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Who should get the next UFC Welterweight Title fight, and why?
DAN MOORE, MMATORCH UK COLUMNIST
It's the million dollar question and one I don't think anyone has the answer to right now. If Johny Hendricks is in fact sidelined until October, it at least affords the UFC more time to figure things out. We all know how much a title picture landscape can change in a long period of time, so whomever we think is most deserving now may very well be back down the pecking order six-months from now.
If I were to choose now, the sensible option would be Tyron Woodley, and the outlandish choice would be Nick Diaz. If Carlos Condit had won on Saturday night he would've gotten the next shot, so the same should apply to Woodley. Forget the injury related finish on Saturday night; he beat one of the very best welterweights in the world and recognition for that should come via a title shot.
I mentioned Nick Diaz before because he has this knack of appearing out of nowhere and getting things he clearly doesn't deserve. Intentional or not, his self-promotional skills are second to none and the guy sells tickets when others in the division don't. I really hope the UFC don't go down this route and let Diaz hold them to ransom, but, it wouldn't be surprised in the slightest if they do just that.
If Hendricks is out long term they should make Tyron Woodley vs. Hector Lombard and distinguish it as a clear No. 1 contender fight. Both should be good to go by July or August, thus allowing the winner to fight Hendricks in the last quarter of 2014. Then over the next nine-months they can match-up the likes of Robbie Lawler, Rory MacDonald, Dong Hyun Kim, Matt Brown, winner of Jake Ellenberger vs. Tarec Saffiedine, and even Mr Diaz, to establish a future contender heading into 2015.
KALE HAVERVOLD, MMATORCH CONTRIBUTOR
I feel it will be Rory Macdonald in Vancouver in June. I just feel with Condit going down like that, I don't feel anyone else deserves it more than Rory.
FRANK HYDEN, MMATORCH CONTRIBUTOR
I think Robbie Lawler should get an immediate rematch, in large part because there's not much else to choose from. I don't think you give Tyron Woodley a title shot right now, same goes for Hector Lombard. Maybe if Lombard hadn't spent 12 minutes messing around with Jake Shields he'd be getting the title shot. I also can't imagine the UFC giving Nick Diaz the title shot, so it falls to Lawler. He deserves it, of course, but we've seen other guys not get immediate rematches.
CASH NORMAN, MMATORCH CONTRIBUTOR
I do not know. There is not any particular person who stands out to me in the UFC's unofficial tournament they had Saturday evening. Had Woodley beaten Condit by any other manner besides injury he would be my pick. With that said, I have a penchant for guys that fight smart and Woodley realized Condit was hurt and when the fight was stood up immediately employed a hard leg kick to end the fight.
As electrifying of a fighter as Hector Lombard can be, he infuriates me. While I do like fighters who implement smart game plans, I loathe guys who under utilize their talent in areas in which they are clearly superior. This is the same problem I have with Rory MacDonald; he has a skillset in which he could dominate his opponents, but has consistently underperformed.
The welterweight picture seems to be murky at best, especially when Nick Diaz now seems to be added into the fray. Even though Nick Diaz is "retired" no one can deny he is a draw especially when the UFC is lacking star power. I do not believe Diaz deserves a title shot, coming off two championship losses, however, it would not be unprecedented.
TOM STRONG, MMATORCH UK CONTRIBUTOR
This is a hard one to choose. The obvious choice would've been Carlos Condit had he won on Saturday night, though he's out of the picture for now having lost three of his last four. Tyron Woodley? Does he deserve it on the back of beating Josh Koshcheck and Condit, I don't think so. Maybe set up Hector lombard vs Tyron for the No.1 contender spot.
Looking at the rankings it's not easy to pick an outright contender, with Condit, Ellenberger, Shields, Maia, all coming off losses it really only leaves the door open for one fighter and that's Rory MacDonald.
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