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Fantasy Welterweight Tournament


With the brief lull in MMA action, what better time to get the crazy debates going with some fantasy tournaments in each of the weight divisions.  We will be looking to crown "The Don’s Fantasy Champions” in seven weight classes.  While we know that the UFC will never go back to a tournament format or co-promote with any other organization, our minds and keyboards are not bound by such politics.

Over the next seven days we will look at each weight division and hold 8 man fantasy tournaments in each class.  We will seed the fighters one through eight in a bracket formula and look at who will win each fight and why. 
These types of predictions/projections usually spark great debates among the MMA fans.  First of all it’s difficult to decide which eight fighters will participate and then choosing winners really causes the fun and debates begin…  so bring it on!!!

The seedings are based primarily on rankings from our good friends at with a few minor variations in several weight classes.

The quarter- and semi-final bouts would be three rounds with the final bout being a five round affair.  The seedings are in parenthesis below.


Today we will look at the Welterweight division and the seedings/match-ups are as follows:


(1) Georges St. Pierre  vs.  (8) Martin Kampmann

(4) Josh Koscheck  vs.  (5) Nick Diaz

(3) Jake Shields vs.  (6) Thiago Alves

(2) Jon Fitch vs.  (7) Carlos Condit


Round 1 Match-ups:


St. Pierre vs. Kampmann – Kampmann would provide a tough challenge for any welterweight but GSP appears to be at a level above the talented Dane.  Kampmann has solid well-rounded skills but the fight against Jake Shields showed some susceptibility to the strong wrestler with great control abilities.  That style describes GSP to a tee in his recent bouts.  This would be an interesting scrap on the feet but a one-sided affair on the mat as GSP earns a unanimous decision.


St. Pierre over Kampmann by unanimous decision.



Koscheck vs. Diaz – Wow, what a match-up between two of the bad boys of MMA.  Both have alternately embraced and shrugged off the heel image but beyond all the talk, Kos and Diaz are great fighters and would put on one heck of a show.  Koscheck is a wrestler who fancies himself a striker which is a recipe that would likely keep him in trouble against the long reach and unorthodox striking from Diaz.  Koscheck’s best bet is to take the fight to the ground where a different set of attacks will come from Diaz.  A great fight but just a bad match-up for Koscheck who drops a unanimous decision to the Stockton bad boy.


Diaz over Koscheck by unanimous decision.



Shields vs. Alves -- Another stylistic match-up where the muay thai striking of Alves goes against the ground control submission game of Shields.  Alves did not fare well in his two bouts with Jon Fitch and Shields owns a very similar style.  Look for a replay of the recent Fitch-Alves fight where Alves was taken down and controlled in each of the three rounds.  The only difference here is that Shields owns a better submission game than Fitch and could finish a tiring Alves late in the fight.


Shields over Alves by arm-triangle submission in round three.



Fitch vs. Condit – Wow again, yet another great welterweight match-up.  Fitch has a smothering top control game to go along with his top flight wrestling which has spelled disaster for nearly all of his opponents.  Condit brings a more well-rounded game with underrated striking (ask Dan Hardy) and a solid ground attack from top position and his back, where he will likely spend a lot of time against Fitch.  Both fighters have excellent cardio and supreme confidence but the thought here is that Condit has more ways to win this fight and will figure out a way to stay busy and offensive from his back while owning any of the stand-up exchanges.  The decision would likely be disputed but the call here is for Condit by split decision.


Condit over Fitch by split decision.



Second round match-ups:


St. Pierre vs. Diaz -- Let the debates begin again!  I also featured this match-up in a column talking about fights we’d love to see but probably never would.  Click here to check it out.  My opinion has not changed since then as we have not seen GSP in the cage since March and Diaz has continued to hone his skills.  Diaz would get the better of the striking exchanges and while GSP will almost certainly take Diaz down, the Cesar Gracie black belt would likely be threatening enough from his back to either score points or be able to sweep the very strong GSP.  The work rate from Diaz will earn him enough points in a three round bout to squeak out a decision win.  Let’s call it a split decision since it’s a three round affair.


Diaz over St. Pierre by split decision.


Shields vs. Condit -- A very difficult fight to call especially as a three round bout.  Shields has an overwhelming top control game and underrated submissions but Condit will own the stand-up aspects and likely be able to hold his own on the ground even with a master like Shields.  If it stays standing, it’s a walk in the park for Condit but it won’t so it would be a back and forth affair with both men having moments of control.  With Condit having more ways to control the fight we will lean toward Condit with a razor thin split decision over Shields that could go either way.


Condit over Shields by split decision.






Nick Diaz vs. Carlos Condit -- Surprise combatants in the welterweight fantasy tournament final as the five and seven seeds make the final round.  These fighters would put on a fight for the ages as their styles and strengths have many similarities and both fighters own a never say die approach.  Despite the huge knockout by Condit over Hardy, the overall striking advantage will go to Diaz.  Once Condit perceives the Diaz striking advantage, he will likely look to get the fight to the mat and that’s where the real fireworks could begin as both fighters will be able to threaten from the top and bottom positions.  It would be another back and forth affair with Diaz just slightly better in most aspects and earning a close but unanimous decision over Condit in a classic struggle.


Diaz over Condit by unanimous decision to win The Don’s Fantasy Welterweight Title.

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