These are the fighters that make up the Welterweight Division in EA SPORTS UFC:
When it comes to the UFC’s Welterweight division, it’s hard to find a fighter with more accomplishments under their belt than Matt Hughes. With an impressive wrestling background already a part of his arsenal, Hughes, a four-time collegiate All-American wrestler made the jump to pro MMA on New Year’s Day 1998 and never looked back. After putting together a 29-3 record fighting for a variety of other organizations, Hughes made the UFC his permanent home in 2001, defeating Carlos Newton with one of the more memorable slams in UFC history to claim the Welterweight strap. By the time he hung up his gloves a decade later, Hughes had held the Welterweight title twice, defended it a total of seven times, posted wins over the likes of Georges St-Pierre and BJ Penn, and currently owns the second most wins (18) and bouts (25) in UFC history. Matt Hughes was inducted into the UFC Hall of Fame in May of 2011.
An MMA veteran with a professional career dating back to 2004, Hector “Lightning” Lombard made his UFC debut in July of 2012. Having competed in Judo in the Olympics under the Cuban flag, Lombard is adept at taking his opponents to the ground where he’s proven he has the skills to finish them with either strikes or submissions. With seven of his wins coming by way of submission and another 19 being scored via KO, Lombard possesses power in both hands and has no problem trading shots with the best in the division. Having assembled a 3-2 record since entering the UFC and currently riding a two-fight win streak Lombard is now ranked No. 6 in the Welterweight division. He’ll look to keep that streak alive and well when he next steps into the Octagon to face Josh Burkman in early 2015.
One of Europe’s most talented MMA fighters and one of the Welterweight division’s fastest rising stars, Gunnar “Gunni” Nelson has his sights set on UFC gold. Since ending his pro MMA debut in a draw in May of 2007, Nelson has put up a perfect record, stringing together 13 consecutive victories, including his last four in the UFC. While Nelson has proven the effectiveness of his striking game, he’s also proven he’s most dangerous on the ground, with eight of his wins coming by submission and another four by KO. However he chooses to get his arm raised, it’s clear that the Iceland native has a knack for finishing his bouts with only one of his 13 wins needing to go to the judges’ scorecard. Nelson will be looking to crack the division’s Top 10 soon as he continues his march towards title contention.
One of the most popular fighters in the UFC’s stacked Welterweight division, Matt “The Immortal” Brown has made a career of putting on exciting fights that showcase his toughness and tenacity inside the Octagon. Despite boasting a 31-fight career to date, Brown has only gone the distance on five occasions. With a fighting style that leads more often than not to finishes, 12 of Brown’s 19 career wins have come by way of knockout, with another five coming by submission to give him finishes in nearly 90% of his victories. Currently ranked at No. 5 in the division, look for The Immortal to continue working his way up the Welterweight ladder to earn himself a shot at the title.
An MMA veteran since 1999 and a mainstay of the UFC’s Welterweight division for the past five years, Mike “Quicksand” Pyle currently ranks in the Top 15 of one of the organization’s most talented weight classes. Pyle has never dropped two consecutive bouts over the course of a 36 fight career that’s seen him square off against some of the best fighters in the world. Owner of an elite ground game, 16 of Pyle’s 26 wins have come by way of submission, with another six coming via knockout. With wins in 8 of his past ten fights, look for Pyle to make a run at cracking the division’s Top 10 within the next year.
One of the UFC’s fastest rising stars and easily one of the most feared fighters in the Welterweight Division, Johny “Bigg Rigg” Hendricks packs enough power to end every fight with a single shot. From an elite wresting pedigree, to a devastating left hand, to a solid chin, Hendricks has all the tools needed to either go the distance or down opponents quickly, and has ended eight of his 15 career wins by KO.
A perennial top contender in the UFC’s Welterweight division, former interim champ Carlos “The Natural Born Killer” Condit is never far from claiming UFC gold. A former WEC title-holder, Condit has proven himself a versatile fighter and fan-favorite, capable of producing fireworks – win or lose – whenever he steps inside the Octagon. Rangy, durable and notoriously tough to finish, The Natural Born Killer represents a challenge for any fighter in the division.
Owner of some of the heaviest hands in the UFC’s ultra-competitive Welterweight division, Tyron Woodley made his professional MMA debut in February of 2009, opening up his career with an impressive 10-0 run. Since arriving the UFC in 2013, Woodley has won three of five bouts that include victories over Josh Koscheck and most recently top contender Carlos Condit. All of The Chosen One’s UFC wins have come by way of KO/TKO. Firmly planted in the division’s Top 10, Woodley will be looking to bounce back from a loss to Rory MacDonald with a decisive victory over his next opponent, Dong Hyun Kim when they face off in Macau, and work his way up to a shot at the title in the near future.
One of the most polarizing personalities in MMA, despite being only 30 years old Nick Diaz has been fighting professionally since 2001, taking his first pro bout just after his 18th birthday. Following a loss to K.J. Noons in 2007, Diaz proceeded to go on an 11-fight win streak that saw him capture and defend the Strikeforce Welterweight title before making his return to the UFC with a Fight of the Night victory over BJ Penn in November of 2011. Diaz’s personality along with some of the best boxing and conditioning in his division have helped him become a long-time fan favorite with a reputation for putting on exciting fights. Thirteen of Diaz’s 27 victories have come by way of KO/TKO, while scoring another 8 by submission.
