Superfights. It seems that every time UFC President Dana White gets in front of a microphone, someone asks him about a potential match-up of Georges St-Pierre against the champion in the weight class above or below him, while in all honesty, there is plenty of talent to challenge him at the weight class that he has dominated for nearly a decade.

Before the champion blew out his knee in preparation for his fight at UFC 137, there wasn’t as much activity near the top of the division as there currently is, and the lineup for this weekend’s UFC 158 event proves that there are plenty of suitors for the strap.

The co-main event holds two key fighters to the puzzle. Johny Hendricks takes on Carlos Condit in a fight in which the winner could see the next title shot. A lot of people out there think that Hendricks should be fighting for the title considering his 9-1 promotional record and current five-fight winning streak, in which he knocked off Jon Fitch, Josh Koscheck and Martin Kampmann in his last three. Condit, on the other hand, recently had his shot at GSP and fought well in defeat, but, more importantly, was the last man to defeat Nick Diaz, the man now fighting for the title.

Considering the victory over Diaz gave “The Natural Born Killer” the interim crown and that he hung in there with one of the best in the world, a victory over “Big Rig” would give him another crack at either St-Pierre or Diaz. Meanwhile, if Hendricks delivers one of his now signature left hands to the jaw of Condit, it would put another notch in his bedpost and give him his long-awaited title shot.

But for good measure, there is another big welterweight fight on the card to further the activity in the busy division. Jake Ellenberger will battle former Strikeforce welterweight champion Nate Marquardt. Both of these fighters have hit bumps in the road recently in their careers, with this fight being the one to get them back to driving on smooth pavement. After “The Juggernaut” lost to Kampmann, he sprung back nicely with a victory over Jay Hieron in a fight everyone saw him winning. After never being able to get over the hump in the UFC at middleweight, Marquardt returns to the promotion 15 pounds lighter and coming off a loss in the final Strikeforce fight to Tarec Saffiedine.

A victory for “The Great” puts him in a very good position as far as rankings are concerned and would be a great way for him to return to the Octagon, whereas Ellenberger can also climb up the ladder to a comfortable spot. Based on the fight that follows it, neither fighter would likely get a title shot as a result of this victory, but these two have the advantage in being able to set the bar high and put on a show, which could result in catching the eye of White.

All of this is on the heels of knowing that Rory MacDonald was supposed to fight on the card too. Following his victory in December, MacDonald requested a rematch against Condit in an effort to seek vengeance on the only fighter to beat him. If it wasn’t for an injury, he would be fighting in the co-main event. It wouldn’t come as a surprise to find that the 14-1 fighter could find himself in a bout against the winner of the fight between Ellenberger and Marquardt.

There is no denying that the idea behind superfights is exciting, but let’s keep GSP out of that conversation for now. Including the injured MacDonald and No. 1 contender Diaz, there are six fighters that find themselves worthy enough for a shot at the champion after a victory or two.  Let “Rush” focus on them.

Photo: Johny Hendricks (Esther Lin/MMA Fighting)