The UFC Welterweight division has become of the most thrilling divisions in mixed martial arts due to the immense competition and pristine talent. Jorge Masvidal, Kamaru Usman, Tyron Woodley, Leon Edwards and Stephen Thompson are only some of the huge names that call welterweight their home. However, there are several fighters on the roster who remain outside the top 15 but have already began their climb towards UFC Welterweight supremacy by compiling impressive win streaks and memorable finishes thus far in their UFC careers. In this article, we will explore four fighters who are set up to have a big 2020 and move up the UFC Welterweight rankings!
Anthony Rocco Martin:
Although it may not seem like it, Martin is pretty much a UFC veteran at this point in his career. The Illinois native joined the UFC back in 2014 and has thus far compiled a 9-5 record since joining the ultra-talented welterweight division. Martin has had two impressive win streaks in the UFC. His first came in 2017 where he defeated Felipe Olivieri, Alex White and Johnny Case before dropping a closely contested split decision to Olivier Aubin-Mercier.
Martin went on to compile a four-win streak shortly after including unanimous decision wins over Keita Nakamura and Sergio Moraes. Martin’s most impressive win during this streak came at the expense of Ryan LaFlare back at UFC 229 where he landed a flush head kick that resulted in a knockout victory for Martin. The Brazilian Jiu Jitsu black belt went on to face Demian Maia in the summer of 2019 where he lost a majority decision to the experienced Maia. Martin struggled to suppress the impressive ground game of Maia but adjusted in the later rounds and fought valiantly. He went on to defeat Ramazan Emeev several months later via unanimous decision which has led him to posting a 5-1 record in his last six UFC appearances.
The five-year UFC veteran has displayed his ability to mix it up well backed by a stout ground game and ever improving striking arsenal. Sky’s the limit for the 30-year-old welterweight who looks to get back in the Octagon sometime in 2020 to further elevate his current 17th rank position among fellow UFC Welterweights!
After losing his professional mixed martial arts debut to Matt Thorpe back in 2007, Claudio Silva has gone on an impressive 14 fight win streak with five of his last wins taking place in the UFC Welterweight division. His victories during this time include Danny Roberts, Nordine Taleb and Leon Edwards. Silva has been able to implement his stellar ground game very effectively with his last three wins ending via submission victory. He most recently defeated Cole Williams via rear-naked-choke in the first round back in August of 2019.
After defeating Leon Edwards via split decision in 2014, Silva went on a four-year hiatus before returning to face Nordine Taleb in 2018. The Brazlian Jiu Jitsu black belt was able to secure a rear-naked-choke after getting the fight to the ground where he forced a submission at 4:31 of the first round. Silva is currently averaging and impressive 3.32 takedown average per bout and a 2.11 submission average per bout. After a strong start to his UFC career, the 37-year-old Brazilian native is eager to return to the Octagon and extend an already impressive win streak.
Not many fighters are willing to take a fight on short notice especially when riding a six-fight win streak. Even fewer fighters are willing to do so on less than 24 hours’ notice! That’s precisely what UFC veteran James Krause did earlier in the year when he took on Trevin Giles with less than 24 hours to prepare or make weight. Krause has compiled an 8-4 UFC record since joining the promotion back in 2013 and continues to impress fans using his versatility, toughness and willingness to compete.
After compiling a six-fight win streak between 2015 and 2019, Krause volunteered to step up and face Trevin Giles in February of 2020 where he lost a split decision. Even with little preparation and the absence of a fight camp, the Virginia native was quick to take Giles’s back in first round and control his opponent for over four minutes! After some controversial judging, Giles was ruled the victory, but many were impressed by Krauses’s durability and ability to adapt and entertain on such short notice. Not many fighters would be so eager to risk a win-streak of six fights to save a fight but that’s just the kind of guy Krause is. Krause is currently ranked as the #23 UFC Welterweight by MMA World Rankings and will no doubt be rewarded a high-level fight.
New York resident Randy Brown has without a doubt been the most successful UFC signing that came by way of Dana Whites Looking For A Fight YouTube Show that debuted several years ago. Prior to joining the promotion, Brown compiled a six-fight win streak in Ring of Combat where he became the Welterweight Champion and defended his belt twice. His last performance caught the eye of UFC President Dana White while filming his signature show which resulted in Brown’s signing shortly after.
Brown went on to make his UFC debut on January 30, 2016 where he defeated Matt Dwyer via unanimous decision. Since then, Brown has gone on to compile a UFC record of 5-3. 2019 has been his most successful year yet as he went on to finish Bryan Barberena and Warlley Alves back to back in a span of five months.
After two impressive performances in 2019, Brown was slated to face #13 ranked UFC Welterweight Vicente Luque on April 11, 2020. Unfortunately, the event was cancelled in its entirety, but fans can only hope this pivotal welterweight matchup against two of the most talented in the division will be rescheduled for a later date. Standing at 6’3 and boasting a 78-inch reach, Brown continues to pursue his goal of becoming a top ranked welterweight and will continue to do so in 2020.
Andrew is a lifelong follower of combat sports. His passion began as a child and has only grown as an adult. Andrew holds a bachelor’s degree from Pepperdine University and a master’s from Texas A & M University. Outside of combat sports, Andrew currently works as a program manager for an aerospace manufacturing company. He has trained Muay Thai for seven years and continues to spar and train on the weekends when time permits.