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Divisional rankings: Welterweight

Tyron Woodley impressed at UFC 214 by defeating Demian Maia by unanimous decision. Christian Petersen/Zuffa LLC/Getty Images

Check out my rankings within each division by clicking on the links below.

Who is the best fighter regardless of weight class? See ESPN's pound-for-pound rankings. Plus, check out our women's pound-for-pound rankings.

Note: Results through July 31.


Divisional Rankings

Heavyweight | Light heavyweight
Middleweight | Welterweight | Lightweight
Featherweight | Bantamweight | Flyweight
Women's bantamweight | Women's strawweight


WELTERWEIGHT DIVISION (UP TO 170 POUNDS)

1. Tyron Woodley (18-3-1)
As a UFC champion, Woodley has faced two radical styles in Stephen Thompson and Demian Maia. He's won both, but not been incredibly exciting in doing so. Pressure is now on to look good against an orthodox opponent.
Next: TBD

2. Stephen Thompson (13-2-1)
Thompson pretty much came as close as one possibly can to winning a UFC title, but ultimately came up just short. He's still the No. 2 welterweight in the world, but he'll need Woodley to lose if he wants to get back in a title fight any time soon.
Next: TBD

3. Robbie Lawler (27-11)
After taking a year off, Lawler was his usual entertaining self against Donald Cerrone at UFC 214. It doesn't seem as if reclaiming his welterweight title is a driving factor for him, but that opportunity may not be far away.
Next: TBD

4. Demian Maia (25-7)
As amazing as Maia can be using one very distinct skill, he can also be very underwhelming when that skill is shut down. Such was the case at UFC 214 against Tyron Woodley.

Next: TBD

5. Rory MacDonald (19-4)
New promotion, but same MacDonald. Making his Bellator MMA debut, MacDonald cruised to a submission finish over Paul Daley in enemy waters in London. The May appearance was his first in nearly one year, but there were no signs of rust. He'll fight for the promotion's 170-pound championship next.
Next: TBD

6. Neil Magny (19-5)
This oft-overlooked welterweight is now 11-2 in his last 13 fights, with wins over Johny Hendricks, Hector Lombard and Kelvin Gastelum. He had a bad performance against Lorenz Larkin in 2016, but has pretty much been Mr. Reliable otherwise.
Next: UFC 215 on Sept. 16, vs. Rafael dos Anjos

7. Ben Askren (16-0)
Askren picked up an easy win against an overmatched opponent in Agilan Thani on May 26. The One Championship titleholder has had trouble staying active (through no fault of his own) and he continues to face competition that is not on his level. Less than ideal situation, that's not changing for the time being.
Next: TBD

8. Douglas Lima (30-6)
The secret is starting to get out on Lima, who was highly impressive in a five-round title defense against Larkin. The underrated Brazilian now eyes a matchup against Rory MacDonald.
Next: TBD

9. Jorge Masvidal (32-12)
A setback for Masvidal against Demian Maia at UFC 211 shouldn't hurt him too bad. He's still in good shape in the welterweight division. His past four losses have all come via close split decision.
Next: TBD

10. Lorenz Larkin (18-5)
Many expected Larkin to become Bellator MMA's welterweight champ in his first appearance, but he came up short in his bid against Lima. Even though it didn't happen right away, no one is writing Larkin's title aspirations off just yet.
Next: TBD