Owning a pair of the heaviest hands in the UFC’s Welterweight division, Jake “The Juggernaut” Ellenberger’s 20 career TKOs are good for one of the highest knockout ratios in his weight-class. A former U.S. Marine, Ellenberger began his professional MMA career in 2005, before making his UFC debut against Carlos Condit in September of 2009. Winner of eight of his last 10 bouts, Ellenberger will be look to begin stringing together a new series of wins when he faces Robbie Lawler at UFC 173.
A UFC veteran since making his debut with the organization back in August of 2006, Martin “The Hitman” Kampmann is known for his standout striking while also being able to get things done on the ground as evidenced by his six submission wins. During his UFC tenure, Kampmann has displayed a knack for putting on exciting fights, earning two Fight of the Night and two Submission of the Night bonuses as well as one Knockout of the Night performance. Following back to back losses to Johny Hendricks and Carlos Condit, Kampmann is currently taking some time off from competing in the UFC.
Holding the distinction of being a cast member on the inaugural season of The Ultimate Fighter, Josh Koscheck wasted no time making his presence felt in the UFC with his debut in the organization coming in April of 2005 in only his third pro bout. Since that time, Koscheck has been one of the UFC’s most active fighters, competing in the Octagon 22 times, tying him for fifth all-time in that department. With elite wrestling and a devastating overhand right at his disposal, Koscheck is always capable of ending a fight on his terms. Having suffered three consecutive losses for the first time in his career, Koscheck will be on the hunt for an all-important win the next time he steps into the Octagon.
Beginning his professional MMA career in 2008, Pascal “Panzer” Krauss went on a 10-fight winning streak that carried over to his UFC debut in November of 2010. Boasting a well-rounded skill set and fighting out of his home country of Germany, Krauss has displayed a knack for finishing opponents, earning a stoppage in all but two of his 11 victories – including five first-round finishes. Being handed only the second loss of his career in his last bout, Krauss will be looking to bounce back strong in his next fight.
With a skill-set divided down the middle between striking and takedowns, it’s little wonder that 18 of “Ruthless” Robbie Lawler’s 22 career wins have come by way of knockout. Back in the UFC after a stint in Strikeforce, Lawler immediately began working his way back up the Welterweight ladder and into the division’s top tier with three consecutive victories, including wins over Josh Koscheck and Rory MacDonald. The three fight win-streak earned him a bout with Johny Hendricks for the vacated Welterweight title.
At only 24 years of age, Rory “Ares” MacDonald is already a veteran of eight UFC bouts. Seeming to improve his all-around skill set every time he steps into the Octagon, the hard-hitting Canadian has finished 12 of his 15 victories and continues to ascend the Welterweight ladder. Training at Montreal’s famed Tristar Gym alongside Georges St-Pierre has contributed to MacDonald taking his game to the next level.
Considered by many fans and fighters alike to be the best pure grappler fighting in the UFC today, Demian Maia has been submitting his competition in the Octagon since 2007. A true MMA veteran and consummate Brazilian Jiu Jitsu master, Maia put together an impressive five-fight winning streak upon entering the UFC and most recently a three-fight winning streak since dropping down to Welterweight in July of 2012.
Arriving in the UFC as Strikeforce’s last Welterweight Champion, Tarec Saffiedine didn’t waste any time making a statement with his new organization, winning Fight of the Night honors in a victory over Hyun Gyu Lim in Singapore. A well-rounded fighter currently riding a five-fight win streak, Saffiedine boasts some of the best leg kicks in his division and has earned five of his victories by submission and one by knockout. Having not lost a bout since 2011, Saffiedine will look to pick up where he left off the next time he steps into the Octagon, trying to log a sixth-straight win and continue to work his way up the rankings towards the UFC Welterweight title.
Arguably Canada’s most well-known athlete, Georges “Rush” St-Pierre has been an unstoppable force in the UFC’s Welterweight division for the better part of a decade. Using a mix of strategy, skill, work-ethic and natural athleticism, St-Pierre remained one of the longest reigning title-holders in UFC history prior to his decision to step away from the sport for an indefinite amount of time. At the age of 32, MMA’s premier wrestler has built himself a legacy among the greatest mixed martial artists of all time.
BJ “The Prodigy” Penn has accomplished a lot over the course of a storied pro MMA career that began back at UFC 31 in May of 2001. One of the sport’s most feared fighters on the mat and one of Hawaii’s most popular athletes, Penn has competed across multiple weight classes and remains the only fighter to this day to hold titles in both the UFC’s Lightweight and Welterweight divisions. The first non-Brazilian to win a Brazilian Jiu-Jitsu world-title at the black belt level, Penn earned his BJJ black belt in only three years and his nickname in the process. Not having competed since a 2012 loss to Rory MacDonald, Penn will make his return to the Octagon to complete his trilogy against Frankie Edgar following their coaching stints on Season 19 of The Ultimate Fighter.
Winner of The Ultimate Fighter Season 5, and one half of the fan-favorite Diaz brothers, Nate Diaz made his professional fighting debut in the WEC at the age of 19. With a dominant ground game and top-tier boxing in his arsenal, Diaz not only finished all four of his TUF 5 bouts, but has since gone on to earn nine of his last 13 wins by submission. Most recently showcasing his standup with a Knockout of the Night win over Gray Maynard at The Ultimate Fighter 18 finale, Diaz will be looking repeat his bonus-winning performance the next time he steps back into the Octagon.