MMA Welterweight Rankings

| by Sports Nickel


Not much has changed in the top portion of the top 10 this time around. GSP is still King and probably will remain for quite some time. But, in the bottom half there was a big shake up. All kinds of movement going on down there. The colored numbers represent the movement of fighters, if they indeed had any. Red means dropped and green…well, I’m sure I don’t have to explain that, do I? Brace yourself for the Top Ten MMA Welterweights. Would a top five have made more sense because of the nickel? Absolutely. But now we can say we’re giving you 100% more content for free! Damn, we’re nice.

Disagree with my rankings? Let me know. Maybe you’ll be able to persuade me (not likely.)

1. Georges St. Pierre (20-2)
- W – Dan Hardy [Decision, Unanimous]
- W – Thiago Alves [Decision, Unanimous]
- W – B.J. Penn [TKO, Corner Stoppage]
**Next Fight – Josh Koscheck

Is anyone going to beat this guy? I mean, there are a few who COULD beat him (Alves, Hardy, Daley) with their standup, but GSP won’t allow that. He’ll simply take them down and wear them out. Boring, but it works with today’s MMA judging. But please, will people stop with the Anderson Silva vs. GSP nonsense? No way GSP wins that fight. GSP might have to try out a different gameplan against Koscheck though. In their first matchup Koscheck held his own and he has improved since then.

2. Thiago Alves (16-6)
- L – Georges St. Pierre [Decision, Unanimous]
- W – Josh Koscheck [Decision, Unanimous]
- W – Matt Hughes [TKO, Strikes]
**Next Fight – Jon Fitch

Alves was my pick to take out Georges St. Pierre. He had all the tools. The best striking in the division coupled with tremendous takedown defense. Seemed like a no-brainer. But for whatever reason, his takedown defense left him in the fight and GSP took him down and wore him out. In the very few exchanges they did have Alves got the better of him, not that that really matters. I’m looking forward to seeing Alves get revenge against Jon Fitch this August. Hopefully nothing else happens to delay this fight further.

3. Jake Shields (25-4-1)
- W – Dan Henderson [Decision, Unanimous]
- W – Jason Miller [Decision, Unanimous]
- W – Robbie Lawler [Submission, Guillotine]
**Next Fight – Unknown

Great win against a MMA legend in Dan Henderson at Strikeforce: Nashville. Jake’s recovery rate is very fast, as Dan crushed him with that right hand. Make no mistake about it, Shields was out, but when he hit his head on the canvas he woke up. Then Dan rocked him again. Shields has some great defense, that’s for sure. After he recovered completely he proceeded to put on a wrestling and jiu jitsu clinic and won the fight. His next fight is up in the air. He’ll be signed by the UFC soon and Dana wants him to fight at 170, but his camp has expressed interest in fighting at 185 as well.

4. Jon Fitch (22-3, 1 NC)
- W – Ben Saunders [Decision, Unanimous]
- W – Mike Pierce [Decision, Unanimous]
- W – Paulo Thiago [Decision, Unanimous]
**Next Fight – Thiago Alves

Can this guy finish anyone? Way too many decisions in a row. He just looks to win the fight and not finish it. He’s really not that exciting. And he believes he deserves a shot at GSP? I don’t know. If he gets past Alves then he may have a case. Other than that, I don’t want to see GSP beat him down for a second time. Everything Fitch is good at, GSP is great at. Don’t see it playing out any other way.

5. Nick Diaz (22-7, 1 NC) [+2]
- W – Hayato Sakurai [Submission, Armbar]
- W – Marius Zaromskis [TKO, Punches]
- W – Scott Smith [Submission, Rear Naked Choke]
**Next Fight – Unknown

Look, I don’t like the Diaz brothers. Don’t like their attitude and don’t like their game inside the cage. But that doesn’t take away how good Nick is. I struggled where to actually place Diaz. Sometimes I see greatness in him, and other times I see a punk kid who really hasn’t been challenged lately. Frank Shamrock isn’t the Legend anymore, Scott Smith is one-dimensional, and Marius was at a huge disadvantage in reach. Then Nick beat Sakurai at DREAM.14 on May 29, which really didn’t help his ranking. He moved up, but by default.

