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Official B/R MMA Rankings June 2011: Top 10 Welterweights in MMA

Nick CaronAnalyst IDecember 19, 2016

Official B/R MMA Rankings June 2011: Top 10 Welterweights in MMA

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    Some of Bleacher Report’s best MMA writers have come together to give their opinions on who is the best-of-the-best in June. Each respective division voted on by these writers.

    Going along with Bleacher Report's continuing efforts to provide our readers with the most unique content, we are also taking strides to compile consensus MMA rankings for each weight class.

    Its been a tough month for some of these fighters since the last time we did the rankings in mid-May. UFC 130, 131, Strikeforce Overeem vs. Werdum and even The Ultimate Fighter 14 Finale have helped shape the rankings voted on by the writers of Bleacher Report MMA.

    So here you are, the reader, the Mid-June 2011 Bleacher Report official rankings as voted by our panel of writers from the MMA section.

    Special thanks to those who contributed:

    Nick Caron
    Jason Schielke
    Vince Carey
    Sean Smith
    Dwight Wakabayashi
    John Heinis
    Sal DeRose

Honorable Mentions

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    Ben Askren

    Record: 8-0

    Promotion: Bellator (Welterweight champion)

    Age: 26 years old


    Jake Ellenberger

    Record: 25-5

    Promotion: UFC

    Age: 26 years old

10. Diego Sanchez

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    Record: 23-4

    Promotion: UFC

    Age: 29 years old

    Reason:

    After being thoroughly dominated by BJ Penn in his one and only UFC lightweight title shot, Diego Sanchez decided to make his return back up to the welterweight division where he had been so successful in the past.

    But his return was spoiled by then-undefeated fighter John Hathaway, who scored a unanimous decision over The Ultimate Fighter season 1 victor.

    Diego knew he needed a change, though, and decided to join back up with Jackson’s Submission Fighting for his fight against Paulo Thiago in October 2010. The move seemed to work, as he was able to win the bout by unanimous decision.

    Sanchez might be even higher than No. 10 on this list if he had been as dominant in his most recent bout against Martin Kampmann. Though he ended up with a win on his record, many have criticized and pointed to the judging of that fight in particular as one of the more poorly-scored fights in recent memory.

9. Thiago Alves

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    Record: 18-8

    Promotion: UFC

    Age: 27 years old

    Reason:

    Alves drops all the way from No. 5 in May to No. 9 this month following his loss to Rick Story at UFC 130.

    “Pitbull” was once considered one of the elite welterweights in the world, but had recently dropped back-to-back fights to Jon Fitch and Georges St-Pierre.

    Though those two are almost unanimously considered the best welterweights on the planet, the losses still derailed what appeared to be one of the most promising young welterweights in the UFC.

    This loss to Story was disappointing, as it was his first loss to a fighter not named Fitch or St-Pierre since 2005 and will knock him out of the title picture for the foreseeable future. 

8. Carlos Condit

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    Record: 26-5

    Promotion: UFC

    Age: 27 years old

    Reason:

    Carlos Condit checks in at No. 8 for the second straight month as there hasn’t been much that has changed for him over the last 30 days.

    He is still scheduled to fight Dong Hyun Kim at UFC 132 in a fight which may very well have serious title implications, given the fact that Georges St-Pierre has completely run through the UFC’s welterweight division.

    Condit holds three straight victories over quality opponents in Jake Ellenberger, Rory MacDonald and Dan Hardy. 

7. Rick Story

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    Record: 13-3

    Promotion: UFC

    Age: 26 years old

    Reason:

    All aboard the Rick Story bandwagon!

    After not even making the list as an honorable mention in May, Rick Story has shot all the way up to No. 7 in June following his impressive victory over consensus top-5 welterweight Thiago Alves in late-May.

    But it may not be just that victory that has this 26-year old moving up the rankings in such a quick fashion.

    He also showed a lot of guts by taking a fight against Nate Marquardt, who will be making his welterweight debut this Sunday night at UFC on Versus 4, on just a few weeks’ notice. 

