Battle of the Heavyweights

With StrikeForce’s Heavyweight World Grand Prix Tournament just around the corner, I thought I could compare and contrast some of the best Heavyweight MMA fighters that currently reside in both the StrikeForce and the UFC’s ranks. There has been a lot of debate surrounding the topic as of late, and hopefully I can shed some light on the current state of MMA’s Heavyweights, and perhaps help to get a more definitive answer. 

First and foremost in many eyes StrikeForce’s Heavyweight roster is arguably their best division, not only that but it is also a division with depth, and quite frankly StrikeForce is lacking in depth overall in their divisions, but one can not make that claim when talking about their Heavyweights. Many have criticised StrikeForce for being incapable of getting their Heavyweights in the cage, which is a fair criticism,  but their Heavyweight Grand Prix will surely put those claims to bed, with the eventual winner having a good case for being the Number. 1 heavyweight in the world, and possibly the Baddest Man on the Planet. 

I will give you a brief overview of the StrikeForce Heavyweight division, including their top fighters, credentials and most importantly their records. 

Strikeforce Heavyweights 

Champion: Alistair Overeem 

MMA Record : (W-L-D) 33-11-0 1,N.C

Age: 30 

Height: 6ft 5′ 

Reach: 81.5′ 

Strength: Kickboxing/Muay Thai 

Overeem holds the StrikeForce Heavyweight crown, and on top of that he won 2010’s K1 World GP and ia also the DREAM heavyweight Champion, Now such credentials could easily stake a  claim for being the No.1 in the world, but Overeem’s lack of actual MMA fighting this year has damaged this claim, and many have criticised him for not facing high level competition as he despatched of Todd Duffee and Brett Rogers. His K1 achievements are impressive, but sadly it’s not MMA and you cant read to much into that. 

Fabricio Werdum 

MMA Record: 14-4-1 

Age: 33 

Height: 6ft 4′

Reach: 76′ 

Strength: Brazilian Jiu Jitsu 

Werdum is coming off the biggest win of his career after he submitted the long undefeated Emperor; Fedor Emelianenko last year via triangle/armbar in the very first round. He will be brimming with confidence heading into the tournament and will face current Champ Overeem in a quarter final match-up, and strangely enough has a submission victory over Overeem when they fought in Japanese promotion PRIDE FC. Werdum is one of, if not the most accomplished submission specialists in MMA, and has won countless grappling tournaments, including the ADCC world championships on three occasions, and is a 2nd degree BJJ blackbelt. 

Fedor Emelianenko 

MMA Record: 32-2-1 

Age: 34 

Height: 6ft 0′ 

Reach: 74′ 

Strength: Sambo 

Fedor has had an illustrious career and was the long reigning Pound 4 Pound King of MMA before his sole loss to the aforementioned Werdum. Fedor is a former PRIDE FC heavyweight Champion and Grand Prix winner, and has beaten a who’s who of MMA greats he has also competed in and won many MMA tournament format events, including RINGS & WAMMA, as far as experience in actual tournaments go I think Fedor will have a slight advantage over his counterparts.  Emelianenko has also represented his country in both Sambo and Judo world Championships and has been very successful in doing so; picking up many gold medals and top 3 places. Fedor is pitted against Brazilian giant Antonio Silva in his opening quarter final matchup that will feature in the tournament. 

Josh Barnett 

MMA Record: 26-5-0 

Age: 33

Height: 6ft 3′ 

Reach: 76′ 

Strength: Catch Wrestling/Submission Wrestling 

Barnett was successful early on in his MMA career and is a former UFC heavyweight Champion; although his title was later stripped from him as he tested positive for steroids and was cut by the UFC. Barnett a talented submission artist then took his talents to Japan and later won the King of Pancrase title, before fighting in PRIDE FC. Barnett had mixed success in PRIDE and made it to the Openweight Grand Prix Finals, losing out to Mirko Cro Cop. Barnett holds a blackbelt in Brazilian Jiu Jitsu but his style is more incorporated towards Catch Wrestling. Josh will face Brett Rogers in his quarter final match up as part of the StrikeForce tournament. 

Antonio Silva 

MMA Record: 15-2-0 

Age: 31 

Height: 6ft 4′

Reach: 82′ 

Strength: Boxing/BJJ 

The Brazilian giant has competed in many MMA promotions throughout the years and was a Champion in the Elite XC promotion. Big Foot’s most notable win to date is a unanimous decision victory over former UFC Champ Andrei Arlovski which happened last year at StrikeForce: Heavy Artillery. Silva holds a blackbelt in Brazilian Jiu Jitsu, Judo as well as Karate and is an accomplished martial artist. Big Foot will be a heavy underdog going into his quarter final match up against Fedor, but one thing’s for sure he shouldnt be taken lightly. 

