The Collapse of the UFC’s Heavyweight Divison

It all began after Randy Couture beat Gabriel Gonzaga.  Everything was looking promising for the UFC’s heavyweight divison.  The divison has the most popular of the title holders and had many contenders lined up.  Then out of nowhere Randy Couture left the UFC and the feud began with Dana White.  Randy didn’t care to fight anyone the UFC had, he wanted Fedor.  When Fedor decided to sign with M1 over the UFC it lead to a collapse that is still making ripples.  The UFC was once strong, but now guys like Brandon Vera, Frank Mir, Cheick Kongo and Eddie Sanchez are becoming the top contenders.  Why?  It is because of the collapse. 

          The UFC lost its star and champ in Randy Couture.  They missed out on the best in all MMA in Fedor Emelianenko.  Andrei Arlovski, the former champ and who many consider to be a top 3 heavyweight is disgruntled and seems to be on his way out of the UFC following his fight with Jake O’Brien.   Mirko Cro Cop, who at one time was the most feared fighter in MMA has lost two in a row and Dana is giving him an ultimatum.  He may fight once more in the UFC and finish his contract, but after that I can’t imagine Cro Cop in the UFC.   It is now reported that Tim Sylvia may be looking elsewhere after he finishes his contract.  He wants more money.  He is frustrated that an unproven guy like Brock Lesnar would make more than he does.  I can’t blame him.  All the problems that have come hinge from three things, which I believe are colossal mistakes by the UFC and Dana White. 1. The failure to sign Fedor 2. The rift between Randy Couture and the UFC 3. The failure to pay some fighters what they feel they deserve and the marketing of unamed and unproven guys like Lesnar.  Arguablly the biggest heavyweight names is the UFC are Arlovski, Couture, Sylvia and Cro Cop and they want out, mostly because of pay issues.  It looks like the UFC messed with the wrong guy when the messed with Captain America.  Dana White has never been one to back down, but this time it has bit him in the butt.  They not only failed to work things out with Couture, but they have attempted to hurt him.  They are suing him, forcing commentators to say little about him, and banning Affliction sponsorship.   They messed up when they failed to sign Fedor and even more so messed up when they rejected M1’s offer to work the fight out between Fedor and Randy.  Well, now we see the collapse of the UFC.  Antonio Rodrigo Nogueira is a great champ regardless, but who is left.  It looks like Werdum is now the number one contender.  The You have Cheick Kongo and Frak Mir.  Then you have others good fighters like Brandon Vera, Jake O’Brien and Heath Herring.  You have a potential star in Lesnar, but when Eddie Sanchez makes it into the top ten of the heavyweight divison you know the divison has gotten weak.  The UFC better do a few things.  First, it better reconcole with Randy Couture.  Second, they better pay proven fighters better.  Third, they better get another couple good heavyweights, because with the departure of Arlovski, Cro Cop and maybe Sylvia M1 could become deep at Heavyweight and UFC weak.  I would go get a big name guy if I was Dana, like Josh Barnett or even Kimbo Slice, but he keeps burning those bridges.  The ball is in your court Dana!

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