MMA Power Rankings -- Welterweight
Monday, Feb. 6
In a soap opera division that has fed on cliffhanger drama for the past six months, you didn't expect things to be settled at UFC 143, did you? The welterweight Ghidorah of Carlos Condit, Nick Diaz and Georges St. Pierre took some new turns when Condit edged Diaz for the interim title on the scorecards. This made plenty of fans upset and plenty of others defensive. It also disheartened St. Pierre, who wanted very badly to inflict bodily harm on Diaz. Ultimately, the decision led to an abrupt postfight retirement by Diaz that barely a soul took at face value.
So where does it leave things at welterweight? In a slightly more focused state of drama. Now Condit will face St. Pierre to unify the belts -- unless Condit decides he doesn't want to wait out St. Pierre's timetable for full recovery from knee surgery (potentially as far off as November), in which case he'll defend the interim title.
Confusing, but it gets even more so.
Johny Hendricks thinks he's established himself as the No. 1 contender in the division by knocking out perennial No. 2 Jon Fitch, and Jake Ellenberger would have a title case if he dusts Diego Sanchez on Feb. 15 the way he did Jake Shields. There's the case of making Condit/Diaz II, with the fight being so close, or Condit/Ellenberger II, with that fight being even closer. And there's the chance that Diaz will fight Koscheck, or the recently unaffiliated Koscheck will fight Fitch, or that Diaz will stay retired and the 209 becomes all about kid brother Nate.
It's enough to make the room swirl, but welterweight might be the most exciting division in the UFC right now.