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411 MMA Rankings 07.08.14: Welterweight Division
Posted by Jonathan Solomon on 07.08.2014





We are fresh on the heels of a great MMA weekend and American holiday, so what better to do than clock back in with the 411 MMA Rankings?

This week is all about the 170-pounders who make up the welterweight division and one of the men from years past, B.J. Penn, likely (hopefully) fought his final bout on Sunday. Penn is famous for plenty of achievements but one of the most impressive of them all was the fact he won UFC championships at lightweight and welterweight. Gloss over the list below and imagine any of them competing with the likes of Anthony Pettis and Benson Henderson. While many can, I doubt the ability of guys like Johny Hendricks, Robbie Lawler, Carlos Condit, Hector Lombard and others to safely cut down to 155 pounds. Penn did it.

To the present day, while champion Hendricks waits to discover who his first challenger will be, MMA fans will have the pleasure of watching Matt Brown and Lawler square off for free on Fox this month. Both men are insanely easy to cheer for and their career stories are amazing reads, so we can be happy regardless of who wins. While losing Georges St. Pierre to a sabbatical (before he injured his ACL again) was hardly great, one of the positive results of such a decision is that the title picture at welterweight immediately freshens up with new match ups and we're still seeing that play out.

Rory MacDonald is another fighter who appears ready to challenge for the championship and poses a direct threat to the names mentioned above. He is now coming off a decision win against Tyron Woodley and then you can throw into the mix fighters like Hector Lombard and "Stun Gun" Kim and there is no shortage of viable contenders.

Speaking of a shortage of viable contenders, we have no idea who Bellator champion Douglas Lima's next contender will be. With the likelihood that new boss Scott Coker is going to minimize the tournament format moving forward, the season 10 tournament final between Andrey Koreshkov and Adam McDonough may be the final time a welterweight challenger is crowned in such a way. By the way, those two semifinalists will square off on July 25 at Bellator 122 on Spike TV.

Oh yes, former Bellator champion Ben Askren remains undefeated following his ONE FC debut in the spring. With the UFC unwilling to meet his asking price and his decision to sign with the Singapore-based fight group, he is clearly the class of Asian MMA in this weight class. While we may never see such fights, or at least not for a few years, I insist that even today he would be right there in the mix at the top of the UFC with Lawler/Brown/Kim/MacDonald and company. Naturally, all we can do is speculate, but when did that ever stop anybody?





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.



411's Official MMA Rankings


Welterweight Division




1) Johny Hendricks (16-2)


Height: 5'9

Birthday: September 12, 1983

Currently Fighting With: UFC

Last 5 fights:

- vs. Robbie Lawler - Win via decision (unanimous) - UFC 171: Hendricks vs. Lawler - March 15, 2014

- vs. Georges St. Pierre - Loss via decision (split) - UFC 167: St. Pierre vs. Hendricks - November 16, 2013

- vs. Carlos Condit - Win via decision (unanimous) - UFC 158: St. Pierre vs. Diaz - March 16, 2013

- vs. Martin Kampmann - Win via KO (punch) - UFC 154: St. Pierre vs. Condit - November 17, 2012

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

Next scheduled appearance:

- Unknown





2) "Ruthless" Robbie Lawler (23-10, 1 NC)


Height: 5'11

Birthday: March 20, 1982

Currently Fighting With: UFC

Last 5 fights:

- vs. Jake Ellenberger - Win via TKO (strikes) - UFC 173: Barao vs. Dillashaw - May 24, 2014

- vs. Johny Hendricks - Loss via decision (unanimous) - UFC 171: Hendricks vs. Lawler - March 15, 2014

- vs. Rory MacDonald - Win via decision (split) - UFC 167: St. Pierre vs. Hendricks - November 16, 2013

- vs. Bobby Voelker - Win via KO (head kick) - UFC on Fox 8: Johnson vs. Moraga - July 27, 2013

- vs. Josh Koscheck - Win via TKO (strikes) - UFC 157: Rousey vs. Carmouche - February 23, 2013

Next scheduled appearance:

- vs. Matt Brown - UFC on Fox: Lawler vs. Brown - July 26, 2014

Comment: Lawler continued his impressive run in his second UFC stint, finishing Jake Ellenberger in round three over Memorial Day weekend. With the exception being his November win over Rory MacDonald, 14 of his past 15 wins came by knockout or submission. If he's to win later this month, that streak will likely continue when he headlines the next Fox show opposite Matt Brown. The winner is guaranteed to fight Johny Hendricks for the welterweight title.




