UFC 171 Results: Updating B/R MMA Welterweight Rankings

Riley KontekFeatured ColumnistMarch 16, 2014

UFC 171 Results: Updating B/R MMA Welterweight Rankings

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    Matt Strasen/Associated Press

    UFC 171 provided tons of welterweight action on Saturday, offering a title fight in the main event and a couple of pivotal contender's bouts on the main card.

    Johny Hendricks finally captured the title with a decision win over Robbie Lawler in an entertaining, back-and-forth scrap. It was a sweet victory for Hendricks, who many believe should have already earned the belt in his November bout with Georges St. Pierre.

    Let's take a look at the welterweight ranks now and see where each top-10 fighter lies.

10. Hector Lombard

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    Chris Hyde/Getty Images

    Last Fight: Decision win vs. Jake Shields

    Next Fight: TBD

    Hector Lombard was victorious at UFC 171, beating a tough fighter in Jake Shields. He did it impressively as well.

    Despite a hot start that saw him pepper Shields with power strikes, his performance was somewhat panned for the fact that he played it safe down the stretch.

    Once a man who many thought was going to be a failure, Lombard has been reinvigorated at welterweight. He now is just a fight or two away from earning a title bout.

9. Tarec Saffiedine

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    Suhaimi Abdullah/Getty Images

    Last Fight: Decision win vs. Hyun Gyu Lim

    Next Fight: vs. Jake Ellenberger at UFC 172

    Former Strikeforce champ Tarec Saffiedine is 1-0 with the UFC and has a big fight on the horizon against Jake Ellenberger. Big things surround the Belgian kickboxer.

    He is going to be a dangerous adversary for any opponent. His leg kicks and improved wrestling make him a tough out for anyone in the division.

    He will see how far his wrestling has come against Ellenberger. Passing that test could put him at the front of the line at 170 pounds.

8. Dong Hyun Kim

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    Victor Fraile/Getty Images

    Last Fight: Knockout win vs. John Hathaway

    Next Fight: TBD

    To be honest, Dong Hyun Kim could have a case to be the next contender for the belt. At the very least, he should be in a No. 1 contender's bout.

    Kim has upped his game recently, transforming from a grinder into an exciting knockout artist. His last two bouts have seen brutal stoppages against Erick Silva and John Hathaway.

    If he continues fighting this way, he could fight for the title sooner rather than later.

7. Jake Ellenberger

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    Suhaimi Abdullah/Getty Images

    Last Fight: Decision loss vs. Rory MacDonald

    Next Fight: vs. Tarec Saffiedine at UFC 172

    Jake Ellenberger is coming off a loss to Rory MacDonald, but he still finds himself earning high-profile bouts.

    The power-punching wrestler was close to a title shot before the loss to MacDonald. However, he can jump back into the mix if he can defeat Tarec Saffiedine at UFC 172.

    He has the resume. He just needs to return to the win column before he can earn a title shot.

6. Martin Kampmann

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    Pat Lovell-USA TODAY Sports

    Last Fight: Knockout loss vs. Carlos Condit

    Next Fight: TBD

    Yes, Martin Kampmann is on a two-fight skid. That being said, he most recently lost to current champion Johny Hendricks and former interim champ Carlos Condit.

    Kampmann is a jack of all trades who is hard as nails and a tough out for any fighter. He is consistently in fun fights and has a high success rate.

    For now, we await the Dane's return to the cage. He has not competed since August, so here's to hoping he comes back soon.

5. Rory MacDonald

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    Stephen R. Sylvanie-USA TODAY Sports

    Last Fight: Decision win vs. Demian Maia

    Next Fight: TBD

    Rory MacDonald is a guy whom many people think is next for a title shot. I would not argue that.

    He is the protege of former champion Georges St. Pierre. Now that GSP is out of the picture, MacDonald can finally take a run at the title.

    He has no fight scheduled right now, but one would assume he will be on the next Canadian card.

4. Carlos Condit

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    Pat Lovell-USA TODAY Sports

    Last Fight: Injury loss vs. Tyron Woodley

    Next Fight: TBD

    An unfortunate injury kept Carlos Condit from victory Saturday night. That being said, he was likely down on the scorecards 10-9.

    All thing considered, he is one of the best welterweights in the world. He is a great striker who works well from his back when wrestlers take him down.

    If he indeed has a torn ACL, he will be out for a while. That's bad news for such an exciting and popular fighter.

3. Tyron Woodley

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    Stephen R. Sylvanie-USA TODAY Sp

    Last Fight: Injury win vs. Carlos Condit

    Next Fight: TBD

    Tyron Woodley made a huge jump up the rankings in beating Carlos Condit. In fact, he could justifiably deserve a title shot due to his recent fights.

    He has rounded out his game nicely. He has gone from a one-dimensional wrestler to a guy who can handle business on the feet.

    It will be interesting to see where he goes next. It doesn't appear he took a huge amount of damage, so he could make a quick turnaround.

2. Robbie Lawler

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    Stephen R. Sylvanie-USA TODAY Sp

    Last Fight: Decision loss vs. Johny Hendricks

    Next Fight: TBD

    Robbie Lawler came up short in his title bout against Johny Hendricks. That said, he had his moments and still boosted his stock despite the loss.

    He even hurt Hendricks at one point. It looked like "Bigg Rigg" was very hurt from his punches, but he survived the Lawler onslaught. 

    Had he landed the kill blow, Lawler would have been champion. However, he didn't, and he is the runner-up of the division right now.

1. Johny Hendricks

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    Matt Strasen/Associated Press

    Last Fight: Decision win vs. Robbie Lawler

    Next Fight: TBD

    It's finally happened for Johny Hendricks. He is the UFC welterweight champion and the best 170-pounder in the world.

    He mixed up his game well against Robbie Lawler, using a good jab, power punches and timely takedowns to win the belt. It was a close fight, but the fifth round clinched the decision for the new champ.

    He has a ton of new contenders to stay busy with. Between MacDonald, Woodley, Lombard and Kim, he may have a very busy schedule coming up.