6. Josh Koscheck (15-4) [+2]
- W – Paul Daley [Decision, Unanimous]
- W – Anthony Johnson [Submission, Rear Naked Choke]
- W – Frank Trigg [TKO, Punches]
**Next Fight – Georges St. Pierre

Josh will build up steam, and then lose. Then he’ll build up some steam, and lose again. He is now on a 3-fight win streak. However, in back to back wins over Anthony Johnson and Paul Daley I think he used some shady tactics. In both fights Koscheck was down on one knee and his opponents threw knees that didn’t connect. Koscheck acted like they did so he could get a referee timeout and get out of the jam he was in. Video replays back me up. But whatever. He beat Daley and I guess he deserves a shot at GSP. I highly doubt GSP will be throwing knees if Koscheck is down so he’ll actually have to beat him without acting.

7. Dan Hardy (23-7, 1 NC) [+2]
- L – Georges St. Pierre [Decision, Unanimous]
- W – Mike Swick [Decision, Unanimous]
- W – Marcus Davis [Decision, Split]
**Next Fight – Carlos Condit

Dan Hardy wasn’t ready to face GSP. His hands are pretty crisp but his takedown defense is horrid. I don’t even think he stopped GSP once from taking him down. Anyone with great wrestling will give Hardy problems. If he trains that then he’ll be a force in the division. I asked that the UFC put him in there with a wrestler, but instead he gets Carlos Condit at UFC 120. Not bad. Condit has a great ground game so we’ll still see if Hardy learned something.

8. Martin Kampmann (17-3) [NEW]
- W – Paulo Thiago [Decision, Unanimous]
- W – Jacob Volkmann [Submission, Guillotine Choke]
- L – Paul Daley [TKO, Punches]
**Next Fight – Unknown

Kampmann is new to the Top Ten and I know some of you are out there asking “How can you rank him higher than Daley when Daley beat him?” Easy. I place an “8″ by his name and a “10″ by Daley’s. In all seriousness, I put him there because he’s won two straight and both wins were against quality opponents in which he dominated the fight. Not only that, Kampmann is more well rounded than Daley. Daley can strike and that’s about it. Kampmann can win anywhere. I look forward to his next fight.

9. Paulo Thiago (13-2) [-3]
- L – Martin Kampmann
- W – Mike Swick [Technical Submission, D'Arce Choke]
- W – Jacob Volkmann [Decision, Unanimous]
**Next Fight – Unknown

Paulo is a well rounded fighter. Had he beat Fitch he probably would’ve gotten a shot at GSP for the belt. He has rebounded with two straight dominating performances but then lost to Martin Kampmann. Not a bad loss, but he was dominated in that fight. I thought he looked for the knockout too much and he didn’t expect Kampmann’s ground game to be that good. I’m sure he’ll learn from it and grow as a fighter.

10. Paul Daley (23-9-2) [-5]
- L – Josh Koscheck [Decision, Unanimous]
- W – Dustin Hazelett [KO, Punch]
- W – Martin Kampmann [TKO, Punches]
**Next Fight – Daniel Acacio

Paul Daley has some serious power, but that’s about it. His strikes are crips, but the man has no takedown defense whatsoever. His last fight with Koscheck really exposed this weakness. Then Daley decided it was a good idea to sucker-punch Koscheck after the bell had sounded. That ridiculous act got him a first class ticket out of the UFC, along with a lifetime ban. Good going Daley. Now he has to fight in smaller circuits like Impact Fighting Championships, where he’ll meet his next opponent.

Related posts:

  1. MMA Welterweight Rankings
  2. MMA Lightweight Rankings
  3. MMA Middleweight Rankings, v.2