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The ’07 UFC welterweight picture

By UFCmania | December 1, 2006

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By Tom Bones

With all the hype and talk of UFC 66, we almost forgot that Ultimate Fight Night (UFN) 7 is set to go off in less than two weeks on December 13.

It’s not a bad card, either.

The marquee event pits Diego Sanchez (17-0) vs. Joe Riggs (28-8) in a welterweight showdown. This is an interesting match up for sure, pitting two young, exciting and aggressive fighters against one another.

Naturally, the outcome of this bout is huge for both fighters … and for different reasons.

If Sanchez can take care of Riggs, it almost certainly opens the door to a title shot. However, that opportunity might not happen for awhile, considering current 170-pound champion, Georges St. Pierre, still has to get through “The Matts” in 2007.

And, if “Rush” loses to either Serra or Hughes, the wait is going to get even longer.

Riggs, on the other hand, could prove to Dana White and UFC fans that he can compete against the upper echelon talent in the division with a win over “The Nightmare.” His UFC losses to Salaverry, Hughes and Swick demonstrate that he struggles against the top fighters in the Octagon.

By the way, does Riggs’ win over referee Herb Dean back in 2003 really count?

Regardless, it should be a good fight and help clarify the welterweight division … maybe.

The real question is who the winner of this match fights in early 2007. Perhaps we don’t have to look any further than the undercard, which features Josh Koscheck vs. Jeff Joslin.

Koscheck, who was eliminated by Sanchez during season one of The Ultimate Fighter (TUF), has been very outspoken about wanting another crack at him.

Here’s a snip from Koscheck in a recent article on

“He should be embarrassed that he barely beat me when I didn’t know a damn thing [about fighting]. Trust me, if I get the chance to fight him next, I’ll be the one to put an end to his perfect record. I would knock him out. I have too much power for him. I’m too athletic, too explosive. I just don’t see how he could beat me now. Honestly, I think Diego would be an easy win.”

That’s a bold statement from someone who has his hands full with Jeff Joslin — yet another extremely underrated fighter out of Canada.

If the UFC had its druthers, chances are the Sanchez-Koscheck rematch would be a dream as far as marketability is concerned.

But, Dana White doesn’t have that luxury.

That’s because Joe and Jeff will have something to say about that on December 13.

Thoughts on who you think earns the first crack at GSP once he satisfies all of his early ’07 commitments — BJ Penn, Jon Fitch, Karo Parisyan?

Tom Bones is the managing editor of You can contact him via e-mail at

Topics: All Topics, Tom Bones, UFC | 4 Comments » | Permalink | Trackback |

4 Responses to “The ’07 UFC welterweight picture”

  1. […] Check out our post about the upcoming Ultimate Fight Night (UFN) 7 showdown on […]

  2. JOSH says:

    U forgot a few other faces in a rather stacked WW picture, namely Karo Parisyan and BJ penn. Granted both men have lost in their recent fights to Sanchez and Hughes respectivly neither one can be counted out. I see it as if Sanchez and Kos both win at UFN then they should have a mini four man eliminator between Sanchez, Kos, BJ and Karo (honestly the match ups are all dream matches, Penn/Sanchez, Kos/Sanchez, Karo/Sanchez II, BJ/ Karo) that would span the first half of 2007 by then GSP would have taken on both Serra and Hughes and even if their is a GSP/Hughes III the winner of the four man tourny would be fresh enough to face the winner. Hell the WW division is so stacked u can even thrw in Jon Fitch and Nick Diaz (if he stays with UFC) for more participants in the WW division.

  3. Xenos says:

    Fitch will be GSP’s next biggest challenge after Hughes, in my opinion.

  4. UFCmania says:

    Yeah, but who is Fitch gonna fight in the meantime that is anywhere near GSP-Hughes caliber?

    Karo is the only fight that seems logical, unless he fights Diego if Sanchez beats Riggs.

    He will never fight Kos … not unless he HAS to.

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