B/R Official Rankings for September: The Top 10 Welterweights in MMA
The welterweight division hasn't seen a lot of movement in recent months, but all of that might just change as there are a ton of top tier 170-lbs bouts on the horizon.
UFC welterweight champ Georges St-Pierre was recently cleared to start his training camp for UFC 154, where he will take on interim champ Carlos Condit after an almost year-long layoff following an ACL injury.
Former two-time title holder BJ Penn was supposed to come out of retirement at UFC 152 later this month, but his opponent, Rory MacDonald, was forced to pull out of the bout due to a cut sustained during training. They will now square off at UFC on FOX 5 in December.
With all these exciting fights coming up, let's take a look at how MMA's top welterweights stack up for the month of September.
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10. Ben Askren
Image courtesy of MMAMania.com.
Most recent fight: Win over Douglas Lima at Bellator 64
Next fight: Karl Amoussou at date TBA
Previous ranking: 10
Bellator's welterweight king keeps his 10th spot in this month's rankings and is set to take on the Season 6 welterweight tournament winner Karl Amoussou at a date yet to be determined.
Amoussou has caused a stir leading up to this bout, criticizing Ben Askren's wrestling-based style of fighting that many have called boring.
Askren most recently defended his title against the Season 5 welterweight tournament winner Douglas Lima at Bellator 64, taking his sixth straight decision victory.
9. Diego Sanchez
Jon Kopaloff/Getty Images
Most Recent Fight: Loss to Jake Ellenberger at UFC on Fuel TV: Sanchez vs. Ellenberger
Next Fight: N/A
Previous Ranking: 9
Diego Sanchez stays on the welterweight rankings this month but possibly for the final time as he announced last month that he will be returning to the lightweight division.
But with no return date yet set, Sanchez keeps his ninth spot.
The always exciting TUF alum recently took his third straight Fight of the Night bonus despite suffering a unanimous decision loss to Jake Ellenberger back in February.
8. Jon Fitch
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Most recent fight: Loss to Johny Hendricks at UFC 141
Next fight: Erick Silva at UFC 153
Previous ranking: 8
Former top contender Jon Fitch has not seen the win column since 2010 and will have another tough test ahead of him when he takes on rising star Erick Silva at UFC 153.
Fitch was recently knocked out for the first time in his UFC career when he faced Johny Hendricks at UFC 141. The bout came to an end just 12 seconds into the first round following a six-fight unbeaten streak.
Prior to the loss, Fitch fought to a majority draw against BJ Penn at UFC 127.
7. Rory MacDonald
Paul Abell-US PRESSWIRE
Most recent fight: Win over Che Mills at UFC 145
Next fight: BJ Penn at UFC on FOX 5
Previous ranking: 7
Rising contender Rory MacDonald was supposed to take on BJ Penn later this month but was forced off the card after sustaining a deep cut on his forehead during training.
MacDonald has been on a tear since suffering his first pro loss to Carlos Condit at UFC 115 and has won three straight since.
A win over Penn could catapult MacDonald to the top five.
6. Josh Koscheck
Joe Camporeale-US PRESSWIRE
Most recent fight: Loss to Johny Hendricks at UFC on FOX 3
Next fight: N/A
Previous ranking: 6
Josh Koscheck was contemplating a move to middleweight following a close split decision loss to Johny Hendricks at UFC on FOX 3 but was lured back to welterweight for a possible bout against Jake Ellenberger at UFC 151.
A back injury for Koscheck ended up scratching this fight on a card that would eventually be canceled, but the former top contender keeps his sixth spot nonetheless.
No word yet on when Koscheck will make his return to the Octagon.
5. Jake Ellenberger
Matt Ryerson-US PRESSWIRE
Most recent fight: Loss to Martin Kampmann at TUF 15 Finale
Next fight: Jay Hieron at UFC on FX 5
Previous ranking: 5
Jake Ellenberger saw his six-fight win streak snap after getting knocked out by Martin Kampmann at the Ultimate Fighter 15 Finale.
"The Juggernaut" was looking to bounce back from this bout at UFC 151, but a series of bad luck has rescheduled his Octagon return for UFC on FX 5. Ellenberger will now take on Jay Hieron who replaces the injured Josh Koscheck.
4. Martin Kampmann
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Most recent fight: Win over Jake Ellenberger at TUF 15 Finale
Next fight: Johny Hendricks at UFC 154
Previous ranking: 4
The comeback kid has scrapped his way to a three-fight win streak and is one bout away from a shot at the title.
Martin Kampmann will take on Johny Hendricks at UFC 154 in a title eliminator fight with the winner set to face the victor of Georges St-Pierre vs. Carlos Condit.
Expect another exciting performance by "The Hitman" as he continues to battle his way to the top.
3. Johny Hendricks
Joe Camporeale-US PRESSWIRE
Most recent fight: Win over Josh Koscheck at UFC on FOX 3
Next fight: Martin Kampmann at UFC 154
Previous ranking: 3
Johny Hendricks earned his top-three ranking after compiling a number of big wins under the UFC banner.
He recently defeated his second straight former top contender at UFC on FOX 3, edging out a split decision win to defeat Josh Koscheck in May.
Now just a win away from a shot at the title, expect him to go to war with Martin Kampmann when they square off later this fall.
2. Carlos Condit
Kelvin Kuo-US PRESSWIRE
Most recent fight: Win over Nick Diaz at UFC 143
Next fight: Georges St-Pierre at UFC 154
Previous ranking: 2
The interim UFC champ will get a chance to unify the belt later this fall when he takes on the reigning welterweight king at UFC 154.
Carlos Condit has been waiting a long time for this fight with Georges St-Pierre and can steal the top spot if he pulls the upset.
With a number of big wins under his belt already, expect "The Natural Born Killer" to really test the returning champ.
1. Georges St-Pierre
Mark J. Rebilas-US PRESSWIRE
Most recent fight: Win over Jake Shields at UFC 129
Next fight: Carlos Condit at UFC 154
Previous ranking: 1
Georges St-Pierre's long-awaited return to the Octagon is almost upon us as the reigning welterweight king was recently cleared to begin his training camp.
A torn ACL has kept the champ out of action since his last title defense against Jake Shields at UFC 129, so ring rust may play a factor when takes on Calros Condit at UFC 154.
But there's a reason St-Pierre has held onto UFC gold for so long, so look out for a game champion when he returns to the cage.