New Generation Of UFC Heavyweights Look To Dominate

Daniel SadlerCorrespondent IJuly 12, 2009

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)

With the image of Brock Lesnar's devastating ground and pound and Frank Mir's destroyed face fresh in my mind, I realised I was witnessing a major transition in the UFC Heavyweight division. 

The older UFC Heavyweights time in the spotlight appears to be dwindling as bigger ,stronger, younger, hungrier new generation of heavyweights are thrust into our faces similar to the way Brock thrusted his fist in Mir's face, unrelentingly.  

Apart from Brock there are three main new-generation fighters that are finally rejuvenating the previously stagnant Heavyweight division. Shane Carwin, Cain Velasquez and Junior Dos Santos are already well known to most UFC fans for their vicious knockouts and dominating displays against well known top 10 Heavyweights at recent events.

Lets start with Shane Carwin 11-0

Shane Carwin's first fight in the UFC was against Christian Wellisch and ended in devastating fashion early on, Carwin sent his mouthguard what seemed like miles only 44 seconds into the fight. 

Since then Carwin has two more knockout victories against Neil Wain and Gabriel Gonzaga, the latter truly showing he can hang it with quality opponents. Shane Carwin is a man mountain, he stands 6'3" and weights in at 260 lbs. and has amazing power in both his hands.

Coupled with his great wrestling Carwin is a threat to anyone he faces and is on the fast track to a title shot, if he beat Velasquez at UFC 104. Carwin resembles Lesnar more than anyone, true power mixed with great wrestling but I would go as far to say he is inferior in the wrestling department but superior than the champion in the stand up.

Last fight: Gabriel Gonzaga KO R1

Next fight: Cain Velasquez UFC 104 

Now to his opponent at UFC 104 Cain Velasquez 6-0

Cain Velasquez's last fight against Cheick Kongo was an amazing display of wrestling and transitioning, albeit the fact that Kongo is a kickboxer not a wrestler or jiu jitsu practioner.

Velasquez dominated the fight from start to finish but Kongo may have highlighted a flaw in Velasquez's game, his chin. Everytime the fight was standing Velasquez looked weary and when Kongo connected Velasquez dropped, albeit momentarily, but what I admire is Cain's recovery, he turned a negative moment into a positive, every time he looked wobbly he dropped and attempted and succeeded in his takedown attempt.

The other question to be raised from that fight is whether Velasquez has the power to finish fights, granted he did dominate the fight and did transition and did damage but his ground and pound wasn't deadly. 

It didn't bring the reaction ground and pound usually brings when the person on tops delivers deadly punches and elbows it seemed that he lacked the power to stop the fight. His next fight against Carwin will answer many questions as takedowns will be few and far between against Carwin. 

Last fight: Cheick Kongo Decision (Unanimous)

Next fight: Shane Carwin UFC 104

To Junior Dos Santos 8-2

Junir dos Santos has only had two fights in the octagon but he has made an impression on anyone that has watched his fights. His debut was against top 5 contender Fabricio Werdum and that ended dramatically with the powerful Brazillian knocking him out in the first round with a vicious uppercut.

Since then he has fought the 'skyscraper' Stefan Struve, not exactly world class opponent, and he emphatically knocked him senseless with powerful hooks. Junior's next opponent is Mirko Cro Cop at UFC 103, and this will be by far the biggest test of his short MMA career. Dos Santos is a former kickboxing champion who utalises his extremely powerful striking to his advantage. 

Dos Santos' BJJ hasn't been tested in the UFC but he is a purple belt under Nogueria, his biggest weakness appears to be his wrestling but it is hard to know that because of his inexperience in the UFC, only 2 fights, neither of which went to the ground.

Expect a standup war against Cro Cop in his next fight, he will look to get inside both to negate Mirko's kicks and to deliver his punches while taking the least amount of damage. 

Last fight: Stefan Struve KO R1

Next fight: Mirko Filipovic UFC 103

It seems the reign of the Randy Couture's and the Nogueria's is over the new boys are here, and they are here to stay!