wins over Koscheck and Jon Fitch, who were both highly ranked welterweights.
Following his win, Hendricks is expected to sit out until Carlos Condit and Georges St-Pierre finally face each other for the belt. Hendricks' only loss came against Rick Story in December of 2010.
3. Jake Ellenberger
Most recent fight: Unanimous decision victory over Diego Sanchez (UFC on FUEL 1)
Next fight: vs. Martin Kampmann (TUF 15 Finale)
Previous ranking: No. 3
Ellenberger has done a great job following up his quick knockout of Jake Shields with another impressive win over Diego Sanchez.
In those two fights, Ellenberger has displayed some great skills that have earned him Knockout of the Night and Fight of the Night honors.
Ellenberger is now expected to face another top-ranked welterweight in Martin Kampmann on the TUF 15 finale card in June. He could potentially get himself some consideration for a title shot next year.
2. Carlos Condit
Most recent fight: Unanimous decision victory over Nick Diaz (UFC 143)
Next fight: vs. Georges St-Pierre (Date TBA)
Previous ranking: No. 2
Condit was riding a four-fight win streak going into his fight with Nick Diaz that included wins over Jake Ellenberger, Rory MacDonald, Dan Hardy and Dong-Hyun Kim. Pretty much a who's who of the welterweight division.
His win over Diaz didn't come without controversy, though, and now he has earned himself a shot at current champion Georges St-Pierre.
Condit is content on sitting out until GSP recovers and the two are expected to fight sometime late this year.
1. Georges St-Pierre
Most recent fight: Unanimous decision win over Jake Shields (UFC 129)
Next fight: vs. Carlos Condit (Date TBA)
Previous ranking: No. 1
Even with injury, it isn't a surprise that GSP ranks No. 1 in our rankings among the welterweights. Even after being criticized for not finishing opponents, GSP is still the top welterweight and one of the best fighters in the world.
GSP has racked up numerous victories over some of the best welterweights the division has seen and will see another very good talent later this year when he heals from injury and faces Carlos Condit.
The title unification bout should be a good one.