Esther Lin, MMA Fighting
Carlos Condit beat Nick Diaz at UFC 143, and he's now the No. 2 welterweight in the world.
Carlos Condit has won the UFC interim welterweight title, and he's moved up to No. 2 on my list of the Top 10 welterweights in MMA.
Champion Georges St. Pierre remains No. 1, but Condit is as close to GSP as anyone has been in the last four years. Condit has now won 13 of his last 14 fights, and I think he'll be the best opponent GSP has ever fought when the UFC welterweight belts are unified late this year.
See how I have the rest of the welterweight Top 10 ranked below.
Top 10 welterweights in MMA
(Editor's note: The individual fighter's ranking the last time we did welterweights is in parentheses.)
1. Georges St. Pierre (1): GSP remains on top, but no athlete stays on top forever, and GSP's reign may be coming to an end soon. He's on the wrong side of 30 and coming off a serious knee injury, and Condit is going to pose a big challenge to him.
2. Carlos Condit (5): Many fans disliked Condit's elusive style against Nick Diaz, but most of the time Condit is one of the best finishers in the welterweight division. He has 28 wins in his career, and only two of those wins (over Diaz and Jake Ellenberger) have gone to a decision.
3. Nick Diaz (2): I don't think there's any chance that Diaz will really retire, as he suggested he would after losing to Condit. I think we'll see Diaz in a lot of big fights in the future, and I wouldn't be surprised if another one of them is a welterweight title fight.
5. Josh Koscheck (4): Koscheck's win over Mike Pierce was tougher than most people expected it to be, and leaving his longtime training camp of AKA may make for a difficult time in his career. We may be witnessing the beginning of the decline for the 34-year-old Koscheck.
6. Jake Ellenberger (6): Ellenberger's main event fight with Diego Sanchez at the upcoming UFC on Fuel event is a great opportunity for him to show that his win over Jake Shields was no fluke, and that he deserves to be considered one of the real elites in the welterweight division.
7. Jon Fitch (3): His loss to Hendricks pretty much guaranteed that Fitch will never fight for the welterweight title again, but he's still a dangerous opponent to anyone at 170 pounds. The UFC will have a tough time picking the right fights for Fitch at this point because he still has the wrestling ability to make a good young prospect look really, really bad. A fight that would make a lot of sense for Fitch is Koscheck, but the two longtime friends and training partners have said that won't happen, even after Koscheck left AKA.
8. Mike Pierce (NR): Pierce is 5-3 in the UFC, with the three losses coming to Fitch, Hendricks and Koscheck -- and all three losses were close decisions. He hasn't yet earned the kind of signature win that would put him in the Top 5, but he has earned his place in the Top 10.
9. Rory MacDonald (NR): MacDonald shouldn't have much trouble getting by Che Mills at UFC 145. MacDonald is a great fighter worthy of taking on Top 10 opponents, but he's only 22 and the UFC isn't rushing to give him top-notch opposition.
10. Jake Shields (9): After back-to-back losses to GSP and Ellenberger, Shields will head to Japan to take on Yoshihiro Akiyama in a fight that could be just the thing to get his career back on track.
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