UFC: Welter-Weight Division Future
The Welter-Weight division in the UFC could have been much clearer after UFC 158. Instead, an injury to the up-and-coming Rory MacDonald has made it a little more muddled. The fights should have made Joe Silva’s, the man that makes the matches, job so incredibly easy. Had everything gone to plan, Johny Hendricks would be GSP’s next opponent, with the Condit/MacDonald winner waiting for the next chance. Now that MacDonald is down, Hendricks and Condit will meet instead.
With Condit being GSP’s last opponent and having suffered the loss, albeit not in devasting fashion, he wouldn’t be the ideal fight. Condit is a tough fighter and could beat anyone put in front of him. But lets not forget he lost to GSP who was coming off a knee injury and hadn’t fought in over 16 months. You have to adjust at least a little bit for ring rust. You would hate to throw Condit in against GSP and have him get dismantled in a rematch. This is why it’s always better to put someone new in front of him. Then there is no illusion of, “here we go again”.
Hendricks thought he deserved this fight with GSP instead of Diaz. He is probably right with Diaz losing to Condit in his last fight and GSP beating Condit in his last fight. But, GSP as well as many others, believed Hendricks lost to Josh Koschek in their fight last May and got a favourable decision from the judges. Bottomline, for Hendricks to get the next fight and make himself seem like a legit contender for GSP he needs to beat Condit. Condit is probably the toughest test for Hendricks in his career. Facing Ellenberger, who now gets to face Nate Marquart in his return to the UFC, wouldn’t have been easy but it would have been easier than Condit. This is the problem, what if Condit wins?
GSP’s next opponent would be a guy he has already beaten with what can only be assumed was some ring rust? You couldn’t have Hendricks fight after a loss to Condit. Rory MacDonald can’t fight GSP coming off injury and not having the resume to do so, not without avenging that loss to Condit. Diaz if he loses, unless he puts on a great show isn’t really going to get the fans hyped for another fight with GSP.
If Hendricks loses, the welter-weight division would be a mess. There would be no clear #1 contender. Well there would be, but it would be a guy GSP just beat a few months ago. Has there ever been a better time to get the GSP Vs. Anderson Silva fight together? GSP can gain the needed weight, assuming they fight at a 180lbs catch weight. The welter-weight division can sort itself out while all these contenders fight some more to find the true #1 contender. All the while, the fans get the super fight they have been clamouring for. It’s a win for everyone. I know who I’ll be cheering for on March 16th in Montreal.