After back to back controversial decision losses against Jake Shields and Diego Sanchez, Martin “Hitman” Kampmann has reeled off three straight victories and is pounding at the door of a title shot. Being the first man to knockout previously ranked #4 Jake “The Juggernaut” Ellenberger certainly helps.
Also, Canadian dynamo Rory MacDonald enters the rankings with momentum as he has dominated in his last three fights and former top contender Jake Shields moves back up to the middleweight division.
1. Georges St. Pierre (UFC welterweight champion)
Injury has kept the champion off the shelf for over a year, and under other circumstances the champion’s rank would likely drop, but “GSP” is one of the greatest fighters in history and still has big fights ahead of him at only 31 years of age.
2. Carlos Condit (UFC interim welterweight champion)
Condit had a smart game plan and out-pointed Nick Diaz to claim the interim-championship. While plenty of other contenders loom, “The Natural Born Killer” is biding his time to try and unify the belts against the incomparable St. Pierre.
3. Nick Diaz
Diaz’s one-year marijuana related suspension seems a bit ridiculous, but perhaps all that waiting will make it much more exciting to see the welterweight division’s bad boy return to action.
4. Martin Kampmann
The veteran scored the biggest knockout of his career by putting away Ellenberger, and with wins over the likes of Condit and other top fighters, he is one of the most accomplished and exciting fighters in the division.
5. Johny Hendricks
With huge back to back wins over stalwarts Jon Fitch and Josh Koscheck, Hendricks has already made his case for top contendership. A true title eliminator with Kampmann, however, seems the likely option since the two champions still have to sort out their business later on this year.
6. Josh Koshcheck
One of the original prototypes for modern wrestlers with advanced striking prowess, Koscheck has one of the most extended stays among the top of the division.
7. Jake Ellenberger
He is arguably the hardest hitter in the division and he should learn from the first knockout loss of his impressive career and come back even stronger.
8. Jon Fitch
Fitch seemed a bit more aggressive and was caught on the button just 12 seconds into his fight with Hendricks. The former title challenger wanted another title shot but now he must try and rebound against the formidable Aaron Simpson, who is dropping down to welterweight for the first time.
9. Diego Sanchez
Sanchez can scrap with the best in the world and he has an intensity dial that goes to 11. Whoever he fights, fans should be excited when Sanchez steps into the octagon.
10. Rory MacDonald
A special talent who’s progression as a fighter is making him look nearly unstoppable. A loss to current interim champ Condit is the only blemish on the wonder-kid’s record.