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Power Ranking: Which UFC Weight Class Is Really the Most Entertaining?

WELTERWEIGHT

How dominant is the champ/how much longer can he remain dominant: Georges St. Pierre hasn’t lost a fight since Matt Serra’s fluke KO in 2007. Six years of not losing means you’re pretty dominant.

Are the fans sick of him yet: Paradoxically, GSP’s style is criticized as boring (more dramatic people might label it as sport-killing) yet he’s consistently been one of the UFC’s biggest draws. Regardless of what pundits and annoyed Internet commenters/forum posters say, the numbers show that fans are still paying to see GSP. They’re impressed by his performance (sorry, I’ll show myself out).

How many challengers in the division are/will soon be a legitimate threat to the champ and are those fighters popular enough to carry a weight class: Johny Hendricks, for starters. But if Hendricks loses, then it’s really just Rory Macdonald and maybe Carlos Condit, if he can dramatically improve his takedown defense.

The Score: 2.5/5 wolf tickets. Welterweight is another lacking weight class. If only 2-3 fighters out of the top TEN could realistically get the belt, then you’re gonna have a bad time.

LIGHTWEIGHT

How dominant is the champ/how much longer can he remain dominant: Benson Henderson has defended his title three times. Two of those wins have been by razor-thin split decision — thinner than Corey Hill’s shins. He’s winning, but he’s not dominant. He’s not wrecking guys left and right.

Are the fans sick of him yet: We’d say yes, but to be sick of someone you have to like them to begin with. Judging by the numbers, fans have never liked or even cared about Henderson. Controversial decision wins that haven’t been terribly exciting aren’t fixing this problem.

How many challengers in the division are/will soon be a legitimate threat to the champ and are those fighters popular enough to carry a weight class: Lots more than in the other weight classes. Bendo’s talents aren’t an order of magnitude higher than the other top fighters in the division. TJ Grant, Anthony Pettis, and even Josh Thomson and Gilbert Melendez (who “lost” to Henderson) have enough fighting acumen to take out the champ.

The Score: 3.5/5 toothpicks. While the belt isn’t switching hands every other PPV, lightweight is by far the most competitive of the “core” weight classes in the UFC.

FEATHERWEIGHT

How dominant is the champ/how much longer can he remain dominant: Thus far, the UFC has set the pins up, and Jose Aldo has knocked them down. He looked shaky against Mark Hominick but it was due to being sick as well as a bad weight cut.

Are the fans sick of him yet: There are no anti-Aldo grumblings because of his fan-friendly style. But Aldo, like many fighters of the lighter weight classes, hasn’t been much of a draw on PPV.

How many challengers in the division are/will soon be a legitimate threat to the champ and are those fighters popular enough to carry a weight class: None. Chad Mendes and Frankie Edgar both failed with their wrestler-boxer styles. Chan Sung Jung is set to meet Aldo at UFC 163, but if the two former men couldn’t drag Aldo to the mat and keep him there, “The Korean Zombie” doesn’t have much of a chance — and he’s certainly not going to out-strike Aldo. The same could be said for other 145-pound top-fivers Cub Swanson and Ricardo Lamas.

The Score: 2/5 Mark Hominick hematomas. Featherweight is like middleweight or light heavyweight except the casual fans don’t care about it. Nice.

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macreadysshack- July 2, 2013 at 8:20 pm
What RSparrow is saying is that it's half as hard, twice as aggressive and abusively stank bref.
mixmasternut- July 2, 2013 at 4:29 pm
Way to shit on the HW division when it's honestly in it's at it's best. If it's so stale, just wait till Jon Jones grows so big he's forced to move up to the division. Jones versus Cain, or Dos Santos are good fights on the horizon. And I think the current HW landscape still has enough juice in it to keep us content until then.
RearNakedSpoon- July 2, 2013 at 3:58 pm
How is MW ranked higher than.....anything? All the good MW challengers have dropped to WW (because they are too small to fight the LHW sized title holder and he rarely agrees to fight anyone of talent) which makes WW a much more competitive and therefore entertaining division. It's a 5'10 title holder when the challengers are mostly well rounded 6'+, that's MMA at it's finest.
A LHW holds the MW title and a HW holds the LHW title, oh they won again? big deal.

LW has long been held as the most entertaining, so by default it tops the list but MW is holding up the rear just below the womens division of a similar dynamic.
ElizabethWoodward- July 2, 2013 at 3:36 pm
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RSparrow- July 2, 2013 at 3:08 pm
The best way I can describe UFC right now would be "whiskey dick"
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Willa Ford- July 2, 2013 at 9:33 am
The idea that you would judge a division based on partiy and parity alone is extremely silly. What made the HW division of Sylvia and Arlovski so terrible was that those guys were not very good. Technically they were miles below the top guys in the other divisions (as Randy showed when he smashed a 50 pound heavier Sylvia), and they were not even close to the best HWs in the world at the time (as was obvious and Fedor showed when he smashed them both in the first round). A lack of contenders was not what made that a dark era for the UFC’s HW division, technically poor, non-world class fighters is what is. Divisions should be measured based on the technical excellence of competition, the athleticisim of the average competitor, the degree to which they include the best in the world (which basically all UFC divisions do now), and the finishing rate, parity really should not be that important a measure.
cman- July 2, 2013 at 8:40 am
Please. Woman's division is a 5, they hit the mat and its all camel toe and asses in the air from there. That's the TRUE competitive nature there.
Yeah ladies. Go north south.....
Rampages Conscience- July 2, 2013 at 8:37 am
Sarah McMann is a beast. You should upgrade the Women's bantamweight division to a 1.5. Outside of that, I am in agreement that the divisions are looking pretty weak these days...
macreadysshack- July 2, 2013 at 8:21 am
Where is the 'highest pay per view buys for top 2-3 fights per event' category? I think that's a far more simple and accurate way to judge interest. Also ... After FLW The article just ... ends? No summary analysis? I know this is CP but this article is glaringly incomplete. I don't know about this Matt Sack-arrow character. Feels like a Bleacher Report slideshow to me.
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