UFC’s Heavyweight Division

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oleg
9/14/08 11:52:21PM
In boxing and many other combat sports, the heavyweight division has traditionally produced the biggest stars and attracted the most attention. Not so in mixed martial arts, where lightheavyweights have been the focal point of the sport ever since the inception of weight classes. This has been especially true in UFC, where the biggest names have fought at 205 lbs while the heavyweight division suffered from the lack of talent and competition.

Things were looking up for the heavyweights when Zuffa purchased Pride FC; however UFC failed to sign most of Pride’s biggest heavyweight stars in Fedor Emelianenko, Sergei Kharitonov, and the former UFC champion Josh Barnett; while Mirko ‘Cro-Cop’ Filipovic’s excursion into the Octagon ended with a whimper. Of all the Pride heavys, only Antonio ‘Minotauro’ Nogueira thrived in the UFC.

In addition to the lack of quality contenders, UFC has also suffered from a string of bad luck with their heavyweight title holders: from Barnett’s and Tim Sylvia’s steroid scandals, to Frank Mir’s motorcycle accident, to Randy Couture’s resignation - they have been unable to establish a proper lineage, crowning interim champions on numerous occasions when the previous title holders left the organization without losing their belts. After Couture resigned from his contract and former champions Sylvia and Andrei Arlovski left UFC for the new rival Affliction, the heavyweight division was at its lowest point in a long time.

Recently, Couture announced that he will be returning to the UFC after a year-long legal battle. Couture’s return, in addition to Brock Lesnar’s debut in the top 20 after defeating Heath Herring, shifted the balance of HW division slightly into UFC’s favor. According to the latest Fightmatrix.com ranking , 3 of the Top 5, 5 of the Top 10, and 7 of the Top 20 heavyweights are currently competing in the UFC.


Here is an in-depth look at UFC’s heavyweight division
grappler0000
9/14/08 11:57:38PM
Good stuff per usual.
cmb19932
9/15/08 7:58:28AM
i dont know i like the heavyweights i know with the titles and lack of talent its not the greatest but it is getting alot better
mkiv9secsupra
9/15/08 2:38:25PM
I love the HW division. There are lots of great fighters.....it just happens to be that the really good fighters have always been spread out in a whole bunch of different organizations.
jiujitsufreak74
9/15/08 2:45:43PM
i really like the fightmatrix rankings because they provide an interesting perspective with no bias. keep it up oleg
Khaos
9/15/08 9:53:10PM
The HW division is very fun ,and the whole title situation is intreging, but(and in all seriousness) the UFC needs to bring back Ricco Rodriguez, IF he got back in decent shape, I think he could be a force again in the HW division, and would have a fair chance at beating Couture(again), Mir, and NOG(in a rematch), although if he would beat Brock is a " ? " for me.
Pitbull09
9/15/08 11:01:50PM
HW's in MMA still are very undeveloped in MMA. We may have Fedor dominating but think about the cons.
-65 lb weight difference in the division
-Most fighters are not too talented and rely more on their height and weight rather than actual skill
-Even some of the top 10 HWs gas in their fights due to lack of cardio.
-Some HWs rely soley on striking and are not versed in BJJ much

Though the division is not good today, it has high hopes in 5-10 years. By then, I think there will be a 220 lb division to seperate guys like Couture, Vera, and Big Nog from bigger and actuall HWs.
Look at some of the young guns in the division. Carwin, Lesnar, Cain. All these guys are huge and actually cut with muscle. They are not simply tall fatter guys (Sylvia and Monsoon), they are built for that body frame.
Just add BJJ black belts to this body type and the future of the HW division is amazing.
Wolfenstein
9/15/08 11:40:02PM
The LHW division is going to be the top division in MMA for a long time. There's less people built naturally large and athletic.

I enjoy these rankings from Fight Matrix. I don't always agree with the results but they're relatively accurate and provide for rankings of the top 100. Awesome.
oleg
9/16/08 12:01:37AM

Posted by Khaos

The HW division is very fun ,and the whole title situation is intreging, but(and in all seriousness) the UFC needs to bring back Ricco Rodriguez, IF he got back in decent shape, I think he could be a force again in the HW division, and would have a fair chance at beating Couture(again), Mir, and NOG(in a rematch), although if he would beat Brock is a " ? " for me.



That is a BIG IF.
JohnnyNapalm
9/16/08 3:40:21AM
MMA has the same problem as boxing - athletically talented big guys seem to prefer making bigger money in other sports like, for example, b-ball, hockey, and football.

I'll bet a b-ball player sitting on a bench somewhere over in an European basketball league makes far more money than the average MMA HW.
Svartorm
9/16/08 3:52:43AM
If I recall correctly, the MINIMUM amount a b-ball player in the NBA makes is $250,000, so their bench warmers make more than everyone but some top ten HWs yearly.
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