Breaking Down the UFC Heavyweight Divison

The Champion: Brock Lesnar

The Top Contender: The Winner of Mir vs. Nogueira

The Next Tier:

·         Frank Mir

·         Antonio Rodrigo Nogueira

·         Gabriel Gonzaga

·         Cheick Kongo

·         Fabricio Werdum

·         Randy Couture

 

On the Rise: 

·         Cain Velasquez

·         Shane Carwin

·         Junior Dos Santos

 

Other Notables:

·         Heath Herring

·         Jake O’Brien

·         Antoni Hardonk

·         Mustafa Al Turk

·         Justin McCully

·         Eddie Sanchez

 

Scheduled Fights:

·         Eddie Sanchez vs. Justin McCully @ UFC Fight Night 16 on December 10

·         Frank Mir vs. Antonio Rodrigo Nogueira @ UFC 92 on December 28 (For Interim Title)

·         Cheick Kongo vs. Mustafa Al Turk @ UFC 92 on December 28

·         Antoni Hardonk vs. Mark Burch @ UFC 92 on December 28

·         Dan Evensen vs. Patrick Barry @ UFC 92 on December 28

·         Jake O’Brien vs. Christian Wellish @ UFC 94 on January 31

 

Match Ups I’d Like to See:

·         Heath Herring vs. Gabriel Gonzaga or Cain Velasquez

·         Shane Carwin vs. Junior Dos Santos

·         The loser of Mir vs. Nogueira vs. Randy Couture

 

Other Thoughts:

·         The status of Fabricio Werdum is unknown.  Rumors circulated that he was released from his UFC contract following a breakdown in contract negotiations.  Then it was reported that Werdum was not leaving the UFC.  If he stays he is a serious contender.  I hope the UFC would consider this and want to keep him around

·         The status of ProElite is uncertain, and I mention this because the UFC has the potential to sign a couple of good fighters from the EliteXC heavyweight division such as Brett Rogers and Dave Herman.  It looked like Antonio Silva will head to Sengoku and Kimbo Slice, well….who cares!

·         It is time for Shane Carwin and Cain Velasquez to get more exposure and fight the best.  They are real threats to Brock’s belt. 

·         A 2009 bout between Lesnar and the winner of the Mir vs. Nogueira fight is exciting

·         We are hoping Randy Couture has a few fights left in the tank, and they probably will be at Heavyweight, but don’t expect him to fight no name fighters.

·         Not sure where Mark Coleman fits into the heavyweight picture seeing as how he will be fighting Shogun at light heavyweight

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UFC News: Fabricio Werdum Leaves UFC

Fabricio Werdum was in a tricky situation in the UFC.  He was once considered to be a number one contender.  He entered the UFC with a disappointing loss to Andrei Arlovski, but followed that with two wins over Gabriel Gonzaga and Brandon Vera.  Then it was said that he would get a title shot.  However, the UFC did not take into account Randy Couture’s return.  Also, the UFC started the Ultimate Fighter 8 with Interim Heavyweight Champ Antonio Rodrigo Nogueira and Frank Mir as the coaches and set them to fight at the conclusion of the reality show.  This prevented the UFC from simply unifying the titles with one bout.  They decided to make a four man tournament.  One would suspect Werdum to fight Couture and the winner of that fight to fight the winner of Nogueira vs. Mir.  However, the UFC didn’t go that route.  Newcomer Brock Lesnar got the nod to face Randy in a super fight, being billed as the biggest fight in UFC history.  Werdum was the odd man out.  It wasn’t all bad though for Werdum.  He worked out a new contract and writen in the contract was a promise of a title shot if he won his next fight.  His opponent would be a little known UFC newcomer named Junior Dos Santos.   So, on October 25th at UFC 90 the two clashed.  Dos Santos left with a win and a knockout of the night bonus.  Fabricio Werdum left with less dignity, a bad headache and no title shot in the near future.  MMAweekly is now reporting that Werdum has left the UFC.

Following a rocky time in the Ultimate Fighting Championship, capped by a surprising knockout loss to Octagon newcomer Junior dos Santos at UFC 90, Chute Boxe fighter Fabricio Werdum has left the promotion. Sources tell MMAWeekly.com that Werdum’s exit comes on the heels of a failed contract renegotiation following the loss to dos Santos. Werdum and the UFC were apparently unable to come to an agreement. He has already opened talks with other promotions in the U.S. and Japan.  Had Werdum taken care of business against dos Santos, he was expected to be in contention to face the unified heavyweight champion later in the year. Now it appears he will be moving on to another promotion such as Affliction in the U.S. or Dream or Sengoku in Japan.

Many Questions Arise in Wake of UFC 90?