3) Rory MacDonald (17-2)


Height: 6'0

Birthday: July 22, 1989

Currently Fighting With: UFC

Last 5 fights:

- vs. Tyron Woodley - Win via decision (unanimous) - UFC 174: Johnson vs. Bagautinov - June 14, 2014

- vs. Demian Maia - Win via decision (unanimous) - UFC 170: Rousey vs. McMann - February 22, 2014

- vs. Robbie Lawler - Loss via decision (split) - UFC 167: St. Pierre vs. Hendricks - November 16, 2013

- vs. Jake Ellenberger - Win via decision (unanimous) - UFC on Fox 8: Johnson vs. Moraga - July 27, 2013

- vs. B.J. Penn - Win via decision (unanimous) - UFC on Fox 5: Henderson vs. Diaz - December 8, 2012

Next scheduled appearance:

- Unknown

Comment: MacDonald continues to show he is among the class of the division and will celebrate his 25th birthday in two weeks. As for his next fight, it could potentially be against Tarec Saffiedine as the two have talked in the media about such a fight.




4) Matt "The Immortal" Brown (19-11)


Height: 6'0

Birthday: January 10, 1981

Currently Fighting With: UFC

Last 5 fights:

- vs. Erick Silva - Win via TKO (strikes) - UFC Fight Night: Brown vs. Silva - May 10, 2014

- vs. Mike Pyle - Win via KO (strikes) - UFC Fight Night: Shogun vs. Sonnen - August 17, 2013

- vs. Jordan Mein - Win via TKO (strikes) - UFC on Fox: Henderson vs. Melendez - April 20, 2013

- vs. Mike Swick - Win via KO (punches) - UFC on Fox: Henderson vs. Diaz - December 8, 2012

- vs. Luis Ramos - Win via TKO (strikes) - UFC on FX: Maynard vs. Guida - June 22, 2012

Next scheduled appearance:

- vs. Robbie Lawler - UFC on Fox: Lawler vs. Brown - July 26, 2014

Comment: Aside from any reigning UFC champion, Matt Brown is without a doubt the hottest fighter in the promotion. The 33-year-old has not lost in nearly three years and is 7-0 since that time. Over his past three fights, he has earned four different bonuses for his performances and is now on the cusp of earning his first UFC title fight.



5) "Stun Gun" Dong Hyun Kim (19-2-1, 1 NC)


Height: 6'1

Birthday: November 17, 1981

Currently Fighting With: UFC

Last 5 fights:

- vs. John Hathaway - Win via KO (spinning back elbow) - UFC Fight Night: Kim vs. Hathaway - March 1, 2014

- vs. Erick Silva - Win via KO (punch) - UFC Fight Night: Maia vs. Shields - October 9, 2013

- vs. Siyar Bahadurzada - Win via decision (unanimous) - UFC in Japan: Silva vs. Stann - March 3, 2013

- 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

Next scheduled appearance:

- vs. Tyron Woodley - UFC Fight Night - August 23, 2014

Comment: Kim is on a four-fight win streak and will return to China next month looking to add number five. In fact, two of his UFC wins over the past two years came in Macau while his opponent Tyron Woodley has never competed professionally outside North America.




6) Hector Lombard (34-4-1)


Height: 5'9

Birthday: February 2, 1978

Currently Fighting With: UFC

Last 5 fights:

- vs. Jake Shields - Win via decision (unanimous) - UFC 171: Hendricks vs. Lawler - March 15, 2014

- vs. Nate Marquardt - Win via KO (strikes) - UFC 166: Velasquez vs. dos Santos 3 - October 19, 2013

- vs Yushin Okami - Loss via decision (split) - UFC on Fuel TV 8: Silva vs. Stann - March 3, 2013

- vs. Rousimar Palhares - Win via KO (strikes) - UFC on FX: Sotiropoulos vs. Pearson - December 14, 2012

- vs. Tim Boetsch - Loss via decision (split) - UFC 149: Faber vs. Barao - July 21, 2012

Next scheduled appearance:

- Unknown

Comment: An undisclosed injury has forced Lombard off the August 23 show in China where he was to fight Dong Hyun Kim.




