MMA Power Rankings -- WELTERWEIGHT
Monday, April 23
Wouldn't you know it, just as the welterweight division begins to take on a little clarity, here comes Canadian wunderkind Rory MacDonald to make things hazy. MacDonald thoroughly dominated British fighter Che Mills at UFC 145 in what played out as a showcase gig.
What did "Ares" do? A bit of everything. He got the takedowns at will, and unleashed tyrannical ground-and-pound once there, leaving Mills' face a bloody pulp. MacDonald has fully arrived in one of the UFC's deepest divisions. And now the question becomes -- how far will he go?
That's because the top belongs to Georges St. Pierre, who is hoping to fight in November on the Montreal card at UFC 154. St. Pierre is a friend and mentor to the 22-year old MacDonald. They have sworn off fighting each other -- but so did Rashad Evans and Jon Jones, and look what happened there. Sometimes these things get complicated.
Meantime there are plenty of fights ahead for MacDonald. Right now everybody in the top 10 has a dance partner (and Jake Shields looks destined for a return to middleweight). Could he face the winner of Johny Hendricks and Josh Koscheck? That seems most likely. But then again, the UFC might want to bring him up a little slower.
Elsewhere, Ben Askren defended the Bellator belt against a larger, overmatched Douglas Lima to hover near the bottom of the Power Rankings, and Martin Kampmann survived Thiago Alves to remain in contention. He'll face a very tough Jake Ellenberger, who's won six in a row and is primed for a title run.