I believe several questions arose in wake of UFC 90.  I will post the questions in poll form so my readers can voice their opinions.

1. 

Personally, I think it is a mix of a few things and none of them involve anything Cote did.  I think Anderson Silva was trying to confuse Cote.  Part of me feels he was playing around and trying to get in a groove.  I really feel that a KO was coming.  He showed flashes of it.  I was highly disappointed with the fight, but stuff happens.  Silva had a game plan and we don’t like it because Cote’s knee blew.  Silva didn’t know that would happen.  Perhaps he planned on becoming more aggressive.  Anyways, as Dana White said, I would hate to be Silva’s next opponent.  I have a feeling he will be fighting sooner than later. 

2. 

Here is my take on it.  I think Thiago Alves is for real.  I was not on his bandwagon, but I think he is a very good strike, however I see two problems.  He is very predictable.  He loved the flying knee and superman punch.  A good striker could give him problems too.  Also, I don’t know how he would do off his back.  I do not know if he could beat either GSP or B.J. Penn.  I am leaning towards Penn winning the super fight on January 31, and I think if B.J. can get Alves down to the ground he can submit him and pound him.  I think style wise both Penn and GSP are tough matchups for anyone.  So, I say he is for real, but he cannot beat GSP or Penn right now.  GSP was impressed with Alves and thinks he may see Thiago after Penn, but Georges better not overlook B.J.

3.

I am not quite on the bandwagon, but I think he could be a solid fighter.  He needs to prove himself more.  I do not know if he is that good or if Werdum just underestimated him.  He has great training and could be a star, but I’d like to see one more fight before I jump on the bandwagon.  I seem to remember a few guys like Houston Alexander and Sokoudjou coming out of nowhere with a couple of big names KO’s and then disappointing.  I don’t think Dos Santos fits into that mold because I think he will be a more well rounded fighter and trains with some of the best.

4.

I think several impressed.  I guess I would have to say that I was impressed with Thiago Alves the most.  He looked very sharp.  I also was impressed with Josh Koscheck in his loss.  He is tough as nails.  I thought Sherk was impressive and showed good stand up.  Of course Dos Santos was impressive as well.  I enjoyed the Miller vs. Horwich fight and think that both are solid fighters.

5.

My answer depends on how literal you take this question.  Most disappointing to me was Anderson Silva.  I expected a KO.  However, it wasn’t all his fault.  The Cote injury was disappointing, but that wasn’t his fault either.  I really expected more out of Aurelio as well.

MMABlog’s Heavyweight MMA Rankings

 

Below I posted my heavyweight rankings.  My other rankings will be posted today as well.  Certainly the rankings could change a litte bit following UFC 90.  I’d love to hear your debate and arguments as these rankings are somewhat subjective.

 

Rank

Name

Organization

Next Fight

1

Fedor Emelianenko

Affliction

Arlovski (#4) 1/24

2

Antonio Rodrigo Nogueira

UFC

Mir (#11), 12/27

3

Randy Couture

UFC

Lesnar (#16), 11/15

4

Andrei Arlovski

Affliction

Emelianenko (#1) 1/24

5

Josh Barnett

Affliction

1/24

6

Fabricio Werdum

UFC

Do Santos (NR), 10/25

7

Gabriel Gonzaga

UFC

Hendricks (NR), 11/15

8

Tim Sylvia

Afliction

 

9

Alistair Overeem

DREAM/Strikeforce

 

10

Cheick Kongo

UFC

Al Turk (NR), 12/27

11

Frank Mir

UFC

Nogueira (#2) , 12/27

12

Ben Rothwell

Affliction

 

13

Aleksander Emelianenko

Affliction

 

14

Mirko Cro Cop

DREAM

 

15

Sergei Kharitonov

DREAM

 

16

Brock Lesnar

UFC

Couture (#3), 11/15

17

Roy Nelson

Affliction

 

18

Cain Velasquez

UFC

 

19

Antonio Silva

EliteXC?

 

20

Shane Carwin

UFC

 

21

Heath Herring

UFC

 

22

Dave Herman

EliteXC?

 

23

Pedro Rizzo

Affliction?

 

24

Brett Rogers

EliteXC?

 

25

Ricco Rodriquez

EliteXC?