7) Carlos Condit (29-8)


Height: 6'1

Birthday: April 26, 1984

Currently Fighting With: UFC

Last 5 fights:

- vs. Tyron Woodley - Loss via TKO (injury) - UFC 171: Hendricks vs. Lawler - March 15, 2014

- vs. Martin Kampmann - Win via TKO (strikes) - UFC Fight Night: Condit vs. Kampmann 2 - August 28, 2013

- vs. Johny Hendricks - Loss via decision (unanimous) - UFC 158: St. Pierre vs. Diaz - March 16, 2013

- vs. Georges St. Pierre - Loss via decision (unanimous) - UFC 154: St. Pierre vs. Condit - November 17, 2012

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

Next scheduled appearance:

- Unknown

Comment: Condit is on the grueling road to recovery after having his ACL replaced in March. Do not expect to see him back fighting until next spring.




8) Ben Askren (13-0)


Height: 5'10

Birthday: July 18, 1984

Currently Fighting With: One FC

Last 5 fights:

- vs. Bakhtiyar Abbasov - Win via submission (arm-triangle choke) - ONE FC: Honor and Glory - May 30, 2014

- vs. Andrey Koreshkov - Win via TKO (strikes) - Bellator 97 - July 31, 2013

- vs. Karl Amoussou - Win via TKO (doctor stoppage) - Bellator 86 - January 24, 2013

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

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

Next scheduled appearance:

- vs. Nobutatsu Suzuki - ONE FC - August 29, 2014

Comment: Askren was successful in his Singapore debut for ONE FC in the spring, choking out Abbasov and ending the Azerbaijan fighter's ten fight winning streak. While he may be trolling UFC champion Johny Hendricks on Twitter, he has signed to fight welterweight champion (11-1-2) Nobutatsu Suzuki who defeated Brock Larson for the gold in March.




9) Tyron Woodley (13-4)


Height: 5'9

Birthday: April 17, 1982

Currently Fighting With: UFC

Last 5 fights:

- vs. Rory MacDonald - Loss via decision (unanimous) - UFC 174: Johnson vs. Bagautinov - June 14, 2014

- vs. Carlos Condit - Win via TKO (injury) - UFC 171: Hendricks vs. Lawler - March 15, 2014

- vs. Josh Koscheck - Win via KO (punches) - UFC 167: St. Pierre vs. Hendricks - November 16, 2013

- vs. Jake Shields - Loss via decision (split) - UFC 161 - June 15, 2013

- vs. Jay Hieron - Win via KO (punches) - UFC 156: Aldo vs. Edgar - February 2, 2013

Next scheduled appearance:

- vs. Dong Hyun Kim - UFC Fight Night - August 23, 2014

Comment: There went the most impressive run of Woodley's career. His two-fight UFC winning streak ended last month with a decision loss to Rory MacDonald in Vancouver. Luckily, he left the octagon that night without serious injury because he's expected to fill in for the injured Hector Lombard to fight Stun Gun Kim next month in China.




10) Jake Shields (29-7-1, 1 NC)


Height: 5'11

Birthday: January 9, 1979

Currently Fighting With: World Series of Fighting

Last 5 fights:

- vs. Hector Lombard - Loss via decision (unanimous) - UFC 171: Hendricks vs. Lawler - March 15, 2014

- vs. Demian Maia - Win via decision (split) - UFC Fight Night: Maia vs. Shields - October 9, 2013

- vs. Tyron Woodley - Win via decision (split) - UFC 161 - June 15, 2013

- vs. Ed Herman - No Contest (win overturned due to drug test failure) - UFC 150 - August 11, 2012

- vs. Yoshihiro Akiyama - Win via decision (unanimous) - UFC 144: Edgar vs. Henderson - February 26, 2012

Next scheduled appearance:

- Unknown





11) Kelvin "Mini Cain" Gastelum


Height: 5'9

Birthday: October 24, 1991

Currently Fighting With: UFC

Last 5 fights:

- vs. Nicholas Musoke - Win via decision (unanimous) - UFC Fight Night: Swanson vs. Stephens - June 28, 2014

- vs. Rick Story - Win via decision (split) - UFC 171: Hendricks vs. Lawler - March 15, 2014

- vs. Brian Melancon - Win via submission (rear naked choke) - UFC Fight Night: Condit vs. Kampmann 2 - August 28, 2013

- vs. Uriah Hall - Win via decision (split) - UFC TUF 17 Finale - April 13, 2013

- vs. Mike Ashford - Win via TKO (strikes) - Rage in the Cage 161 - July 20, 2012

Next scheduled appearance:

- Unknown

Comment: I cannot confirm this but it's a safe bet to say Kelvin Gastelum, at 22-years-old is the youngest ranked fighter in the seven-year history of the 411 MMA Rankings. He is now 9-0 as a professional (and missed weight most recently, weighing in at over 172 pounds), but continues to improve with each fight we see from him.




