Which weight divison is the best. There are a few ways to look at this and determine what division in the best.
- Based on realistic title contenders within the division
- Number of well-known fighters
- All around from top to bottom
Here is how I will score to come up with an objective best division. I will give each realistic title contender 5 points. Admittedly, the flaw in this is most likely a guy like Matt Serra previously would not have been considered a contender. Therefore, I will be be liberal with giving the points for contenders. Most likely anyone who could get a title shot will be considered a contender. Since each divison will get that luxury it will balance out. Also, I will give one point for each well-known or accomplished fighter in that division.
- Light Heavyweights: 69 Points
It was tought to assess point values, but I believe the lightheavyweight division is the best from top to bottom with the most title contenders. I believe it may be one of the only divisions where on any given night 5 guys could probably beat the top guy. I believe the top of this division is the best of any with: Jackson, Henderson, Rua, Liddell, and Rashasd Evans. Then you throw in Wanderlai Silva, Forrest Griffin, and quickly rising Houston Alexander and it is stacked. That does not even mention Tito Ortiz, Keith Jardine, Matt Hamill, Michael Bisping, or Stephan Bonnar. Wow. This division is stacked and in my book is the best and fastest growing.
I would not have thought before of putting lightweights this high. I would say there depth is strong, but they lack serious title contenders. I generously consider maybe 7 or 8 guys title contenders. Realisiticly the only guys that can win the title and hold it are Penn, Sherk and Stevenson. I believe they stand head and shoulders above the second tier of Franca, Florian, Thomas and Lauzon. However, when you think that a guys like Spencer Fisher would be #12 in my rankings thats pretty solid. TUF really helpled this division’s depth and look to see some of the TUF 5 guys moving up (Lauzon, Wiman, Diaz, Gamburyan and Miller).
I think the top is strong, but they have killed each other in this division. It is like a merry-go-round title holding division. I would have to say that St. Pierre, Hughes and Serra stand out above most, but you have Sanchez, Koscheck, Parisyan and Fitch which ain’t too shabby. Throw in some of the new signed guys like Chonan and Sakurai and it helps the depth greatly.
I wanted this one at the top, but I couldn’t. Most combat sports are best known for their Heavyweight division. This is the most exciting division of all. I think this also has the potential to be far and away the best division of the UFC, but not yet. You have some serious contenders here with Randy, Arlovski, Gonzaga, Kongo, Vera, Mir, Sylvia, Nogueira and you still have to throw in Cro Cop in the mix. What an exciting fight. The Couture/Gonzaga fight was one of the most anticipated and exciting fights to me. I love this division. Dana White is three or four signing away from making this the best division not just in UFC, but of all combat sports. You add Fedor you have immediate depth. Then you ink Barnett, Lesnar, and Aleks Emilanenko, and wow this divison is STACKED, but not yet. Heavyweights have many title contenders, but the fewest good fighters as of now. Waiting anxiously for Fedor…
I believe middleweights have the guy holding the title who is least likely to loose it. There is some good competition here. I think Franklin is a good contender, as is Okami and McDonald, but they aren’t Anderson Silva. I am not saying a guy like Franklin can’t take the title on any given night. I think if Dan Henderson jumps down it will seriously help, and he will be hard to beat, even for Anderson Silva. I ranked Dan in my rankings, but it is hard to consider him a middleweight fighter unitl he fights. Terry Martin can contend, but he has to get through Leben first. You do have a host of recognizable names all throughout the division, but some are on the decline and haven’t proven themselves lately (Salaverry, Quarry, Tanner, and Lister).
Look for more to come from the fastest growing sport.
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