The UFC has always been known for having the best of the best when it comes to fighters. Over the years we have seen divisions developed to the point there is always a clear pecking order for contender-ship and typically a line of fighters waiting for the next shot. The ranking system has been improving since the UFC has implemented it, and typically if you are in the top 15, you are the cream of the crop. The same can’t be said for the heavyweights. There’s a number of reasons that can be attributed to, but certainly the number 1 is the lack of consistency among the athletes on the roster.

Two fights in the span of 1 week have really highlighted this issue. First was the Arlovski and Big Foot Silva match at UFC Fight Night 51. It wasn’t long ago that Andrea Arlovski was written off as being one of the all time greats, but a fighter with no real future in the sport beyond fighting in smaller organizations. When the UFC announced that he was returning to the organization the overall response from fans and media alike was confusion. It looked like the UFC was desperate for names, and in fact that could have been a contributing factor to Arlovski’s re-signing. In his first fight back he won a controversial decision over Brendan Schaub. From there he was given a fight against Antonio “Big Foot” Silva, who was considered a top five fighter in the division. With a swift first round knockout of Big Foot, Arlovski found himself trending in social media with the word contender following closely there after. Arlovski is currently ranked #7 in the UFC’s heavyweight rankings.

The second fight was this past Saturday, at UFC Fight Night 52. The main event was a heavyweight fight between Mark Hunt and Roy Nelson. Both fighters are accomplished and well respected, but getting up there in age. Roy was putting on a great performance, and Hunt was weathering the storm and returning fire when he could. In the second round, Hunt delivered a well timed uppercut sending Nelson face first into the canvas for the first time in his UFC career. As with Arlovski, the news outlets and social media began buzzing with talk of contendership thanks in no small part to Mark Hunt’s knockout of Nelson. Though Hunt isn’t as strange a story as Arlovski, his record isn’t one that would lead you to think he should be fighting for a title any time soon. In his last three outings he has a record of 1-1-1. That record certainly isn’t something that would find it’s way into a pre-fight promo.

The ranking and the discussion of contender-ship is a symptom of the lack of depth in the division and also the coin toss-like outcomes of these fights due to the heavy hands owned by these athletes. The division has always provided jaw dropping knockouts that flash before fan’s eyes in highlight reels, but that has led to what seems like a musical chairs style state of affairs in the weight class. The only consistency in recent years has been the dominance of two fighters: Cain Velasquez and Junior Dos Santos. Cain, as current champion, has already defeated Junior twice and lost to him once. So it’s not likely to see them squaring off again any time soon. The Champ is scheduled to face Fabricio Werdum at UFC 180. This fight makes sense and Werdum is a deserving and capable opponent, but after UFC 180 it’s difficult to say who should get the next shot. Things change quickly, not only in this division, but also in this sport. The only thing that we can do is wait and see who the matchmakers decide is more deserving in the coming months.

About The Author

Michael Davis
Director, Business Development/Senior Staff Writer

Michael Davis is a seasoned professional in the world of finance. In recent years, he has worked for Fortune 500 companies and consulted at one of the largest hedge funds in the world. After working closely with a mixed martial arts management company, he realized he could apply his skills to the sport he loved. The culmination of his professional experience and passion for MMA have led him to his role as Senior Staff Writer and Director of Business Development at The MMA Corner.

  • rinsure

    That would be Junior Dos Santos, not Dos Anjos….