There’s nothing like watching two huge guys beat the living snot out of each other. It’s something that interests everyone and gives prestige to the term “heavyweight champion.”

At Saturday’s UFC 146, the heavyweights put on arguably the show of the year thus far, and it could end up being the best card of 2012. It wasn’t surprising, as the higher you get in weight classes, the higher the chance of a finish.

The participants last night showed an excellent display of what can be expected from these big, brutal human tanks.

It doesn’t get any better than Junior dos Santos, who defended his belt for the first time with a dominating display of his skills. Not only did he show off his impeccable and world-class boxing, but he also showed that someone like Frank Mir will have trouble bringing the fight to the ground to put dos Santos out of his comfort zone.

Dos Santos proved that he will keep this belt for a while and showed that the UFC veterans in the division will fall at the might of his boxing. Dos Santos will most likely rematch yet another young guy who has plenty of years left in the sport, Cain Velasquez, who at 29 is looking to get back the heavyweight belt for a second time.

Now, Velasquez is a really good striker and has that wrestling ability that makes him dangerous in a fight against dos Santos, but last time out he couldn’t beat a one-legged dos Santos. Velasquez does have an all-out desire and renewed hunger to get the belt back, but with the takedown defense dos Santos displayed last night, Velasquez may have a very hard time in winning the fight.

Amongst the others in contention for the title, we have Daniel Cormier, Fabricio Werdum and a possible return from Alistair Overeem.

Can any of those guys take the belt from dos Santos? Unlikely. Overeem is the only name in the top 10 who I believe can rustle the belt from dos Santos. It won’t be likely though for another year, at least, that Overeem will get in the cage with dos Santos. After Velasquez, the UFC will have to decide—give an instant title shot to either Overeem coming off a suspension or Cormier, who will be coming off possibly his first win since winning the Strikeforce Heavyweight Grand Prix.

Fact is that dos Santos will dominate the division for years to come, much like the domination seen from Anderson Silva and Georges St-Pierre. Barring a big, career-changing injury, dos Santos will own the belt for a long time. All the heavyweights looked good last night, but not dos Santos good.

The heavyweight division finally has its definitive champion in dos Santos, and it has tons of new, young guys re-invigorating the once depleted division. Names like Stefan Struve (age 24), Travis Browne (age 29) and a possible move of light heavyweight champion Jon Jones gives this division more depth from young fighters to keep the flame going.

These prospects—I still count Struve as a prospect due to his age—are still developing, and the way Struve looked last night in submitting Lavar Johnson definitely was an eye-opener that maybe Struve has finally turned the corner and is starting to reach the potential everybody thought he possessed. Browne also looked good in defeating another Strikeforce heavyweight, Chad Griggs, after a lackluster decision win over Rob Broughton at UFC 135.

The future of the heavyweight division is shaped with dos Santos finally being the definitive champion the division has so desperately sought. Out of all the guys behind him, I can’t see a guy being able to take the belt from him without some sort of injury plaguing dos Santos. But hey, maybe all the hype will end if a certain former heavyweight champion returns from the WWE.

Could Brock Lesnar be the guy to take the belt? Or will one of the aforementioned heavyweights be able to take it home?

We’ll have to wait and see, but the future is very bright.

Photo: Junior dos Santos (L) squares off with Frank Mir at the UFC 146 weigh-ins (Rob Tatum/Bleacher Report)

About The Author

Sal DeRose
Staff Writer

Sal hails from New Jersey and is currently training for his first MMA fight. He hopes to use his knowledge and insight to generate articles that interest and entertain you. Outside of MMA, Sal is a big fan of every other sport. He's a diehard New York sports fan, with the exception of cheering for the Packers.