UFC Needs to Sign More Heavyweights ASAP

Riley KontekFeatured ColumnistDecember 27, 2012

LAS VEGAS - JULY 11:  Brock Lesnar holds down Frank Mir during their heavyweight title bout during UFC 100 on July 11, 2009 in Las Vegas, Nevada. Lesnar defeated Mir by a second round knockout.  (Photo by Jon Kopaloff/Getty Images)
Jon Kopaloff/Getty Images

The UFC heavyweight division currently holds the second least amount of fighters in the company. It only trails the flyweight division in numbers, which is attributed to the fact that the flyweight division is currently being built from the ground up.

This is a troubling situation that the UFC currently faces. The heavyweight division is probably the most popular division in the eyes of MMA fans, but there are only 28 fighters that fight in the weight class.

Compare that to most of the other divisions, which boast over 40 fighters per weight class. This is one of the major reasons there are usually multiple lightweight or welterweight fights on a card and only one heavyweight, if any.

There are plenty of capable heavyweights outside the UFC that can be signed. To build one of the oldest divisions, the UFC simply needs to roll the dice on some heavyweights.

For example, Andrei Arlovski is currently outside the UFC but has built himself an impressive win streak (if you count his No Contest against Tim Sylvia a win) over his last five fights.

His last Strikeforce stint was not anything to be proud of, but he has proven he can still hang with elite heavyweights. Arlovski has produced wins over notables Mike Hayes, Devin Cole and Travis Fulton in the last year, which proves he should be brought back into the UFC.

Then there is Sergei Kharitonov, another Strikeforce vet not brought over by the UFC. Kharitonov is a knockout artist that could be a top-10 guy if given the opportunity in the UFC.

He relies heavily on his kickboxing and would likely struggle against wrestlers. However, you never know how fights are going to go down unless you let them actually play out.

Kharitonov could be a knockout machine in the UFC. For now, he is finding himself taking fights in the regional scene and dabbling in professional kickboxing in the meanwhile. 

Another guy the UFC could give a chance is Soa Palelei. He was given one fight in the UFC a long time ago.

His performance was underwhelming to say the least.

These days, Palelei has looked like a completely different fighter. Since his expulsion from the UFC in 2007, he has gone 10-1 with his only loss coming to top heavyweight Daniel Cormier.

Other than that, Palelei owns victories over UFC vets Brad Morris, Christian Wellisch and Sean McCorkle, as well as Bob Sapp and others.

The fact that only 28 heavyweights occupy the division in the world's largest MMA promotion is questionable. Heavyweights are among the biggest attractions in MMA, but the lack of depth in the division leaves these fights few and far between.

There is obviously talent to be had, it's just a matter of pulling the trigger and signing guys up. If they do that, the division will be a haven for great fights and potentially even greater moments for MMA's history.