UFC 147 Results: Top 10 Heavyweights in the UFC

Andrew Saunders@SaundersMMACorrespondent IIJune 24, 2012

UFC 147 Results: Top 10 Heavyweights in the UFC

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    The heavyweight division is the biggest division in MMA. While that is literally true, we are talking in terms of prestige. No prize is bigger than the UFC Heavyweight championship. 

    Last night, highly ranked Fabricio Werdum made quick work out of once-beaten Mike Russow at UFC 147. Russow was 4-0 in the UFC and was working his way up the ladder. Despite his recent success, Werdum showed why he is one of the best in the world.

    How did this win shake up the rankings? Let's take a look. These are the top 10 heavyweights in the UFC.

10. Roy Nelson

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    Last Fight: Knockout win over Dave Herman at UFC 146
    Next Fight: TBD

    Roy Nelson started his UFC career with big knockout wins. However, he has only been successful in two of his past five fights.

    Nelson faltered in battles with the top half of the division—Frank Mir, Fabricio Werdum and Junior dos Santos. Unfortunately, losing to fighters of their status is the sort of thing that can forever relegate a fighter to elite gatekeeper status.

    Nelson had promised to drop to light-heavyweight after a deceptive Twitter promotion that appears to have fallen to the wayside.

9. Stefan Struve

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    Last Fight: Submission win over Lavar Johnson at UFC 146
    Next Fight: vs. Stipe Miocic at UFC on Fuel 5

    Stefan Struve has a tendency to get knocked out in highlight-reel fashion. The trio of losses during his UFC career have come in explosive fashion, as Roy Nelson, Travis Browne and Junior dos Santos left him in a limp pile of bones on the canvas.

    Struve has recovered the momentum that he built after his debut, and is now riding a three-fight winning streak. His next fight will be a headlining endeavor against Stipe Miocic at UFC on Fuel 5.

8. Mark Hunt

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    Last Fight: Knockout win over Cheick Kongo at UFC 144
    Next Fight: TBD

    Mark Hunt is a comeback story that makes you feel warm in your heart. Many felt that he should not have been given a chance in the UFC after his PRIDE career ended on a few bad notes.

    Hunt is currently riding three big wins that have thrust him into the eyes of fans. A RallyForHunt campaign nearly got the Super Samoan into a title bout with Junior dos Santos at UFC 146.

    I recently had the opportunity to speak with Mark about his injury and the recovery process. A timetable for his return from a leg injury is still unclear.

7. Travis Browne

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    Last Fight: Submission win over Chad Griggs at UFC 145
    Next Fight: vs Ben Rothwell at UFC on Fox 4

    Travis Browne is rapidly climbing the ladder of the UFC Heavyweight division. After amassing a record of 4-0-1 in the UFC, Browne has been moved into a battle with journeyman Ben Rothwell at UFC on Fox 4.

    Browne holds significant victories over Stefan Struve and Chad Griggs, along with a draw against Cheick Kongo.

    Can Browne continue his momentum by topping a gritty wrestler with strong kickboxing credentials? If so, it will be time for a major step up in competition.

6. Frank Mir

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    Last Fight: Knockout loss to Junior dos Santos at UFC 144
    Next Fight: TBD

    Frank Mir can compete on a high level, but he just isn't much of a match for the current breed of heavyweights that are dominating the division.

    Mir didn't look spectacular in his recent wins against Mirko Cro Cop, Roy Nelson or Big Nog (although the last one had a phenomenal ending). Additionally, Mir looked atrocious in his losses to Junior dos Santos, Shane Carwin and Brock Lesnar.

    How does Mir stay ranked so high? It has a lot to do with the fact that his losses stay spread apart, and he occasionally pulls off an incredible submission. 

5. Shane Carwin

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    Last Fight: Unanimous decision loss to Junior dos Santos at UFC 131
    Next Fight: TBD

    The Engineer was only a punch or two away from turning his UFC Interim Heavyweight Championship into the real deal.

    When he faced Brock Lesnar for the belt back at UFC 116, it looked as if he would score a first-round stoppage. Unfortunately, Lesnar was able to absorb the tremendous ground and pound of The Engineer, and Carwin had a massive adrenaline dump between rounds.

    Carwin has since lost to reigning champion Junior dos Santos.

    The rankings stay kind to Carwin due to his reign as champion, how close he came to defeating Lesnar, and his ability to hang with Junior dos Santos for a full 15 minutes.

4. Fabricio Werdum

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    Last Fight: Knockout win over Mike Russow at UFC 147
    Next Fight: TBD

    With black belts in jiu-jistu, judo and muay thai, Vai Cavalo has an incredible base in all areas of the game.

    Last night, Werdum was able to manhandle Mike Russow and score the TKO victory in only 2:28 into the first round.

    Werdum's ability to knock out opponents like Russow and dominate the standup against Roy Nelson shows that his world-class jiu-jitsu credentials are not the only threat he brings to the table.

    Could a battle with fellow BJJ ace Frank Mir be on the table at some point? It would be an interesting matchup between the best grapplers in the division, and it provides Werdum with a quality opponent that may bring him one step closer to a rematch with heavyweight champion Junior dos Santos.

3. Alistair Overeem

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    Last Fight: Knockout win over Brock Lesnar at UFC 141
    Next Fight: TBD

    Alistair Overeem will be eligible to return at the end of the year, but the UFC is unlikely to book him until his license is reinstated. Expect to see The Reem back in action in the first quarter of next year.

    His sole appearance in the UFC was a brutal and dominant performance against Brock Lesnar in which he badly hurt the former champion with strikes to the body. 

    Overeem was scheduled to receive a title shot at UFC 146, but a surprise drug-test showed an unacceptable T/E ratio that made him ineligible to compete.

2. Cain Velasquez

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    Last Fight: Knockout win over Antonio Bigfoot Silva at UFC 146
    Next Fight: vs. Junior dos Santos at a date TBD

    Just because Cain Velasquez got knocked out by Junior dos Santos in little more than a minute does not mean that he can not come back to reclaim the championship that he once held.

    The warrior who promotes Brown Pride absolutely pillaged Bigfoot Silva in a blood bath at UFC 146. The contest was one-sided and should have been stopped after Velasquez opened a nasty gash on the forehead of his opponent.

    The former champion has bounced back in an incredible way. Will he be able to avenge the sole loss of his career when he challenges JDS for the belt later this year? 

1. Junior Dos Santos

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    Last Fight: Knockout win over Frank Mir at UFC 146
    Next Fight: vs. Cain Velasquez at a date TBD

    "A champion isn't really a champion until he has defended his belt."

    Have you heard that expression? Because I'm sure that Junior dos Santos did leading up to UFC 146. 

    The champion not only defended his belt against Frank Mir, but he did so in such a way that it made a statement to the rest of the division. Dos Santos completely thrashed the two-time champion in a manner that made Mir look silly.

    Can JDS continue his string of dominance that he has displayed since joining the UFC? Can lightning strike twice when he has a rematch with Cain Velasquez?