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411 MMA Rankings 11.13.12: Welterweight Division
Posted by Jonathan Solomon on 11.13.2012





Welcome to Tuesday, the 13th and while it doesn't have quite the same ring to it as Friday, it's time for an update to the 411 MMA Rankings! We're looking at the welterweights today, four days before the top four fighters in the division square off in Montreal at UFC 154. Looking ahead, there is sound reason to assume if Georges St. Pierre defeats Carlos Condit to retain his welterweight championship that his next fight will be in a catchweight bout opposite middleweight champion Anderson Silva. You can bet Johny Hendricks and Martin Kampmann are not too thrilled at that possibility because the two gentlemen are squaring off to be crowned the new number one contender for GSP's championship.

But wait! Am I overlooking Carlos Condit? What if he is able to be the first man to beat St. Pierre since Matt Serra over five years ago? For a long time, most have talked about him as perennially one of the better fighters in the division but always a step below the elite level. Right now, he has not been finished in a fight for over six years and his one loss since then was in a split decision against Martin Kampmann (in his UFC debut, no less). If he does pull off the feat and become the new undisputed UFC champion, perhaps he ends up fighting Kampmann in a rematch next year. All of a sudden, he's a guy with wins against GSP and Nick Diaz and he's avenged his only recent loss. Just like that, the landscape of the division has changed, but I'm sure a fair amount of fans and pundits would be holding their breath waiting for the greatest welterweight of all-time to win his belt back much like he did in the series of fights with Matt Serra. Perhaps he does, but perhaps Carlos Condit is on a path to permanently ousting the Canadian and take his spot atop the division and among the best in the sport.

No matter if the UFC gold is put on ice to start 2013 or not, you cannot deny the fact there are plenty of viable contenders up and down the division. Bring up the reports that Strikeforce will cease operations as of January 13 and the UFC stable may grow with the likes of Nate Marquardt, Tarec Saffiedine, Tyron Woodley and others. They would join top contenders in the UFC such as Jon Fitch, Rory MacDonald and yes, Demian Maia.

Maia, who just turned 35-years-old five days ago, has now been competing in the octagon for five years as of about three weeks ago. When he was fighting his way up the middleweight ranks, he went 6-1 in the promotion before he earned a championship fight with Anderson Silva. The Brazilian dropped to 170-pounds this summer and he has looked as good as he has since that period (2007-2009) with a pair of first round finishes against Stun Gun Kim and Rick Story.

Speaking of 35-year-old welterweights who look to be fighting their way back towards relevancy, Jon Fitch (his birthday is three months away) earned his first victory last month since August 2010. Yes, for a guy who went 13-1 in the UFC at one point, he needed a win in the worst way. He just so happened to end Erick Silva's streak of twelve fights without a legitimate loss (he was disqualified against Carlo Prater in January for illegal strikes). If it's Hendricks who beats Kampmann Saturday, don't be surprised if you hear Fitch push for a rematch with the two-time NCAA Division I wrestling champion. Fitch claims he went into their first fight in a bad mental state and ended up getting knocked out in just 12-seconds for his trouble. Hendricks would laugh that off, but if GSP is going to be dealing with Anderson Silva for the first quarter or half of 2013, a rematch could make sense to UFC matchmaker Joe Silva.

With that, I hope you've got your turkey on the chopping block (NINE DAYS 'TILL TURKEY JUDGMENT DAY) and enjoy the 411 MMA Rankings!





Feedback to Last Week's Heavyweight Rankings

From Chriis:
He may be 2-3 in his last 5, but look who he lost to (by decision). Roy Nelson should definitely be above Mark Hunt.
When was the last win for Nelson over a fighter considered to be in the top 15? Quite some time ago.

From wylun:
big foot at 8 is too good.. he should be 10, lost 2 in a row and then beat a sitting duck browne who injured himself.. u have hunt who is 3-0 at 13? and even tho he might not be fighting the top 10.. its still the best streak out of ur top 5-10 other than struve who is 4-0.. everyone is win, lost win lost lost win lost win win record..
anyway. ya, HW division sucks w/o lesnar and overeem
Silva at 8 is more because after the top 7, you run into the guys who just lost (Browne and Miocic). So, it's either Antonio Rodrigo Nogueira or Antonio Silva taking that 8 spot.

