State of the UFC: Heavyweights
With the year half over, and the next UFC card still a few weeks away, now is the perfect time to take a look at what is going on in the five different divisions.
This article will attempt to give a good impression of how the divisional title pictures look, and how different fighters factor into the equation.
The Champ: Brock Lesnar unified the heavyweight titles a few weeks ago, and now holds a 4-1 UFC record that is a lot stronger than many of his detractors are willing to admit.
While his list of accomplishments doesn't match Fedor Emelianenko's over the long term, his short-term list makes him deserving of his status as the current best heavyweight in the world.
Since his level of competition in the future will be the best, the title of "best of the world" will now go through him.
The Challenger: Cain Velasquez doesn't present the same problems as Shane Carwin, in that he's not as big, and he's probably not as heavy of a puncher.
That said, the problems that Velasquez presents are not insignificant.
Velasquez is a better striker technically than Carwin was. He's faster, and is known for having amazing conditioning.
Velasquez also should be able to keep up with Lesnar in the wrestling department.
The betting line came out favoring Lesnar only slightly, which considering how much more well-known Lesnar is, shows how much respect Velasquez is getting.
Next In Line: The next contender has been announced as the winner of the upcoming fight between Junior Dos Santos and Roy Nelson.
Nelson would stand little chance against either Velasquez or Lesnar, because he doesn't have the wrestling to take the fight where he needs it to be.
Dos Santos has the striking skills, but his issue will be whether he can keep the fight standing.
The Best Of The Rest
Shane Carwin fell down the mountain, but even though he gassed out against Lesnar, he's still a threat to just about anybody else in the division. If he can string together a few wins, another title shot isn't out of the question.
Frank Mir appears to have run out of ways to reinvent himself. While I struggle to imagine him holding a belt again, he's still a tough out for most of the division, and has winnable options against the likes of Minotauro Nogueira, Mirko Cro Cop, etc.
Antonio Rodrigo "Minotauro" Nogueira won the battle of legends against Randy Couture, but after getting knocked out badly by Velasquez, it appears as if his contention days are over.
He can still win some fights in the division, but when facing the new elite, he'll mostly be a gateway to the stars.
Mirko "Cro Cop" Filipovic defeated Pat Barry, and showed that he's possibly not quite as depleted as previously imagined. That said, a win over Barry doesn't exactly put him back into the elite. Still, fights against the likes of Mir, Nogueira, or Nelson would be attractive.
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