Since Georges St. Pierre retired, the welterweight division has been one of the most volatile weight classes in the UFC. Without a dominant champion, the belt has been passed from contender to contender, setting up an era where uncertainty is the only certainty. Still, a competitive contender tier makes this an exciting time for the 170-pound class.
Welterweight is the smallest “big” division, as the men fighting within it are still usually larger than your average guy on the street. Among its top ranks are former D1 wrestling champions, renowned kick boxers, and multiple-time world champions in Brazilian jiu-jitsu.
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Let’s take a look at the current division. Remember, you can bet on your favorite fighters at BookMaker.eu.
Weight Limit: 170 pounds
Average Height: 71.5” (5’11.5”)
Average Reach: 73.6” (6’2.6”)
It’s tough to be Tyron Woodley these days. After a second consecutive title defense that would have put Ambien to sleep, T-Wood is not feeling the love from Dana White or MMA fans. White was so annoyed with Woodley’s performance that the UFC president denied him the chance at a big money fight with Georges St. Pierre. There definitely won’t be much anticipation for Woodley’s next title defense.
A scheduled UFC 217 matchup between Stephen Thompson and Jorge Masvidal projects to be everything a Woodley fight is not: action-packed, exciting and competitive. These are two elite strikers - Thompson a kickboxer and Masvidal a boxer - who have no problems throwing down. Currently, Thompson is a slight -140 favorite over Masvidal, who is even money right now.
Rafael dos Anjos needed just one round to dispatch Neil Magny, bringing his welterweight record to 2-0. It’s clear that RDA has a lot to offer at 170 pounds, and it’s not too early to say he’s a contender at this weight.
Champion: Tyron Woodley
1. Stephen Thompson
2. Robbie Lawler
3. Demian Maia
4. Jorge Masvidal
5. Rafael Dos Anjos
6. Donald Cerrone
7. Carlos Condit
8. Colby Covington
9. Santiago Ponzinibbio
10. Neil Magny
11. Gunnar Nelson
12. Kamaru Usman
13. Dong Hyun Kim
14. Alex Oliveira
15. Mike Perry
Unquestionably, it’s Georges St. Pierre. And he’s slated to come back sometime in 2017. Though he hasn’t fought in years, he’s still the biggest star the division has to offer. At 34, he might be slightly long in the tooth, but considering how dominant the French-Canadian was it’s impossible not to be intrigued by his return.
It’s an interesting landscape, to be sure. Most of the top fighters still have a few good years left, but there aren’t many under-30 fighters right now to really get excited about. But there will always be new blood to fill the ranks, and the old guard should hold strong for now
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