As for Mark Hunt, with wins against Kongo, Rothwell and Tuchscherer, perhaps you can argue he should be above Shane Carwin at this point. If you want to throw him in there with the likes of Miocic or Browne based on his knockout of Cheick Kongo, I can see that, too.


From Sisti:
In response to your comments on Machida...you have a point that he hasn't beaten a who's who of names in the last few years. Couture and Bader wins were impressive, but it's nothing to go nuts about. I am more basing it on how good he looked against Bader, how he fought at 202 recently, and how dominant he was when he first won the belt. Anyways, I'd say a good compromise would be putting him at about the 14 spot.
HW is pretty interesting right now...we are finally at the point of someone dominating the division if JDS gets past cain again. That would give the UFC FIVE dominant champs (aldo, gsp, silva, jones, jds) and would definitely leave an opening for superfights, which would help the sport get some new excitement. Also, to answer your question I think JDS should crack the top 3 p4p rankings if he dominates Cain. Go on Wiki and look at who he's beaten and how dominating he's been in the UFC and it's amazing...he's been severely underrated for years
I'd wait to see if Lyoto Machida can be more consistent before considering him back in the pound-for-pound rankings.

You forgot Dominick Cruz in your list of dominant champions (even though he's out until well into next year). GSP/Silva is the first super fight I think we'll see, it would take something unforeseen to come up to prevent the two from signing on the dotted line.



Thank you for all the comments, questions, hate, dirt and everything in between. It is always appreciated.




Rankings From One Year Ago
10.25.11



1. Georges St. Pierre

2. Jon Fitch

3. Carlos Condit

4. Nick Diaz

5. Josh Koscheck

6. Jake Ellenberger

7. Jake Shields

8. B.J. Penn

9. Diego Sanchez

10. Martin Kampmann

11. Rick Story

12. Rory MacDonald

13. Anthony Johnson

14. Tyron Woodley

14. Johny Hendricks






411's MMA Ranking Rules

- Which fighters are eligible for these rankings? They must meet the following qualifications: fight at least once in the past 365 days or if they have not, be officially scheduled for an upcoming fight.

- A fighter serving a disciplinary suspension will not be ranked. They can return when they have served their suspension or in the event it is rescinded. This includes fighters who may disregard their suspension locally to fight overseas.

- If a fighter appears on just one single ballot, and in the top ten, five points will be deducted to balance between other fighters who may be ranked lower, but appear on a greater amount of ballots.

- Want to complain about a fighter's ranking in the comments section? Please include an objective reason why you despise the list, and try your best to bring the rest of us to your way of thinking.

* denotes statistical tie




411's Official MMA Rankings


Welterweight Division




1) Georges St. Pierre (22-2)


Height: 5'10

Birthday: May 19, 1981

Currently Fighting With: UFC

Last 5 fights:

- vs. Jake Shields - Win via decision (unanimous) - UFC 129: St. Pierre vs. Shields - April 30, 2011

- vs. Josh Koscheck - Win via decision (unanimous) - UFC 124: St. Pierre vs. Koscheck 2 - December 11, 2010

- vs. Dan Hardy - Win via decision (unanimous) - UFC 111: St. Pierre vs. Hardy - March 27, 2010

- vs. Thiago Alves - Win via decision (unanimous) - UFC 100 - July 11, 2009

- vs. B.J. Penn - Win via TKO (corner stoppage) - UFC 94: St. Pierre vs. Penn II - January 31, 2009

Next scheduled appearance:

- Carlos Condit - UFC 154: St. Pierre vs. Condit - November 17, 2012

Comment: So, after nearly 19 months out of action, Georges St. Pierre is back in a matter of days. Does there appear to be much hype for the return to you? I don't see it, even with the well-produced FX series promoting UFC 154. In any event, I wonder whether GSP will be able to finish his first opponent since B.J. Penn almost four years ago. Then again, MMA math dictates no since Thiago Alves, Dan Hardy, Josh Koscheck and Jake Shields all survived.




