UFC 171: Previewing the Welterweight Landscape


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As the hours wain down until UFC 171, the state of the welterweight division will be drastically changed come fight night. A new champion will be crowned and a new contender will rise. If UFC 171 is anything, it’s an opportunity. One that was limited by long reigning and now retired UFC Welterweight Champion George St. Pierre. As it stands now, there are four welterweight bouts on the card, three of which are featured on the main card. Also, seven of the eight welterweights are ranked in the Top 15. It’s almost like UFC 171 is a mini tournament, although the UFC has dubbed the co-main event as a number one contender fight.

Now, I have no disagreements if Carlos Condit wins that he should be in line, but if Tyron Woodley wins, I’m not so sure he deserving, pending the results of all the other fights of course. For example, what if Jake Shields defeats Hector Lombard? He not only just beat Tyron Woodley (on paper), but he’s defeated Demian Maia, Yoshihiro Akiyama and arguably Ed Herman (failed a drug test, bout turned No Contest) during a four fight stretch. Again though, there are countless possibilities that will unravel following UFC 171. Anyways, I’ll quickly access for each bout what a win means for both fighters

 

Johny Hendricks vs. Robbie Lawler

Johny Hendricks

What a Win Does : Solidifies Hendricks as the best welterweight in the world, as well as gives him the only thing he’s wanted; the Belt and the Target on his back. 

Robbie Lawler

What a Win Does : Completes one of the most improbable runs in UFC history in my opinion. It’s almost weird to think that Robbie Lawler is a win away from being the UFC welterweight champion.

 

Carlos Condit vs. Tyron Woodley

Carlos Condit

What a Win Does : It’s already been said that if Condit wins, he is next in line for a title shot. 

Tyron Woodley

What a Win Does : IF Woodley finishes Condit, then I can see a warranted title fight. However, if he grinds out a decision victory, expect Woodley to have to fight again to get a title shot. 

Jake Shields vs. Hector Lombard

Jake Shields

What a Win Does : If Shields defeats Lombard, I have a hard time of denying him a title shot. Of course though, if Condit wins, then it’s a tough decision. Do I fight again or claim my case and wait until I get a title shot? Should be interesting…. 

Hector Lombard

What a Win Does : Shoots Lombard up the Welterweight ranks and puts him one fight away from fighting for the title. Would be a great win on the resume too, as Lombard is building his credibility in the Welterweight division. 

Rick Story vs. Kevin Gastelum

Rick Story

What a Win Does : Bumps Story near the Top 10 and puts him in a bigger fight, perhaps Mike Pyle or Dong Hyun Kim?

Kevin Gastelum

What a Win Does : Notches a solid win to the resume and continues an improbable run that wasn’t supposed to be. Easily bumps Gastelum into the Top 15 of the division.

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