Heavyweight division stretched ‘thin’
UFC 166 stomps into Houston on Oct. 19
Shawn “Fierce” McPherson
The UFC heavy weight division lacks some punch.
The Ultimate Fighting Championship has two very dominant fighters in Cain Velasquez and Junior Dos Santos, who are yet again fighting each other for the third time for the heavyweight championship on Oct. 19.
This tilt is one that fans have been waiting for, and many are hoping for a more competitive fight than in the past. These two big-boys have a long line up of up-and-coming contenders who think they can beat them, but will unfortunately have to wait their turn.
One of the top contenders is Fabricio Werdum, who lost to Dos Santos in his UFC debut. Werdum has since went 6-1 with wins over legend Fedor Emelianenko, Antonio Silva, Roy Nelson and most recently submitting Antonio Rodrigo “Big Nog” Nogueira. He seems to be the frontrunner for a title shot.
Things get more interesting after taking into account a few solid mid-tier fighters bouncing around below the champ and number one contender. Travis Browne has a good chance to move up the ranks and is fresh off a first round TKO of former big shot Alistair Overeem. Browne is bigger than most heavyweights, and has potential for a bright future in the UFC.
There is also Josh Barnett who knocked out veteran Frank Mirr- and has only lost once since 2008. Stipe Miocic had recently bounced back, after a loss to Stefan Struve by beating Roy Nelson. There are also several fighters coming off losses and most have already lost to both Velasquez and Dos Santos.
Also, look out for Daniel Cormier, who is an undefeated former Olympic wrestler and Strikeforce heavyweight Grand Prix champ. Cormier has one win in the UFC and a fight coming up against Roy Nelson, but he may move down a weight class after training with former champ Velasquez.
All in all, the heavyweight division has some talent, but the pool from which to draw stellar fighters from is pretty shallow. Considering the deep light-heavyweight division, it may become a trend for some sluggers to move down to compete.
With the arrival of Johnny “Bones” Jones, and scraps like the five round bloodbath between him and Alexander Gustafsson, the heavyweights have been put on the back burner. Fans can witness world-class heavy striking from better-conditioned athletes.
Junior Dos Santos and Cain Velasquez should be entertaining, but don’t expect it to go the distance.