2) Carlos Condit (28-5)


Height: 6'1

Birthday: April 26, 1984

Currently Fighting With: UFC

Last 5 fights:

- vs. Nick Diaz - Win via decision (unanimous) - UFC 143: Diaz vs. Condit - February 4, 2012

- vs. Dong Hyun Kim - Win via KO (flying knee) - UFC 132: Cruz vs. Faber - July 2, 2011

- vs. Dan Hardy - Win via KO (punches) - UFC 120: Bisping vs. Akiyama - October 16, 2010

- vs. Rory MacDonald - Win via TKO (punches) - UFC 115: Liddell vs. Franklin - June 12, 2010

- vs. Jake Ellenberger - Win via decision (split) - UFC Fight Night 19 - September 16, 2009

Next scheduled appearance:

- vs. Georges St. Pierre - UFC 154: St. Pierre vs. Condit - November 17, 2012

Comment: The Natural Born Killer's time in the sun is here, but only time will tell whether it will last longer than one night. I first saw Carlos Condit fight in 2007and he remains one of the most effective fighters in the welterweight division. I suppose if you were to draw GSP, coming off a 19 month layoff and an ACL injury would be best. The fact remains the only weakness GSP has shown since emerging as the top fighter in the weight class was in the lapse in Houston when Matt Serra knocked him off. If history is made Saturday night, I doubt we'll be looking at Carlos in the same light as Long Island's favorite fighter.




3) Martin Kampmann (20-5)


Height: 6'0

Birthday: April 17, 1982

Currently Fighting With: UFC

Last 5 fights:

- vs. Jake Ellenberger - Win via KO (knees) - TUF 15 Finale - June 1, 2012

- vs. Thiago Alves - Win via submission (guillotine choke) - UFC on FX: Alves vs. Kampmann - March 3, 2012

- vs. Rick Story - Win via decision (unanimous) - UFC 139: Shogun vs. Henderson - November 19, 2011

- vs. Diego Sanchez - Loss via decision (unanimous) - UFC Live: Sanchez vs. Kampmann - March 3, 2011

- vs. Jake Shields - Loss via decision (split) - UFC 121: Lesnar vs. Velasquez - October 23, 2010

Next scheduled appearance:

- vs. Johny Hendricks - UFC 154: St. Pierre vs. Condit - November 17, 2012

Comment: The last time Hitman was this well received in the UFC, he was on a four-fight winning streak as a middleweight. Then, Nate Marquardt ruined his road to a title shot with a TKO win. Since dropping to 170-pounds, Kampmann has had a roller coaster ride including consecutive losses against Jake Shields and Diego Sanchez. All that is in the past at the moment because thanks to three wins against Rick Story, Thiago Alves and Jake Ellenberger, he's on the precipice of earning the first title shot of his professional career.




4) Johny Hendricks (13-1)


Height: 5'9

Birthday: September 12, 1983

Currently Fighting With: UFC

Last 5 fights:

- vs. Josh Koscheck - Win via decision (split) - UFC on Fox 3: Diaz vs. Miller - May 5, 2012

- vs. Jon Fitch - Win via KO (punches) - UFC 141: Lesnar vs. Overeem - December 30, 2011

- vs. Mike Pierce - Win via decision (split) - UFC 133: Evans vs. Ortiz - August 6, 2011

- vs. TJ Waldburger - Win via TKO (strikes) - UFC Fight Night: Nogueira vs. Davis - March 26, 2011

- vs. Rick Story - Loss via decision (unanimous) - UFC TUF 12 Finale - December 4, 2010

Next scheduled appearance:

- vs. Martin Kampmann - UFC 154: St. Pierre vs. Condit - November 17, 2012

Comment: Hendricks is no stranger to championship match-ups, after all, he was a two-time NCAA Division I National Champion at Oklahoma State (and a runner-up in 2007). The four-time collegiate All-American has had some bit of hype ever since getting into MMA in 2007 including when he was highlighted on the old Tapout show just before he signed with WEC. With the lone exception of his fight with Rick Story two years ago (his wrestling was rendered moot), he's been perfect. He's the man who knocked out Jon Fitch in the UFC and he bested Josh Koscheck on Fox in May to let the world know he was no joke (following his 12-second KO of Fitch). Like his opponent this Saturday night, he's putting the finishing touches on preparation for his first title fight in MMA.




