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Thread: The Welterweight division the deepest talent pool at the moment?

  1. #1
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    Default The Welterweight division the deepest talent pool at the moment?

    Has anybody noticed a bit of a changing in the guard in terms of the UFC's weight division with the deepest pool of talent? Easily the lightweight division has been considered the consensus top division for depth the last few years. Starting with BJ Penn's reign, the division had the luxury of feeding off of welterweights dropping down like Stevenson, Sherk, Sanchez and Florian all while cultivating future contenders like Frankie, Grey, Nate Diaz and Clay Guida etc. Meanwhile, the WEC was building solid contenders in Ben Henderson, Donald Cerrrone and Anthony Pettis which only served to strengthen the UFC's lightweight ranks when they came over. But in the last year I've noticed a shift. When I look at the top ten rankings and beyond, the welterweight division and even the featherweight division really seems to have surpassed the lightweights in the depth pool.

    Perhaps with Georges' lay off it would be expected. Interesting match ups right off the hop against Condit and Diaz and while they both failed to defeat Georges they remain tough match ups for anyone in the division. Hendricks the obvious choice for the next shot but beyond that Demian Maia and Jake Ellenberger are making strong cases for the one after that. Kampmann, Koscheck and Robbie Lawler are relevant veteran fighters that I would never hesitate to tune in to watch regardless of opponents. The future looks bright too as Rory MacDonald leads the pack of young prospects like Erick Silva and the Strikeforce trio of Tarec Saffiedine, Tyron Woodley and Jordan Mein. Outside of the top ten it doesn't get much easier with the likes of Rick Story, Mike Pierce and Thiago Alves.

    For the first time in a long time, lightweight seems depleted. Frankie, Guida and now Pettis dropping down has really left lightweight in a bit of a void. I truly wonder who the winner of Benson/Melendez will face next? Winner of Maynard/Grant? Miller, Diaz and Cerrone are multiple fights away in my opinion. I'm sure things will come around but it's odd to see the lightweights almost cleaned out.

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    I'd say the FWs are the deepest right now.

    Interesting point you make about the LW title scene, I've been wondering that myself. I bet the UFC is wishing they could have gotten Eddie Alverez right about now. Who knows, maybe BJ will come back down and make one last run. But other than those possibilities, you really aren't left with much. I wouldn't be surprised to see Pettis get a LW title shot at the end of the year, if he fails at FW against Aldo. The guys coming from Strikeforce should help.
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    Quote Originally Posted by KevoOnTheRadio View Post
    I'd say the FWs are the deepest right now.

    Interesting point you make about the LW title scene, I've been wondering that myself. I bet the UFC is wishing they could have gotten Eddie Alverez right about now. Who knows, maybe BJ will come back down and make one last run. But other than those possibilities, you really aren't left with much. I wouldn't be surprised to see Pettis get a LW title shot at the end of the year, if he fails at FW against Aldo. The guys coming from Strikeforce should help.
    I don't get the whole Pettis moving down thing. Not only is a challenger needed at lightweight but you're right in that featherweight is stacked with legit contenders for Aldo to fight. Plus, there's a fight in Bendo/Pettis II that if promoted properly would print money for the UFC. I'd say that if Pettis loses to Aldo, no way he deserves a shot at lightweight coming off of a loss but we all know that doesn't matter anymore. They were talking giving Aldo the next crack at lightweight if he gets past Pettis, that should help give the division a shot in the arm but would further complicate things at featherweight. I don't see the same influx of talent from Strikeforce as at Welterweight. We'll have to see how Melendez, Healy and Thomson do, I suppose.

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    Good Thread. The talent pool is deep at WW no doubt. Honestly I haven't really thought of which is the deepest of most talented division in awhile.

    A lot of real solid divisions, WW is def one of them.
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    Until Jones started demolishing people, I always thought the lhw division was the most stacked. I mean before him it seemed like it was impossible for anyone to defend their belt twice before another badass came and took it. Especially after the ufc absorbed (destroyed) pride. I have a feeling that if Jones wasn't there right now, the LHW division would look a lot more stacked.



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    Quote Originally Posted by initial_zen View Post
    Until Jones started demolishing people, I always thought the lhw division was the most stacked. I mean before him it seemed like it was impossible for anyone to defend their belt twice before another badass came and took it. Especially after the ufc absorbed (destroyed) pride. I have a feeling that if Jones wasn't there right now, the LHW division would look a lot more stacked.
    To me, LHW is characterized by fighters winding down their careers. In contrast, WW has a large crop of very talented new blood which makes it exciting and challenging. FW is similar, though with a lot of the "new" guys being folks new to the division or new to the UFC who haven't fought each other yet.

    I think LW is also very stacked, but that injuries and some matchups (e.g. Miller losing to Diaz and Bendo) make it more difficult to point to the next contender. But still stacked and IMO much more so than LHW.

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    WW has the most exciting top ten in the sport. the WW card a couple weeks back was stacked with six absolute killers, and that wasn't including shields, fitch, kampmann, etc. georges would be the clean pick over any of them, but we haven't seen this much competition for #2 in a long time
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    Quote Originally Posted by initial_zen View Post
    Until Jones started demolishing people, I always thought the lhw division was the most stacked. I mean before him it seemed like it was impossible for anyone to defend their belt twice before another badass came and took it. Especially after the ufc absorbed (destroyed) pride. I have a feeling that if Jones wasn't there right now, the LHW division would look a lot more stacked.
    It definitely was the most stacked at the time of Jones rise. It just isn't that stacked with contenders and rising challengers right now because Jones fights like twice as often as GSP, so he has basically been smacking down every contender that has come up within the last couple of years, not to mention the occasional loudmouth jackass coming off a a loss from a lower weight class that in no way deserves a title shot but apparently the president of the UFC is a functioning retard so... I forget where I was going with this.

    Let me restart. I do think the lhw division is still the most talented even though a few of their fighters might be in the winding down stage of their careers. They have a few guys that are looking very good coming up. It's just hard for anyone to put together an impressive streak because everyone at the top is so evenly matched.
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    LHW was the deepest. Once WW got Diaz Condit and Shields it became the deepest. Not to mention Ellenberger and Hendricks.

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    I think WW has the most potential because of the strength of the prospects in the division, while there is also a new guard of guys coming into their primes. I'm not really sold on Hendricks and Ellenberger(neither guy is really cut out for 5 round fights), and I think Condit and Diaz have too many gaps in their games. I actually think Maia has the best chance of beating GSP out of all of them. However, Erick Silva and Rory Mac have a lot of potential; either guy could be a dominant champ in a few years.


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