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The UFC has brought forward worthy contenders to earn themselves a title fight in the Welterweight division. The Champion, Kamaru Usman, hasn’t received a contract that details his first title defense. Here is the breakdown to see who in the top 15 has earned the right to fight for the Welterweight title:
To start, both Rafael Dos Anjos and Anthony Pettis have got lots of potential to gain momentum. RDA will face Leon Edwards on July 20th, and Pettis is preparing to fight Nate Diaz on August 17th. Edwards is riding a 7-fight streak of wins while Diaz has not been active in roughly three years.
Vicente Luque, Demian Maia and Jorge Masvidal have been able to perform at a high-level and could be in pursue an opportunity at a shot for the title. Luque is on a 3-fight win streak and could be the wild card in this title situation.
Meanwhile, Maia is back in line for his 3rd shot to be champion. No matter who he’s fought, Maia still proves that he’ll go at it with the best of the best. He wants to pursue a retirement fight against Diego Sanchez, it could boost the Brazilian if he can win, a shot to be one of the best.
After going to the homeland of Darren Till and then having an encounter with Leon Edwards, Masvidal added to his legacy in Las Vegas after he defeated the previously unefeated Ben Askren in 5 seconds; the fastest knockout in UFC history. According to the latest reports, Masvidal will hold out from the UFC unless his next fight is against either Kamaru Usman or Conor McGregor.
Leon Edwards, Elizue Dos Santos, Santiago Ponzinibbio and Colby Covington are all on a hot streak, where Covington is the former interim Welterweight Champion.
Dos Santos got the news that he’ll be taking on Li Jingliang at UFC Shenzhen. Meanwhile, Edward’s is fighting Dos Anjos in what may be their lucky ticket to a bout for the title against Usman.
Ponzinibbio will be dealing with a bad bacterial infection with his left knee that forced him to have emergency surgery on. He’s #8 in the UFC’s Welterweight division
Covington’s preparing to battle his former teammate in Robbie Lawler. Both men have held the title and with their fair share of fights, the winner could be huge on getting the opportunity to be able to fight Usman, Covington is the initial favorite.
The one man with a loss that has the right to get a rematch is the former Welterweight champion Tyron Woodley. He defended it against Stephen Thompson on two occasions, then against Maia before being beaten by Usman in a one-sided affair. While he deals with a hand injury, Woodley will still watching to see who gets the next crack. He may be the one to get it if both men and the UFC do want a rematch for the title. It all comes down to the one who may be the one out of the 14 different fighters that should fight for the Welterweight championship.
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Photo Credit: MMA Torch, Tapology, MMA Weekly, ESPN.