5) Jake Ellenberger (28-6)


Height: 5'11

Birthday: March 28, 1985

Currently Fighting With: UFC

Last 5 fights:

- vs. Jay Hieron - Win via decision (unanimous) - UFC on FX: Browne vs. Bigfoot - October 5, 2012

- vs. Martin Kampmann - Loss via KO (knees) - TUF 15 Finale - June 1, 2012

- vs. Diego Sanchez - Win via decision (unanimous) - UFC on Fuel: Sanchez vs. Ellenberger - February 15, 2012

- vs. Jake Shields - Win via TKO (strikes) - UFC Fight Night: Shields vs. Ellenberger - September 17, 2011

- vs. Sean Pierson - Win via KO (punch) - UFC 129: St. Pierre vs. Shields - April 30, 2011

Next scheduled appearance:

- Unknown

Comment: Ellenberger bounced back following his loss in June with a decision win against Jay Hieron on FX. It's a start to climb back into the title mix and he certainly has a bunch of prospective opponents to choose from to be the means to that end.




6) Jon Fitch (24-4-1)


Height: 6'0

Birthday: February 24, 1978

Currently Fighting With: UFC

Last 5 fights:

- vs. Erick Silva - Win via decision (unanimous) - UFC 153: Silva vs. Bonnar - October 13, 2012

- vs. Johny Hendricks - Loss via KO (punches) - UFC 141: Lesnar vs. Overeem - December 30, 2011

- vs. B.J. Penn - DRAW - UFC 127: Penn vs. Fitch - February 27, 2011

- vs. Thiago Alves - Win via decision (unanimous) - UFC 117: Silva vs. Sonnen - August 7, 2010

- vs. Ben Saunders - Win via decision (unanimous) - UFC 111: St. Pierre vs. Hardy - March 27, 2010

Next scheduled appearance:

- Unknown

Comment: Fitch went into Brazil last month on a mission to win not only to save his career but to put money into his bank account. Driven to the realization that he needed to kick some ass in impressive fashion, his performance was the best its been in years. He battered Erick Silva en route to a unanimous decision victory and a 'fight of the night' bonus, to boot. Make no mistake, Fitch is back in the mix and could go on another run.




7) Josh Koscheck (17-6)


Height: 5'10

Birthday: November 30, 1977

Currently Fighting With: UFC

Last 5 fights:

- vs. Johny Hendricks - Loss via decision (split) - UFC on Fox 3: Diaz vs. Miller - May 5, 2012

- vs. Mike Pierce - Win via decision (unanimous) - UFC 143: Diaz vs. Condit - February 4, 2012

- vs. Matt Hughes - Win via KO (strikes) - UFC 135: Jones vs. Rampage - September 24, 2011

- vs. Georges St. Pierre - Loss via decision (unanimous) - UFC 124: St. Pierre vs. Koscheck 2 - December 11, 2010

- vs. Paul Daley - Win via decision (unanimous) - UFC 113: Machida vs. Shogun 2 - May 8, 2010

Next scheduled appearance:

- Unknown

Comment: Koscheck is finally healthy following a back injury which will cost him fighting for a third time in 2012. He expects to return to the octagon early next year and rumors have him being the first opponent for Nick Diaz when his suspension is over. Other opponents Koscheck has an interest in fighting include Rory MacDonald, Jake Ellenberger and Demian Maia.