6. Josh Koscheck

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    Record: 15-5

    Promotion: UFC

    Age: 33 years old

    Reason:

    Josh Koscheck continues his rehabilitation after the beating he took from Georges St-Pierre in December.

    He has not been able to resume regular training activity, but has been actively harassing other fighters with his usual, some would say “annoying” antics.

    He has been linked to a potential catch-weight bout against light heavyweight Stephan Bonnar, who he recently opened a lawsuit against over the sale of a T-shirt using Koscheck’s likeness. 

T-4 BJ Penn

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    Record: 26-5

    Promotion: UFC

    Age: 32 years old

    Reason:

    Despite having not fought since his UFC 127 draw with Jon Fitch, BJ Penn moves up to a tie as the No. 4 welterweight in mixed martial arts in June.

    It could be the slightly different group of writers who were ranking the fighters this month, but there may also be a growing consensus that Penn is a bit better than we may have given him credit for shortly after the fight at UFC 127.

    After all, he did go the distance and was the only man besides Georges St-Pierre to escape a fight in the UFC against Jon Fitch without a loss.

    It has not been officially announced, but Penn and Fitch have been rumored to be meeting again in the co-main event at UFC 138

T-4 Nick Diaz

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    Record: 26-5

    Promotion: UFC

    Age: 27 years old

    Reason:

    A “can crusher” no more, Nick Diaz will finally get his shot at UFC gold when he fights Georges St-Pierre for the UFC welterweight championship in the main event at UFC 137 later this year.

    Of course, Diaz also vacated his Strikeforce welterweight title in the process, which leaves the question as to whether we will ever see another man hold that title now that the organization is owned by Zuffa. Was the title ever very valuable to begin with?

    If Diaz is able to get his fists on St-Pierre in the same way he did against Paul Daley in his most recent fight, it could be a long (or short, as the case may be) night for the champ. 

3. Jake Shields

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    Record: 26-5-1

    Promotion: UFC

    Age: 32 years old

    Reason:

    Diaz’s Gracie Jiu-Jitsu training partner, Jake Shields, checks in again as the No. 3 welterweight in MMA. His loss to Georges St-Pierre was disappointing, but not enough to knock him out of the elite fighter in this weight class.

    Shields has victories over countless top fighters on his way to this ranking, but like so many who have come before him, he was just unable to do much against the seemingly unstoppable GSP.

    What may be most impressive about Shields is actually his weight versatility. He has been hugely successful both as a welterweight and as a middleweight.

    In fact, if Nick Diaz is able to defeat St-Pierre later this year, look for Shields to move back to middleweight to avoid having to fight his friend. 

2. Jon Fitch

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    Record: 23-3-1

    Promotion: UFC

    Age: 33 years old

    Reason:

    At this point, it has become almost routine to see Jon Fitch’s name here as the No. 2 welterweight in the sport. While most fighters would kill to get to this point, it has to be eating away at Fitch who has beaten just about everyone there is to beat other than the one guy ranked above him.

    Prior to his draw with BJ Penn, Fitch was on a five-fight win streak that had him in line for another shot at the UFC welterweight title. Though many believe he dominated the fight with Penn, he was unceremoniously given a draw, not to mention an injury which will keep him out until later this year.

    Fitch and Penn are tentatively scheduled to co-headline the UFC 138 pay-per-view in a fight which may determine the next challenger for the welterweight championship.

1. Georges St-Pierre

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    Record: 22-2

    Promotion: UFC

    Age: 29 years old

    Reason:

    If you didn’t see this one coming, then you must not be much of a mixed martial arts fan, huh?

    Not only is Georges St-Pierre the unquestioned top welterweight, he may also be the best pound-for-pound fighter on the planet. His complete dominance over what many consider to be MMA’s deepest division is nothing short of fascinating.

    It had gotten to the point that, despite having 9 of the top-10 welterweights on this list, the UFC truly had no reasonable challengers for GSP. So they did what we all expected they would eventually do, and acquired the Strikeforce welterweight champion Nick Diaz, to fight him later this year at UFC 137.

    There are still fights that could happen for St-Pierre down the road if he beats Diaz, but it’s getting very thin. A move to 185 may finally be in the cards. 

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