UFC Heavyweight Division:Who's Closest To Contention with Brock Lesnar?

Tyler DunnContributor IJune 20, 2009

NEW YORK - MARCH 11:  Wrestler Brock Lesnar attends a press conference to promote Wrestlemania XX at Planet Hollywood March 11, 2004 in New York City.  (Photo by Peter Kramer/Getty Images)

After wondering what article I'd write first, I decided to publish my personal rankings on the UFC's divisions. I did these quite some time ago and have updated them after UFC events.

When I first did themI thought they may be stupid and biased, but I've begun to think differently because as UFC matchups were announced, the fighters were very close together, so maybe there is some relation between them.

These rankings tell who is in line for a title shot. Yes, I have that much free time.

I've ranked every fighter in the division. This list is up to date, the only people possibly not mentioned are those now entering the weight class and have not competed, newly signed UFC fighters who have not competed, or fighters have have been cut. This means some of these fighters may have been cut, I just don't know for sure.

The fighters are ranked on a number of variables including; popularity, key wins, and key losses.

For example, televised fights help a fighter more than un-viewed fights. Losses to lower ranked people hurt, while losing to the current champ or number one ranked fighter does not really hurt their status. And the worst flaw to this rating is wins over people cut by the UFC, or no longer in the weight class are very little help in the rankings.

Comment any disagreements because I love arguing my points. I've started with the Heavyweight Division. It was the easiest to rank being that it has the least amount of fighters. When I started there were 19 now there are only 17. Enjoy!


#17 Dennis Stojnic


Stojnic is 0-and-2 losing first to Cain Velasquez, which is not nearly as harmful as his loss to Stefan Struve. This is probably the last we'll see of Stojnic but at the moment he is in the UFC so he is on the list.


#16 Todd Duffee

Though Todd has not been in a fight in the UFC he picked up a little popularity because he was scheduled to face Moustapha Al Turk at UFC 99. Plus 0-and-2 is worse than 0-and-0.


#15 Moustapha Al Turk

Yes, I know this is hypocritical that Al Turk is 0-and-2 like Stojnic, and ranked above Duffe, but Al Turk's two losses were to high ranked opponents. At the time he fought Cheick Kongo, and though he's no longer in the UFC, Mirko Cro Cop counts for something, especially since there was some controversy.


#14 Pat Berry

Pat Berry stands in the UFC at 1-and-1 with a win over cut fighter Dan Evensen, and a loss to Tim Hague. Luckily his win was televised while his loss was not. This helps a little but not enough to beat anyone with a win under their belt.


#13 Stefan Struve

Now this is where the rankings are skewed. I believe Pat Berry is better than Stefan Struve by a lot. But with Struve coming off a win over a ranked opponent, and Berry's opponent no longer in the UFC and coming off a loss, the rankings speak for themselves. Plus a loss to Junior Dos Santos is not much to cry over.


#12 Antoni Hardonk

Hardonk was hard to place. His losses are all to ranked guys and his wins are to people no longer in the UFC. His record stands strong enough to put him in twelfth, but he must rack up some wins against real opponents or he's going to get passed, or worse, fired.


#11 Justin McCully

Justin is another easy rank only because he beat Hardonk. Now he stands to make a major impact with a win over Dos Santos.


#10 Tim Hague

It's sad to say that the top-10 guy in the heavyweight division is a guy with only one fight in the UFC, but it's true. Pat Bery was on TV with dangerous leg kicks, dismantling Dan Evensen. So before this fight he was big money.

This win propelled Hague high but he's got McCully on his tails.


#9 Junior Dos Santos

Once again we must look at all the variables. Dos Santos has beaten a great guy in Werdum, but he's no longer in the UFC or even actually popular in the MMA world. And Struve is low ranked. So those wins aren't as helpful in the UFC as they should be. But, since it was televised, it gets him enough to beat Hague. Sadly for Dos Santos, McCully is already lower than him, so a win over him will only get him so far.


#8 Gabriel Gonzaga

Gonzaga sits at number eight, only higher than Dos Santos because his losses were to big names in Couture and Carwin. But the loss to Werdum does hurt him. Usually you'd think Dos Santos should be ahead because he beat Werdum. The simple fact is though  Gabriel's title fight made him popular, it puts him above Dos Santos.


#7 Cheick Kongo

Before UFC 99 Kongo was on my list as number five but a decimation on the part of a lower ranked Velasquez sets him back two spots. I won't be surprised if he faces Gonzaga, Hague, or the Dos Santos/McCully winner next.

He's ranked higher than Dos Santos because he's beaten Hardonk, who is ranked higher than Struve, it's that simple. He's also beaten ranked names, which is something Gonzaga can't say, which is why he tops him. He's also saved by time, so his loss to Carmelo Marrero means virtually nothing.


#6 Heath Herring

I'm sad to put Herring here because I hate the guy. But he's beaten Kongo and a loss to the champ means nothing. Jake O' Brien has a win over him but the win over Kongo is too overpowering to tilt him any lower. I hope he loses and gets cut, but until then he's No. 6.


#5 Shane Carwin

The man beat Gonzaga and has been on TV twice with exciting knockouts. His popularity is building. He's got it all.


#4 Cain Velasquez

He was number eight, but a win over Kongo makes him fly up the list. He's higher than Carwin because Kongo is higher than Gonzaga. It sucks but that's how it is.

In all reality Carwin would kill this kid, but he's on a better path then Carwin and that puts him a step up.


#3 Antonio Rodrigo Nogueira

This was a hard pick. It was a toss-up for who gets the number three or two spot with him against Couture. Couture's lone loss in the division is to the champ which is better than the brazilian's loss to Mir.

While Couture's highest win is over Gonzaga, which is not as good as Nogueira's win over Herring. In the end Nogueira is lower because he is not as popular, but at UFC 102 this problem will be resolved.


#2 Randy Couture

This guy has beaten Gonzaga and only loss to the champ. A win at 102 will give him the number one spot most likely. For sure if Lesnar is still the champ by then.


#1 Frank Mir

And finally the man most deserving to face Brock Lesnar for the title is in fact the man slated to face Brock Lesnar for the title. Mir's two helpers were a win over No. 3 Nogueira, and a win over the Champ.


There you have it. Comment any question or disagreements. I love stating my point so i'll be happy to argue anything on these rankings.


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