8) Nate Marquardt (32-10-2)


Height: 6'0

Birthday: April 20, 1979

Currently Fighting With: Strikeforce

Last 5 fights:

- vs. Tyron Woodley - Win via KO (elbows) - Strikeforce: Rockhold vs. Kennedy - July 14, 2012

- vs. Dan Miller - Win via decision (unanimous) - UFC 128: Shogun vs. Jones - March 19, 2011

- vs. Yushin Okami - Loss via decision (unanimous) - UFC 122: Marquardt vs. Okami - November 13, 2010

- vs. Rousimar Palhares - Win via TKO (punches) - UFC Fight Night: Marquardt vs. Palhares - September 15, 2010

- vs. Chael Sonnen - Loss via decision (unanimous) - UFC 109: Couture vs. Coleman - February 6, 2010

Next scheduled appearance:

- vs. Tarec Saffiedine - Strikeforce - January 12, 2013

Comment: Marquardt will defend the Strikeforce championship for the first (and last) time on January 12 when he fights Tarec Saffiedine. The promotion will be absorbed by the UFC following that date and it's expected the winner (and probably the loser, too) will move to the UFC. If Marquardt can return as Strikeforce champion, expect a big fight at welterweight with one of the names above.




9) Demian Maia (17-4)


Height: 6'0

Birthday: November 6, 1977

Currently Fighting With: UFC

Last 5 fights:

- vs. Rick Story - Win via submission (neck crank) - UFC 153: Silva vs. Bonnar - October 13, 2012

- vs. Dong Hyun Kim - Win via TKO (injury) - UFC 148: Silva vs. Sonnen 2 - July 7, 2012

- vs. Chris Weidman - Loss via decision (unanimous) - UFC on Fox: Evans vs. Davis - January 28, 20120

- vs. Jorge Santiago - Win vía decisión (unanimous) - UFC 136: Edgar vs. Maynard 3 - October 8, 2011

- vs. Mark Munoz - Loss via decision (unanimous) - UFC 131: dos Santos vs. Carwin - June 11, 2011

Next scheduled appearance:

- Unknown

Comment: Perhaps no other fighter as looked as good as Demian Maia has since he moved to the welterweight division this summer. He stopped Stun Gun Kim thanks to rib spasms and in his return to Brazil, he submitted Rick Story. He's big, strong and able to force fights into his realm (grappling). Can he continue this success against the top wrestlers above (Koscheck, Fitch, Ellenberger, Hendricks)? This may be the most pressing question regarding Maia.




10) Rory MacDonald (13-1)


Height: 6'0

Birthday: July 22, 1989

Currently Fighting With: UFC

Last 5 fights:

- vs. Che Mills - Win via TKO (strikes) - UFC 145: Jones vs. Evans - April 21, 2012

- vs. Mike Pyle - Win via TKO (strikes) - UFC 133: Evans vs. Ortiz - August 6, 2011

- vs. Nate Diaz - Win via decision (unanimous) - UFC 129: St. Pierre vs. Shields - April 30, 2011

- vs. Carlos Condit - Loss via TKO (strikes) - UFC 115: Liddell vs. Franklin - June 12, 2010

- vs. Mike Guymon - Win via submission (armbar) - UFC Fight Night: Maynard vs. Diaz - January 11, 2010

Next scheduled appearance:

- vs. B.J. Penn - UFC on Fox 5: Henderson vs. Diaz - December 8, 2012

Comment: There was some publicity over the past week stemming from MacDonald's comments that he was not helping Georges St. Pierre prepare for Carlos Condit (Rory fought Condit two years ago). Some took it as a sign there was some kind of split between MacDonald and GSP because of the possibility they could fight in the future. For what it's worth, Rory shot those rumors down and said it was simply a case of GSP already having plenty of people in his camp for UFC 154 and not wanting to add more to the equation.

For many people, MacDonald is the biggest prospect in the division and no doubt his upcoming fight on Fox next month against B.J. Penn could be the night he emerges as a star.





