The Return Of The Heavyweight Division


Throughout history, heavyweight has always been one of the most well-liked and exciting divisions in all forms of combat sports, weather it be boxing, kickboxing, or MMA. The UFC’s heavyweight division has long been regarded as one of its best, consisting of massive fighters possessing devastating knockout power.

A heavyweight division once consisting of the likes of Brock Lesnar, Shane Carwin, Frank Mir, and Antonio Rodrigo Nogueira, just to name a few notables, was looking rather diminished lately. This point came after Cain Velasquez destroyed Lesnar to take the title back at UFC 121 in October of 2010. After this fight, Lesnar went back to the WWE, Carwin went on to retire, and Mir and Nogueira have been fading ever since. The loss of these perennial superstars left one of the most exciting divisions looking rather lackluster.

After this point, one can argue that Velasquez and Junior dos Santos were the only two relevant heavyweights for quite some time. Don’t get me wrong, they put on three very exciting fights, with Velasquez proving he is among the elite pound-for-pound fighters in today’s MMA landscape. Besides these two, though, what did fans have to look forward too? Not much to be honest.

However, that is all changing. The heavyweight division is experiencing a rebirth, so to say, with the returns of injured stars Velasquez and JDS approaching and the emergence of many new contenders as well as exciting fights we can look forward too.

First off, we have the highly anticipated title fight between the reigning champ himself and No.1 contender Fabricio Werdum soon approaching at UFC 180 in November. Besides the fact that Velasquez will be returning from almost a year off, Werdum proved in his last fight how talented and exciting he can be. I would think I speak for many fans when I say this, but I cannot wait for this scrap.

We also have a very exciting brawl going down at UFC Fight Night 52 this weekend (September 20, 2014) that pits two of the most devastating knockout artists in the heavyweight division against each other when Mark Hunt takes on Roy Nelson. If you like a slugfest, you should definitely tune into this one.

Besides specific fights, there have been quite a few fighters who have recently emerged as possible contenders to Velasquez’s throne. Leading the charge is Stipe Miocic, the No. 4-ranked challenger who has been on as a tear as of late. It is rumored that a bout between Miocic and JDS could be in the works.

With a win over Dos Santos, Miocic could earn a title shot. This list also consists of Andrei Arlovski, who recently picked up a very impressive first round knockout over “Bigfoot Silva”, Ben Rothwell, who recently knocked out Alistair Overeem, and Matt Mitrione, who is a riding a two-fight win streak of his own, with each win coming by way of first round knockout.

Also adding to the excitement, is the return of “The Skyscraper” Stefan Struve. Struve has been out for quite a long time battling a heart condition, but he has overcame his struggles and will be back in the cage soon. It was announced recently that Struve will take on Alistair Overeem at UFC on FOX 13 on December 13, 2014. This is sure to be a very exciting tilt.

With all these factors coming in to play, the returns, the fights, and the new contenders the heavyweight division is undoubtedly on an upward rise. Whether you are a fan of the heavyweight division or just a fight fan in general, there’s no way you cannot be excited for what’s to come. But with several big fights on the horizon, will anyone be able to wrest the belt from the grinding Velasquez’s iron grip?


  • thexperience1

    Cain will keep a Kung-Fu grip on that belt for a long ass time… I’m not even looking forward to that fight with Werdum. Who is really gonna challenge that beast of a man? The way he beat JDS twice, was just a scary sight. If you can absolutely DESTROY a monster like that twice, with such dominance it’s just crazy.

    • Ivy

      Someone has got his number. Someone always does. And sometimes it’s the person you least expect…you just never know.

      • thexperience1

        Well that person is currently not in the UFC… “IF” he even exists!

    • ultimatebrosky

      I think werdum is gonna give him a run for his money when they meet up…i think werdums improved striking is gonna help him out in this fight and his jiu jitsu always makes people think twice about going to the ground with him. Cain being out of action for so long might be something else that comes into play.

      I’ve got werdum in this one 😉

    • SpaceJam

      I think Cain is a beast and he is one of my favorite fighters, he has showed some slight holes with his boxing on occasion, don’t get me wrong when Cain is on he is as ferocious as it gets, if he has a good night he will be champ for a while. JDS not only KOd Cain but he rocked Cain several times in both the 2nd and 3rd fight. Werdum is no fucking joke, he has turned into a serious striker with the best BJJ in the UFC.

      One quick thing about JDS he has nasty KO power but he sometimes doesn’t throw punches properly, he connects with the front of his palm and finger tips and not his knuckles. He has a great over hand right and right uppercut but his left hook is sloppy, Cain is by far the best of the bunch, I think Werdum will shock some people and maybe pull the upset.

  • thexperience1

    Werdum is gonna get his ass royally whooped.. I don’t know what all this overhyping Werdum shit is all about.. lol He beat Browne and looked good, cause Browne looked bad. I’m FAR from impressed by his striking. Sure his striking is better than it used to be, but he has a long long way to go.

    It’s not second nature to him and you can see him think. All he has right now is preset combos as i like to call them. He just doesn’t have the natural striking ability or instinctive striking. He’s not the type of fighter than will be able to adapt, when his plan A and B fail. The pressure Cain will put on him is gonna break him. He’s probably gonna do that pussy shit he did in the Overeem fight. Fall down all the time and invite Cain into his guard.

    He can not take Cain down, so it won’t go there unless Cain chooses to take it there. Which he probably won’t until he hurts Werdum badly.

    JDS is a bad ass with nasty KO power but Cain has showed us that first fight, was a fluke. He got caught behind the ear flush and it was over. Then he came back and not just beat but absolutely destroyed JDS… Twice! I like JDS and I honestly don’t ever wanna see him take that kind of punishment again. Those 2 whooping’s probably took some years of his life!

    • Kevin

      The werdum fight vs overreem showed me that alister wasn’t nearly as top notch as people thought, and werdum improved since his whooping vs arlovski years ago.

      I see Cain dismantling werdum in 2 rounds. Outside of Cain and jds there isn’t much. Arlovski is still one of my all time favorites, but really the only reason people think the hw div has improved is bc Cain and jds have been out of action.