POLL: Who Will Be UFC Welterweight Champion At The End Of 2014?

Posted on February 12, 2014, 10:44 AM by Mike Drahota
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Despite being packed with a long list of top-level MMA talent, the UFC welterweight division was ruled for nearly six years by longtime champion Georges St. Pierre.

That reign came to an end after “GSP” won a highly controversial split decision over No. 1 contender Johny Hendricks at last November’s UFC 167 and promptly stated that he needed to take some time off from the sport for personal reasons. He vacated the belt and incited a media outburst over just what those issues are. It’s unknown if and when he’ll ever return to the Octagon.

But that’s a different story for a different time.

As one of the most stacked divisions in all of MMA, the UFC 170-pound arena must move on without its legendary king. Hendricks is slated to face surging knockout artist Robbie Lawler for the vacant belt in the main event of March 15’s UFC 171 from the American Airlines arena in Houston, Texas.

Also holding possible implications on the card, No. 2-ranked Carlos Condit will take on dangerous All-American wrestler Tyron Woodley. Hector Lombard and Jake Shields will also battle for a shot to becoming an instant player in a tough division.

All this makes UFC 171 absolutely pivotal for a welterweight landscape that’s still struggling to find its identity. We’ll have a new champ decided that night, and we might even know the next likely challengers, as well.

But beyond UFC 171, the welterweight division holds a multitude of hungry challengers that are clawing their ways towards a coveted title shot. Jake Ellenberger and Tarec Saffiedine will have that chance when they go to war at UFC 172 in Baltimore this April.

The UFC welterweight division is all of the sudden packed with new and exciting directions to take. Fighters who were miles away from that shot when “GSP” was entrenched as champion now see a window of opportunity opening up.

Although it was sad to lose a great champion like “GSP,” he may even return to action before the year is up. Who is your pick to end 2014 with UFC 170-pound gold wrapped around his waist?

Photo: Stephen R. Sylvanie for USA TODAY Sports

  1. 1. Johny Hendricks
  2. 2. Georges St. Pierre
  3. 3. Robbie Lawler
  4. 4. Carlos Condit
  5. 5. Tyron Woodley
  6. 6. Nick Diaz
  7. 7. Hector Lombard
  8. 8. Jake Shields
  9. 9. Rory MacDonald
  10. 10. Tarec Saffiedine
  11. 11. Jake Ellenberger
  12. 12. Matt Brown
  13. 13. Demian Maia

Comments

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  • Ivy
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    I see Johny holding onto the belt once he gets past Robbie.

    Reply 2 months ago
  • Ivy
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    Haters gonna weak, and yet my boy Johny is ahead on the score.

    Reply 2 months ago
  • soiWANNABEafighter
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    why are we "haters"?..... just because we do not agree with your prediction ?

    Reply 2 months ago
  • grandslam
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    Disagreement does not mean hating dude. Besides, don't get too excited about the score as we are not talking about elections here.

    Reply 2 months ago
  • Garson
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    I hope Johny Hendricks wins the belt and then we get to see Hendricks vs Condit 2 :)

    Reply 2 months ago
  • TheXperience
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    Condit or Hector... didn't we already have this poll though?

    Reply 2 months ago
  • falcon4917
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    I think Hector if he gets a shot will be the champ. I don't think 170 has what it takes to handle Lombard. 185 had some very skilled strikers in comparison to keep him at bay but 170 is a wrestlers division and if they can't get him down they are as good as done.

    Reply 2 months ago
  • Mike Drahota
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    We had one just between Lawler/Hendricks

    Reply 2 months ago
  • D
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    Yeah, I think Hector's blend of striking technique, power, speed, and elite judo skills are going to make him the man to beat at 170 eventually. I could see Condit possibly pulling off a decision against him, but I think the group of wrestlers-turned-power punchers at the top of the division (Hendricks/Lawler/Ellenberger/Woodley) are all good matchups for him.

    Reply 2 months ago
  • TheXperience
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    @Mike oh i see!

    Reply 2 months ago
  • TheXperience
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    Agreed...

    Reply 2 months ago
  • TheXperience
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    I just noticed someone voted for Rory.... Lol

    Reply 2 months ago
  • soiWANNABEafighter
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    Hard to predict for 2014! - 2015 is easy: GSP for sure!:)

    Reply 2 months ago
  • Entity
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    I'd like to see Robbie as champ. Usually a very exciting fighter to watch.

    Reply 2 months ago
  • big dunfey
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    Carlos condit

    Reply 2 months ago