11) Ben Askren (10-0)


Height: 5'10

Birthday: July 18, 1984

Currently Fighting With: Bellator

Last 5 fights:

- vs. Douglas Lima - Win via decision (unanimous) - Bellator 64 - April 7, 2012

- vs. Jay Hieron - Win via decision (split) - Bellator 56 - October 29, 2011

- vs. Nick Thompson - Win via decision (unanimous) - Bellator 40 - April 9, 2011

- vs. Lyman Good - Win via decision (unanimous) - Bellator 33 - October 21, 2010

- vs. Dan Hornbuckle - Win via decision (unanimous) - Bellator 22 - June 17, 2010

Next scheduled appearance:

- vs. Karl Amoussou - Bellator - Early 2013

Comment: We still do not know exactly when, but Bellator CEO Bjorn Rebney has said champion Ben Askren will defend his crown against tournament champion Karl Amoussou in "early 2013" on Spike TV.




12) Siyar Bahardurzada (21-4-1))


Height: 5'11

Birthday: April 17, 1984

Currently Fighting With: UFC

Last 5 fights:

- vs. Paulo Thiago - Win via KO (punch) - UFC on Fuel: Gustafsson vs. Silva - April 14, 2012

- vs. Tommy Depret - Win via TKO (strikes) - UGlory 14 - May 28, 2011

- vs. John Alessio - Win via TKO (strikes) - UGlory 13 - March 19, 2011

- vs. Derrick Noble - Win via TKO (strikes) - UGlory 12 - October 16, 2010

- vs. Carlos Pereira - Win via KO (punch) - Shooto 17 - August 6, 2010

Next scheduled appearance:

- Unknown





13) Dong Hyun "Stun Gun" Kim (16-2-1, 1 NC)


Height: 6'1

Birthday: November 17, 1981

Currently Fighting With: UFC

Last 5 fights:

- vs. Paulo Thiago - Win via decision (unanimous) - UFC in China: Franklin vs. Le - November 10, 2012

- vs. Demian Maia - Loss via TKO (injury) - UFC 148: Silva vs. Sonnen 2 - July 7, 2012

- vs. Sean Pierson - Win via decision (unanimous) - UFC 141: Lesnar vs. Overeem - December 30, 2011

- vs. Carlos Condit - Loss via KO (knee) - UFC 132: Cruz vs. Faber - July 2, 2011

- vs. Nate Diaz - Win via decision (unanimous) - UFC 125: Edgar vs. Maynard 2 - January 1, 2011

Next scheduled appearance:

- Unknown





14) Erick Silva (14-3, 1 No Contest)


Height: 5'11

Birthday:June 2, 1984

Currently Fighting With: UFC

Last 5 fights:

- vs. Jon Fitch - Loss via decision (unanimous) - UFC 153: Silva vs. Bonnar - October 13, 2012

- vs. Charlie Brenneman - Win via submission (rear naked choke) - UFC on FX: Johnson vs. McCall 2 - June 8, 2012

- vs. Carlo Prater - Loss via disqualification (punches to the back of the head) - UFC 142: Aldo vs. Mendes - January 14, 2012

- vs. Luis Ramos - Win via KO (punches) - UFC 134: Silva vs. Okami - August 27, 2011

- vs. Francisco Ayon - Win via submission (arm-triangle choke) - Jungle Fight 23 - October 30, 2010

Next scheduled appearance:

- Unknown





15) Karl Amoussou (16-4-2))


Height: 5'11

Birthday: November 21, 1985

Currently Fighting With: Bellator

Last 5 fights:

- vs. Bryan Baker - Win via submission (inverted heel hook) - Bellator 72 - July 20, 2012

- vs. David Rickels - Win via decision (split) - Bellator 69 - May 18, 2012

- vs. Chris Lozano - Win via submission (rear naked choke) - Bellator 63 - March 30, 2012

- vs. Jesus Martinez - Win via TKO (strikes) - Bellator 59 - November 26, 2011

- vs. Sam Alvey - Loss via decision (split) - Bellator 45 - May 21, 2011

Next scheduled appearance:

- vs. Ben Askren - Bellator - January 2012





Final Notes: Kazuo Misaki and Mike Pierce received additional votes.

Nick Diaz is still ineligible because of his suspension by the Nevada State Athletic Commission. He can return in February to the 411 MMA Rankings assuming he is scheduled to fight right away (otherwise, he'll go over a year without a fight).





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