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UFC 146: Power Ranking Revitalized Heavyweight Division

ANAHEIM, CA - NOVEMBER 12:  UFC World Heavyweight Champion Junior dos Santos is seen at UFC on Fox:  Live Heavyweight Championship at the Honda Center on November 12, 2011 in Anaheim, California.  (Photo by Jason Merritt/Getty Images)
Jason Merritt/Getty Images
Donald WoodFeatured ColumnistMay 28, 2012

With UFC 146 and the all-heavyweight experiment going exactly as the company had planned, there is no question that the most explosive weight class in the company has been revitalized.

Now that the seismic shift in MMA has occurred, it’s time to power rank the heavyweights for what should be the main focus of the company going forward; the people want knockouts.

Brock Lesnar or not, there is still plenty of elite talent in the division and proof with UFC 146’s success that it can carry a complete card.

I would love an all-big man PPV at least once a year.


ANAHEIM, CA - NOVEMBER 12:  UFC World Heavyweight Champion Junior dos Santos is seen in the octagon at UFC on Fox:  Live Heavyweight Championship at the Honda Center on November 12, 2011 in Anaheim, California.  (Photo by Jason Merritt/Getty Images)
Jason Merritt/Getty Images

No. 1: Junior dos Santos

The UFC heavyweight champion of the world, Junior dos Santos proved once again just how dominant he can be by taking No. 1 contender Frank Mir and beating him senseless.

It took Dos Santos a few minutes to figure out his distance and what strategy Mir was using, but once he found his range, there was no chance he was going to lose that fight.

There is no question who the No. 1 heavyweight in the world is right now—Dos Santos is the king of the mountain.


SYDNEY, AUSTRALIA - FEBRUARY 29:  UFC heavyweight champion Cain Velasquez of the United States poses for a portrait at Tramway Oval on February 29, 2012 in Sydney, Australia.  (Photo by Cameron Spencer/Getty Images)
Cameron Spencer/Getty Images

No. 2: Cain Velasquez

While Antonio “Bigfoot” Silva has been heralded as one of the next great MMA fighters, he was absolutely pummeled by a ground-and-pound game from Cain Velasquez that had the Octagon soaked in Bigfoot’s blood.

The one-sided nature of this fight lends even more credibility to the belief that Velasquez was hurt for his bout with Junior dos Santos, but the win at UFC 146 for Cain likely means a title shot in the near future.


NEWARK, NJ - MARCH 26:  UFC fighter Shane Carwin (pictured) weighs in for his fight against UFC fighter Frank Mir for their Interim Championship Heavyweight fight at UFC 111: St-Pierre vs. Hardy Weigh-In on March 26, 2010 in Newark, New Jersey.  (Photo by
Jon Kopaloff/Getty Images

No. 3: Shane Carwin

Despite having back surgery, Shane Carwin will be back sooner rather than later and has vengeance on his mind. We can forget that Carwin has lost his last two fights against Brock Lesnar when he wasn’t sick and Junior dos Santos.

With the last two losses being the only of his career, there is no reason to believe that he won’t be a serious candidate for a No. 1 contender fight when he returns.

If Carwin can push Dos Santos the distance, he will give the heavyweight division a run for its money.


LAS VEGAS, NV - JANUARY 10:  UFC fighter Alistair 'The Reem' Overeem speaks during a presentation by Qualcomm at the 2012 International Consumer Electronics Show at The Venetian on January 10, 2012 in Las Vegas, Nevada. CES, the world's largest annual con
Kevork Djansezian/Getty Images

No. 4: Alistair Overeem

Despite the fact that he was one step away from fighting for the UFC heavyweight championship, Alistair Overeem hurt his chances and his credibility by testing positive for performance-enhancing drugs.

While Overeem may have the physical stature of a star, his 11 losses over his career to a wide array of famous fighters proves he isn’t the powerhouse the company has made him out to be.

I wouldn’t be shocked if he got knocked out in his second fight in the UFC.


LAS VEGAS, NV - NOVEMBER 30:  Mixed martial artist Roy Nelson arrives at the Fighters Only World Mixed Martial Arts Awards 2011 at the Palms Casino Resort November 30, 2011 in Las Vegas, Nevada.  (Photo by Ethan Miller/Getty Images)
Ethan Miller/Getty Images

No. 5: Roy Nelson

With a huge win over Dave Herman at UFC 146, Roy Nelson proved that he can be a force in the heavyweight division with his elite striking. While the heavyweight division has no shortage of heavy hitters, Nelson could be the hardest puncher.

If Nelson can string together two more wins, there is no doubt the UFC would try and capitalize on his mainstream exposure by giving him a title match.

People like Big Country, and the UFC likes to make money; it’s that simple.


Check back for more on mixed martial arts as it comes, and check out Bleacher Report’s UFC page to get your fill of all things UFC/MMA. For more on MMA/UFC, check out Ring Rust Radio for all of the hot topics.

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