GSP continues to reign over the 170 pound division but who are his chief rivals in the welterweight class?
<p><em>Check out our <a href="/ufc/free-picks/ufc-166-dos-santos-vs-velasquez-3-main-card-betting-odds-a-33292/" title="UFC 166: Dos Santos vs. Velasquez 3 Main Card Betting Odds" target="_blank">UFC 166: Dos Santos vs. Velasquez Main Card Betting Preview</a>!</em></p> <p><b>Champion: George St. Pierre (24-2)</b></p> <p><img style="font-size:1em" class="imgSelectedPicture article-image" alt="Image preview" id="ctl00_head_ArticleAdministrator_picturePreview_imgSelectedPicture" src="/picks-pictures/GeorgesStPierreUFC_September2013_200.jpg" />I’m getting a sneaking suspicion that GSP’s hold on the crown is weakening. It’s the same feeling I had about Anderson Silva ever since <a href="/ufc/news/mma-odds-ufc-117-betting-recap-a-15116/" title="MMA Odds: UFC 117 Betting Recap" target="_blank">his historic battle with Chael at UFC 117</a> when he snatched victory from the jaws of defeat and rewarded his backers in their <a href="/ufc/" title="Free UFC odds, picks and commentary a SBRForum.com!" target="_blank">UFC picks</a> by locking in a triangle choke in the waning moments of the fight. GSP appeared downright relieved that he got the nod from the judges in <a href="/ufc/free-picks/ufc-picks-georges-st-pierre-vs-nick-diaz-ufc-158-a-29485/" title="UFC Picks: Georges St. Pierre vs. Nick Diaz in UFC 158" target="_blank">his last trip into the Octagon against Nick Diaz</a>. </p> <p>GSP has not stopped anyone in well over four years, instead going the distance in six consecutive contests and walking away with unanimous decisions in each fight. The fans want a destroyer, not a chess master and that day may be coming soon. Let’s take a look at some of the top gunslingers at 170lb.</p> <p><b style="font-size:1em">Johny Hendricks (15-1)</b></p> <p>Hendricks is the next guy in line for GSP, or should I say GSP is the next guy in line for Johny Hendricks. Hendricks is that guy with the knockout power that has been absent from the current champion. </p> <p>He scored a unanimous decision over the always dangerous Carlos Condit <a href="/ufc/free-picks/ufc-betting-ufc-154-recap-future-odds-updates-a-27957/" title="UFC Betting: UFC 154 Recap & Future Odds Updates" target="_blank">and before that destroyed Martin Kampmann</a>, one of the top welterweights in the world, in the first round at UFC 154. On November 16<sup>th</sup> at UFC 167, he may very well be the guy that beat <i>the</i> guy.</p> <p><b style="font-size:1em">Carlos Condit (29-7)</b></p> <p>If they gave out style points, Condit would be on everybody’s pound-for-pound list but sadly, for the Natural Born Killer they don’t. Condit has an extraordinary ability to make his lethal kicks look positively poetic. But he’s had his crack at the belt and got outpointed by GSP at UFC 154 and then again came up short in a decision to top contender Johny Hendricks. However he is still in the championship conversation due to <a href="/ufc/free-picks/ufc-picks-ufc-fight-night-condit-vs-kampmann-part-2-a-32589/" title="UFC Picks: UFC Fight Night Condit vs. Kampmann Part 2 " target="_blank">his KO of Martin Kampmann a few weeks ago</a> that earned him Fight of the Night honors. Don’t count Condit out in your <a target="_blank" title="Sports odds, picks and predictions at SBRForum.com!" href="/">sports picks</a>.</p> <p><b style="font-size:1em">Rory MacDonald (15-1)</b></p> <p>At 24 years of age, MacDonald may very well be the future of the welterweight division. His only loss was to Carlos Condit three years ago but since that painful learning experience he has gone undefeated. It will be interesting to see how he fares against the truly best in the world as his most noteworthy wins have been over a faded BJ Penn and a tough, though not quite elite Jake Ellenberger in his last trip to the Octagon.</p> <p><b style="font-size:1em">Nick Diaz (26-9)</b></p> <p>I’m not a big fan of Nick Diaz, or his brother Nate for that matter, but I have an unmitigated respect for their ability. The <i>Stockton Swag </i>that the brothers Diaz bring into the Octagon is boorish and thuggish but they can certainly back up their words with murderous punching power and high level BJJ when the fight hits the mat. </p> <p>Nick has now lost his <a href="/ufc/free-picks/ufc-143-results-carlos-condit-defeats-nick-diaz-a-23210/" title="UFC 143 Results: Carlos Condit defeats Nick Diaz" target="_blank">last two consecutive matches to Carlos Condit</a> and George St. Pierre in which he gave both fighters a run for their money. Of course, Diaz believes every decision which goes against him is some grand conspiracy but he’s got the chops to claim the belt if everything falls just right.</p> <p><b style="font-size:1em">Demian Maia (18-4)</b></p> <p>Maia is universally hailed as one of the greatest mat masters on the planet. He has a preternatural BJJ ground game but his striking is suspect. Maia has long toiled in the middleweight ranks but since dropping down to the welterweight class he has pocketed three consecutive victories over Dong Hyun Kim, Rick Story and Jon Fitch respectively. </p> <p>His next test will come at UFC Fight Night 29 on October 9<sup>th</sup> when he will square off against former Strikeforce king Jake Shields. If he wins convincingly, look for a title shot in the near future.</p> <em>Share your thoughts on Ultimate Fighting on our <a target="_blank" title="Join the discussions on MMA, boxing and more!" href="https://www.sportsbookreview.com/forum/boxing-mma-ufc-betting/">MMA message board</a>!</em>