Bellator’s 170 pound division is one of their most active crowning tournament champions in Seasons 1, 2, 4, 5, 6, 7 and yet again in Season 8 on Spike TV. After Lyman Good became the Season 1 winner and first Bellator Welterweight Champion he was unseated by Ben Askren at Bellator 33. While Askren has now defended his title twice, defeating Jay Hieron by split decision at Bellator 56, his utter domination of Douglas Lima at Bellator 64 is likely his best performance to date.
Given the tournament format of Bellator leaving less to debate in terms of rankings, it is still important to look at the big picture of recent activity from each fighter as well as their historic results.
And now the ranking of the best of the Bellator Welterweight Division…
Top Bellator Welterweight Fighter Rankings:
1. Ben Askren – (11-0, 8-0 Bellator) – With just three fights under his belt before making his Bellator debut, the former U.S. Olympic wrestler won Bellator’s Season 2 Welterweight Tournament beating Dan Hornbuckle by decision at Bellator 22. He followed the win by defeating Champion Lyman Good at Bellator 33 by decision and has defended his title three times defeating Jay Hieron by split decision then dominating Douglas Lima by unanimous decision and Karl Amoussou by TKO. While Askren is 11-0 and the 170 lb Champion for Bellator, his inability to finish top-level competition has been brought up by his critics, but the performance against Amoussou certainly helps his cause. Few fighters can bring in an obvious game plan to each fight and thoroughly dominate the way Askren dominated Lima at Bellator 64 and then Amoussou at Bellator 86. Until someone proves they can beat him at his own game, or fend off his takedowns, Askren is the kingpin of Bellator’s 170 lb division and deserves a spot in the worldwide Top 10 rankings of MMA Welterweights.
2. Paul Daley – (30-12, 1-0 Bellator) – While Daley has more experience than everyone on this list and has fought many top-tier welterweights, the lone reason he is not number one is his weakness. Wrestlers have plagued Daley throughout his career (remember the Koscheck fight?) and there is no reason to believe Askren would prove to be an easier task than Koscheck, etc. Daley was set to fight in the Bellator Season 8 Welterweight Tournament in January on Spike TV but Visa issues forced him out of the tournament.
3. Karl Amoussou – (16-5-2, 4-2 Bellator) – The Bellator Season 6 Welterweight Tournament Champion has fought much of his career at 185lbs, but his training in Philadelphia at the Daddis Fight Camp has proven valuable. His heel hook submission of Bryan Baker to earn the title shot was a highlight reel finish and now he looks to use his heavy hands and athleticism opposite Bellator’s reigning 170lb king Ben Askren at Bellator 86.
4. Douglas Lima – (23-5, 5-1 Bellator) – Undefeated in his last 9 fights prior to Bellator 64, Douglas Lima showed that the pre Bellator Season 5 Welterweight Tournament hype was warranted, but when matched up with Askren he was highly overmatched. Lima bounced back from the loss to score a win at Bellator 79 and won his first round fight in the Season 8 Welterweight Tournament at Bellator 86 on Spike TV.
5. Ben Saunders – (15-5, 6-2 Bellator) – Ben “Killa B” Saunders is one of Bellator’s highest profile fighters sporting a resume that is hard to match. After a 4-3 stint with the UFC, Saunders signed with Bellator winning his first three inside the Bellator cage, finishing each opponent, before a KO loss to Douglas Lima at Bellator 57 in November 2011. Now 6-2 with Bellator, Saunders opened the Season 8 Welterweight Tournament with a unanimous decision win and appears to be on a collision course with Lima once again.
Honorable Mention: Andrey Koreshkov, War Machine, Raul Amaya, Bryan Baker, Lyman Good, Brent Weedman
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Updated January 2013
Complete Bellator Rankings:
- Bellator Heavyweight Division Rankings
- Bellator Light Heavyweight Division Rankings
- Bellator Middleweight Division Rankings
- Bellator Welterweight Division Rankings
- Bellator Lightweight Division Rankings
- Bellator Featherweight Division Rankings
- Bellator Bantamweight Division Rankings