The public’s attention has been directed at the UFC’s welterweight division over the past couple of weeks, especially after the organization officially announced a very intriguing title fight between champion Georges St-Pierre and contender/Strikeforce champion Nick Diaz.
What has made this particular division a hotbed of headlines has been the developments of key match-ups, injuries, replacements, talent depth and the future of some of its most notable and young competitors.
The UFC’s 170-pound stable is fresher than ever, stockpiled with legitimate contenders to challenge the champ, if he manages to get past Diaz.
Obviously, most eyeballs have been firmly locked on the division’s highly touted, pound-for-pound title holder and his surrounding possibilities—a natural obsession from fans that love or hate him for being so dominant.
GSP may be the eye of the welterweight hurricane, the center of gravity, but he is accompanied by a line of eager contenders aiming to continually change the landscape.
Comparatively, the most intriguing divisional possibilities in the UFC are at 170 pounds right now, regardless of the misconception that the division is on the brink of being cleaned out. That sentiment couldn’t be further from the truth.
Here are the top five welterweight puzzle pieces, who have made impressive strides within the last year and will be within arm’s reach of a shot at the prized belt soon, keeping the champion busy enough to bury ideas of moving up weight classes.
Nick Diaz is only the beginning.