Cagewriter - Mixed Martial Arts

Scan the welterweight class, who's the young guy you're projecting to take out Georges St. Pierre down the road? Any of the newer UFC welterweights like Mike Pierce, Rick Story, Matt Riddle, DaMarques Johnson or James Wilks have a shot in 18 months to beat GSP? How about this group of older fighters - Amir Sadollah, Nate Diaz, Ricardo Almeida or Paulo Thiago? That's what I thought.

It's sad that Season 9 of "The Ultimate Fighter" didn't produce one single top-level prospect at 170 pounds. The shame of it is, it looks like Spike and the UFC missed out on the best guy out there. Check out former Missouri wrestler Tyron Woodley fighting this Friday on the Strikeforce Challengers 8 card in Portland.

Woodley tried out for TUF 9 in Chicago and thought he was in good shape but wasn't chosen for the show. Meanwhile guys like Steve Berger, Ray Elbe, Christian Fulgium (failed to make weight), Kevin Knabjian, Kiel Reid, DaMarques Johnson, Frank Lester, Mark Miller and Jason Pierce all made it. Brutal.

Woodley then turned to Strikeforce where he had to sign a long-term deal making less than 10k per fight. He fights Nathan Coy (8-2) in the main event. Woodley tells Pure Fight that he wants to be fast tracked and get a shot at the Strikeforce welterweight title. If Jay Hieron can't sway Showtime/Strikeforce what shot does Woodley have at getting Nick Diaz anytime soon?

We should also mention one more young guy in Johny Hendricks. But he's still a long ways from challenging GSP but his wrestling makes an intriguing follow. The most natural person to talk about is free agent Jake Shields. We love Bloody Elbow, but who is voting in its rankings? Shields is No. 15 in the world at welterweight? If that's the case why is the UFC bothering to steal him away from Strikeforce? 

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