Sherdog Official Mixed Martial Arts Rankings

Welterweight

Nov 20, 2008
Photo by Sherdog.com

Georges "Rush" St. Pierre
1. Georges St. Pierre (17-2)
His bout with B.J. Penn is now official, and the welterweight division’s ruler -- having vanquished the only two men to defeat him -- will have a golden opportunity to answer perhaps the last nagging question surrounding him. He will attempt to earn a second but more emphatic victory over Penn when they meet at UFC 94 on Jan. 31.

2. Thiago Alves (16-3)
If there were any doubts as to who deserves the next crack at the UFC welterweight title after the St. Pierre-Penn rematch, Alves erased them with his sensational showing against Josh Koscheck at UFC 90 on Oct. 25. With an exciting and well-earned decision, the Brazilian has, in part, atoned for his weight-related indiscretions of the past and more than earned his shot at the UFC’s welterweight crown.

3. Jon Fitch (17-3, 1 NC)
Although Fitch could not hold a competitive candle to St. Pierre in their UFC 87 bout in August, he gained a measure of respect from fans and his contemporaries with the guts he demonstrated in making it all five rounds under heavy fire. News came Wednesday, though, that he had been released from the UFC, leaving his future uncertain.

4. Josh Koscheck (11-3)
Accepting a fight with Alves on two weeks notice is hardly a task many welterweights would be willing to tackle. However, Koscheck stepped up on short notice and put on a fantastic fight with the “Pitbull” at UFC 90. While he dropped a unanimous verdict to Alves, Koscheck’s strong showing bodes well, especially with a slated bout against Yoshiyuki Yoshida at UFC Fight Night 16 on Dec. 10.

5. Diego Sanchez (19-2)
A rib injury forced Sanchez to pull out of his scheduled Oct. 25 bout with Alves at UFC 90. The Brazilian’s win over Koscheck has stamped his place as a top contender, and Sanchez will be forced to battle his way back up the ladder.

6. Jake Shields (22-4-1)
After months of the mixed martial arts world bemoaning his lack of challenges within EliteXC, the promotion’s death has put its former welterweight champion on the market, where he should attract a host of suitors.

7. Matt Hughes (42-7)
Already in the twilight of his career, Hughes was exploited by another young, up-and-coming welterweight in Alves at UFC 85. Although some have called for the longtime welterweight king to retire, a grudge match with Matt Serra is likely next up for Hughes, who continues to recuperate from a knee injury.

8. Matt Serra (9-5)
The slipper dropped for Serra, who was destroyed in his rematch with St. Pierre at UFC 83 in April. However, he might not be done in big bouts, as the potential for a clash with Hughes seems high in the near future.

9. Karo Parisyan (18-5)
A freak, last-minute injury killed his anticipated Sept. 6 bout with Yoshida at UFC 88. Parisyan will now get a chance to take on another tough fellow Judoka, as he is slated to meet rugged South Korean star Dong Hyun Kim at UFC 94 on Jan. 31.

10. Carlos Condit (23-4)
In another great WEC main event, Condit survived a life-and-death affair with a game Hiromitsu Miura and took a fourth-round stoppage in their taxing welterweight title bout in August. While Condit’s struggles may have tempered the enthusiasm for him to head to the UFC, welterweight challenges within the WEC seem all but exhausted for the 24-year-old New Mexico native.
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