 

UFC News: Fabricio Werdum to Fight at UFC 90

Fabricio Werdum has signe d a5 fight extension with the UFC which includes a guaranteed title shot if he wins one more fight.  It looks like Werdum will return at UFC 90 and fight Junior dos Santos.  A win would assure he would fight the winner of Mir vs. Nogueira in 2009 sometime.  I think Werdum is past being well deserving of a title shot.  It was my understanding that he was going to get the title shot following his win over Gabriel Gonzaga.  Then I thought for sure beating Brandon Vera would secure him a title shot.  However, the UFC gave the shot to Mir and put him on as a TUF coach.  Mir is a better TV personality, but Werdum is the one who deserved that, sorry.  The UFC got this one wrong.  Thankfully Werdum should get past Santos and get his title shot, but best case scenario he will wait until March or April of 2009 to get that shot.

Mid Year MMA Awards

Best Knockout

Honorable Mention: Luis Arthur Cane KO Jason Lambert, Shane Carwin KO Christian Wellish, Murilio Rua TKO Tony Bonello, Matt Wiman KO Thiago Tavares

5. Anthony Johnson KO Tommy Speer

4. Wilson Gouveia KO Jason Lambert

3. Brian Stann KO Doug Marshall

2. James Irvin KO Houston Alexander

1. Wanderlei Silva KO Keith Jardine

Best Submission

Honorable Mention: Antonio Nogueira submits Tim Sylvia by Guillotine, Yoshiyuki Yoshida submits Jon Koppenhaver by Anaconda choke, Nate Diaz submits Kurt Pellegrino, Cole Miller Submits Jorge Gurgel by Triangle Choke

5. Demian Mia Submits Ed Herman by Triangle Choke

4. Frank Mir Submits Brock Lesnar by Kneebar

3. Rousimar Palhares Submits Ivan Salaverry by Armbar

2. Dustin Hazelett Submits Josh Burkman by Armbar

1. Shinya Aoki Submits Katsuhiko Nagata by Aokiplata

Best Fight

Honorable Mention: Shinya Aoki vs. Gesias Calvancante, Cung Le vs. Frank Shamrock

5. Antonio Rodrigo Nogueira vs. Tim Sylvia

4. Urijah Faber vs. Jens Pulver

3. Robbie Lawler vs. Scott Smith

2. Quinton Jackson vs. Forrest Griffin

1. Miguel Torres vs. Yoshiro Maeda

Best Fight Card

5. WEC 34: Faber vs. Pulver

4. UFC 80: Rapid Fire

3. UFC 81: Breaking Point

2. DREAM 4

1. UFC 84: Ill Will

Upset of The Year:

Honorable Mention: Jason Day over Alan Belcher,

5. Thiago Alves over Karo Parisyan

4. Kevin Burns over Roan Carneiro

3. Fabricio Werdum over Gabriel Gonzaga

2. Josh Thomson over Gilbert Melendez

1. Forrest Griffin over Quinton Jackson

Fighter Of The Year:

Honorable Mention: Anderson Silva, Antonio Rodrigo Nogueira, Michael Bisping, Georges St. Pierre, Diego Sanchez

5. Miguel Torres

4. Forrest Griffin

3. Thiago Alves

2. Shinya Aoki

1. B.J. Penn (2 Impressive wins over Sean Sherk and Joe Stevenson)

Best UFC Newcomer:

Honorable Mention: Shane Carwin, Brock Lesnar

5. Rousimar Palhares

4. Dong Hyun Kim

3. Yoshiyuki Yoshida

2. Goran Reljic

1. Cain Velasquez

Worst Calls By A Ref. or Judges

5. Forrest Griffin over Quinton Jackson –  Not just that Forrest got the win, but that it was unanimous.  Many, including me scored the fight either a draw or to Jackson

4. Brandon Vera vs. Fabricio Werdum- Dan Miragliotta stopped the fight in round 1 when Werdum was mounted on Vera throwing down punches.  There was just 10 seconds remaining and Vera seemed to be defending himself well. 

3. Nate Marquardt vs. Thales Leites — Leites got the win, but lost the fight.  He lost the fight due to two points taken away from Marquardt.  One point was justified, but the other was due to elbow to the back of the ehad that wasn’t to the back of the head.  I will confess, that another point could have fairly been deducted for an illegal slam, but I hated to see Marquardt get a loss on his record that I feel he won

2. Phantom split decisions — How was Evan Tanner vs. Kendall Grove a split deicsion?  How was Heath Herring vs Cheick Kongo a split decision?  The right person got the decision, but how was it split?

1. Kimbo Slice vs. James Thompson – Dan Miragliotta stopped the fight in the 3rd round while Thompson was still standing and failed to stop it when Thompson was mounted on Kimbo raining down elbows

Brandon Vera Interview

Great interview where Vera talks his drop to light heavyweight and the reasoning behind it, rumored fights with Wanderlei Silva and Lyoto Machida, his place in the heavyweight divison, Fabricio Werdum fight, and his upcoming July 19th fight with Reese Andy.

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