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”)
The influx of exciting young stars in the welterweight division recently has been astounding. This is a weight class that is undergoing a lot of healthy changes, with older, established stars getting pushed out by some intriguing up-and-coming talent. Champion Tyron Woodley is a stud, but he’s got to be a bit nervous looking at the guys coming up through the pipeline.
Interim champion Carlos Condit is back after taking more than a year off, and “The Natural Born Killer” is always up for a good scrap. His violent, high octane style is always a ton of fun to watch, and there are a lot of great matchups waiting for him. Condit jumps right back into the fray with a matchup against Neil Magny at UFC 219.
Darren Till looks like a beast, especially after thrashing Donald Cerrone in Poland. The most eye-opening part of that win was the ease that Till put away Cowboy - one of the most experienced fighters in the game. Till’s confidence is McGregor-esque, and so far his skills are cashing the checks his mouth is writing.
Speaking of hotheads beating down legends, Colby Covington just took Demian Maia to school in Brazil. He then got on the mic and went full Chael Sonnen, trashing the home crowd and going full heel. This dude knows how to get attention, and he’s backing up the trash talk.
Mike Perry and Santiago Ponzinibbio are two of the best knockout artists in the division. They’re facing off on December 16. Should Perry get by the Argentine, a matchup with Till awaits - the two already started beefing after Till’s win in Gdansk.
Welterweight Fighters Champion: Tyron Woodley
1. Robbie Lawler
2. Stephen Thompson
3. Colby Covington
4. Demian Maia
5. Jorge Masvidal
6. Rafael Dos Anjos
7. Darren Till
8. Donald Cerrone
9. Carlos Condit
10. Santiago Ponzinibbio
11. Neil Magny
12. Mike Perry
13. Gunnar Nelson
14. Kamaru Usman
15. Alex Oliveira
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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