What’s it gonna take for another fighter to break into the title picture at 170? The MMA Digest breaks down their vision of a fighter who’d be able to stand up to guys like Matt Hughes, Georges St Pierre and (heh) Matt Serra:
In the welterweight class where there is such a deep pool of talent when it comes to wrestling and takedown ability, any new dominant champion to emerge onto the scene in this division will need to be a miniature version of a Chuck Liddell. It’ll be a fighter with devastating knockout striking power who can stop a takedown, and get back if when taken down. Such skills are rare and the abilities of Liddell in this area have not been duplicated in other weight classes. But with the superior wrestling of fighters at 170, the next big thing in the division will required to be equipped with devastating striking, an amazing sprawl, and equally talented scrambling skills.
I can’t think of anyone in WW off the top of my head who has more power in his hands than GSP, and even he doesn’t hold a candle to the blowtorch of Senor Chuck Liddell. Is it possible that those extra 35 pounds between light heavyweight and welterweight remove the ability to be a knockout artiste? I’m not buying it. The only guy who might fit the above bill is Mike Swick, and we’ll have to wait and see if his quick and powerful punching power can withstand the wrestling ability of the welterweight’s top dogs.