Others in the mix: 

Andrei Arlovski, Sergei Kharitonov, Daniel Cormier, Shane Del Rosario, Brett Rogers, Valentijn Overeem, Bobby Lashley, Lavar Johnson

Now, the UFC’s heavyweight division is very disputable, and arguably their weakest division with many believing Brock Lesnar being an unworthy title challenger never mind Champion and has since been dethroned at the hands of Cain Velasquez. Although the UFC have other fighters in their Heavyweight ranks there are very few outside of the top 5 of their division that are showing definite future contender status, and on top of that there not exactly brimming with young prospects either. Their Champ Velasquez is currently sidelined with a shoulder injury and it is unsure when he will return, leaving a perfect opportunity for the StrikeForce tournament winner to stake his claim for the Number one spot in the world, and with Lesnar and Dos Santos filming TUF there is little activity in this division recently. 

O.K here we go, down to business!! 

Champion: Cain Velasquez 

MMA Record 9-0-0

Age: 28

Height: 6ft 1′ 

Reach: 77′

Strength: Wrestling 

Although Velasquez has only 9 professional fights he has bulldozed through everyone the UFC could throw at him, and despite his bread and butter being his wrestling he has only went the distance in one of his nine fights, his sole decision win coming against Cheick Kongo. Cain is undefeated and has despatched of MMA legend Antonio Rodrigo Nogueira via 1st rd KO en route to his title shot and utter destruction of Brock Lesnar; another 1st rd finish via TKO. Velasquez is still young in his MMA Career but has shown all the attributes of a champion, and has various college wrestling credentials to his name andis an All American state wrestling Champ.  Cain will square off against the winner of Brock Lesnar vs Junior Dos Santos in which will be his first UFC title defense.

Junior Dos Santos:  

MMA Record: 12-1-0 

Age: 26 

Height: 6ft 3′

Reach: 77′ 

Strength: Boxing 

Dos Santos was originally set to take on Velasquez for the title, before the unexpected injury to the Champ, but will now instead take on Former Champ Brock Lesnar for number one contendership, while the Champ recovers. Junior will also coach on this seasons The Ultimate Fighter competition opposite Lesnar before the two square off. JDS is 6-0 inside the UFC’s octagon and has finished five of his opponents via TKO or KO and has shown great potential and possesses alot of power and technique in his stand up game. JDS is a brown belt in BJJ under the tutelage of Antonio Rodrigo Nogueira and will have to get through Lesnar for his shot at glory. 

Brock Lesnar 

MMA Record: 5-2-0

Age: 33

Height: 6ft 3′ 

Reach: 81′

Strength: Wrestling 

Despite having only 7 professional MMA fights, Lesnar has accomplished a lot in the short span that has been his MMA career. He has beaten two former world Champions in Frank Mir and the legendary Randy Couture. And has a submission victory over the heavy hittin’ Shane Carwin. Lesnar was famously hailed as the ”Baddest Man on the Planet” but after Cain Velasquez made him look anything but what his moniker suggested, Lesnar has licked his wounds and is ready to make a comeback, and will take on the aforementioned Dos Santos in a bid to get one step closer to regaining his championship. Lesnar is also an NCAA Division l wrestling Champ and had a successful run throughout his college career. 

Shane Carwin 

MMA Record: 12-1-0 

Age: 36 

Height: 6ft 2′ 

Reach: 80′ 

Strength: Boxing 

Carwin is 4-1 in the UFC with all 4 of his wins coming by way of KO/TKO and definitely packs dynamite in his fists. His only loss came to former Champ Brock Lesnar via arm triangle, after Carwin had effectively punched himself out in the first round when he put a hurting on the Champ, Brock survived to come back and clinch the win in the 2nd. Shane also has win over former champ Frank Mir, he TKO’d Mir in the first round to secure his shot at Lesnar and also the Interim UFC Heavyweight Championship. On top of his impressive punching power, Carwin is also a NCAA Division ll wrestling Champion and even has a numberofwins via submission. Carwin’s next opponent is still unknown, but he is back in training after a lengthly lay off due to a back injury. 

Frank Mir 

MMA Record: 14-5-0 

Age: 31

Height: 6ft 3′ 

Reach: 79 

Strength: Brazilian Jiu Jitsu 

Mir is a former 2 time UFC heavyweight Champion and is arguably the best submission artist the UFC Heavyweight Divisionhas to offer and has seven submission victories in the UFC’s octagon, Mir has never been submitted and holds a black belt in Brazilian Jiu Jitsu under BJJ great Robert Drysdale. Mir has a submission victory over former Champ Brock Lesnar, but that loss was later avenged by Brock. Frank has been hot and cold lately after losing to Lesnar, he went onto defeat Cheick Kongo before losing out to Shane Carwin, and in his most recent UFC outing he KO’d MMA Legend Mirko Cro Cop. Mir is slated to face Roy Nelson at UFC 130 and will need a win if he is make another run at the title. 

Others in the mix: Antonio Rodrigo Nogueira, Mirko Cro Cop, Brendan Schaub, Stefan Struve, Travis Browne, Cheick Kongo, Ben Rothwell, Roy Nelson 

O.K folks that’s the wrap and the only thing left to do is decide. Now, my aim was for people to vote based on an overall perspective of who has the best division; deeper talent pool, better combatants. and not to be based upon whether you think one fighter would beat another fighter from a different promotion. 

Like always here on we let you guys, the fans decide. Make your choice, and choose wisely LowKickers!