12) Rousimar Palhares (16-6)


Height: 5'8

Birthday: February 20, 1980

Currently Fighting With: World Series of Fighting

Last 5 fights:

- vs. Steve Carl - Win via submission (inverted heel hook) - WSOF 9 - March 29, 2014

- vs. Mike Pierce - Win via submission (heel hook) - UFC Fight Night: Maia vs. Shields - October 9, 2013

- vs. Hector Lombard - Loss via KO (punches) - UFC on FX - December 15, 2012

- vs. Alan Belcher - Loss via TKO (strikes) - UFC on Fox: Diaz vs. Miller - May 5, 2012

- vs. Mike Massenzio - Win via submission (heel hook) - UFC 142: Aldo vs. Mendes - January 14, 2012

Next scheduled appearance:

- Unknown





13) Demian Maia (19-6)


Height: 6'0

Birthday: November 6, 1977

Currently Fighting With: UFC

Last 5 fights:

- vs. Alexander Yakovlev - Win via decision (unanimous) - UFC TUF Brazil Finale - May 31, 2014

- vs. Rory MacDonald - Loss via decision (unanimous) - UFC 170: Rousey vs. McMann - February 22, 2014

- vs. Jake Shields - Loss via decision (split) - UFC Fight Night: Maia vs. Shields - October 9, 2013

- vs. Jon Fitch - Win via decision (unanimous) - UFC 156: Aldo vs. Edgar - February 2, 2013

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

Next scheduled appearance:

- vs. Mike Pyle - UFC Fight Night - August 23, 2014

Comment: Maia was able to end his losing streak at two with a decision win over Alexander Yakovlev in Brazil over a month ago. With the win, he improves to 5-1 while fighting in his native country. Demian is scheduled to fight Mike Pyle (who is 5-1 since 2012) in Oklahoma on August 23.



14) Tarec "Sponge" Saffiedine (15-3)


Height: 5'10

Birthday: September 6, 1986

Currently Fighting With: UFC

Last 5 fights:

- vs. Hyun Gyu Lim - Win via decision (unanimous) - UFC Fight Night: Saffiedine vs. Lim - January 4, 2014

- vs. Nate Marquardt - Win via decision (unanimous) - Strikeforce: Marquardt vs. Saffiedine - January 12, 2013

- vs. Roger Bowling - Win via decision (unanimous) - Strikeforce: Rousey vs. Kaufman - August 18, 2012

- vs. Tyler Stinson - Win via decision (split) - Strikeforce: Rockhold vs. Jardine - January 7, 2012

- vs. Scott Smith - Win via decision (unanimous) - Strikeforce: Fedor vs. Henderson - July 30, 2011

Next scheduled appearance:

- Unknown




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15) Mike Pyle (26-9-1)


Height: 6'1

Birthday: September 17, 1975

Currently Fighting With: UFC

Last 5 fights:

- vs. TJ Waldburger - WIn via TKO (strikes) - UFC 170: Rousey vs. McMann - February 22, 2014

- vs. Matt Brown - Loss via KO (punch) - UFC Fight Night: Shogun vs. Sonnen - August 17, 2013

- vs. Rick Story - Win via decision (split) - UFC 160 - May 25, 2013

- vs. James Head - Win via TKO (strikes) - UFC TUF 16 Finale - December 15, 2012

- vs. Josh Neer - Win via KO (punch) - UFC on FX: Johnson vs. McCall - June 8, 2012

Next scheduled appearance:

- vs. Demian Maia - UFC Fight Night - August 23, 2014

Comment: Pyle makes his way into the rankings on the heels of a 5-1 run since 2012. He's set to fight Demian Maia next month and it will provide a big test for the elder statesmen of this division. Pyle has never defeated a top 15 fighter during his five years in the UFC and Maia presents such an opportunity for a fighter considered a gatekeeper.





Final Notes: Douglas Lima received additional votes.

Author's Note: I apologize for an error in the math in the first version of this set of rankings posted earlier today. Mike Pyle earned the final spot while Douglas Lima did not receive enough support to remain in the top 15.







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