In some divisions champions come and go. In the other divisions, there are champions who have proven they are the worlds best at that weight class. Lately, the lightweight and light heavyweight champions have been bounced around a bit. Some think that Frankie Edgar and Mauricio “Shogun” Rua have finally obtained their belts and will be keeping them for a while. Others think Maynard will beat Edgar, and that the competition is too great in the light heavyweight division for Rua to keep his belt for too long.
On another note, Georges St. Pierre and Anderson Silva have done more then enough to prove that they are the best fighters in the world at their weight class. Some argue that Chael Sonnen is a better fighter then Silva, but on the record, Silva is undefeated in the UFC and until he loses, he obtains the belt.
As for the heavyweight division in the UFC, Brock Lesnar is in the process of proving to the world that he is the best. Some may already argue that his dominance has been proven while others think number 1 contender Cain Velasquez will dethrone Lesnar at UFC 121.
Personally, I do not see Brock Lesnar losing anytime in the near future, nor does it seem like any one in the heavyweight division will be able to beat him.
There are 26 fighters in the heavyweight division right now, and they can all be categorized into three different groups; contenders, up and comers, or non-contenders.
Cain Velasquez, Junior Dos Santos, Shane Carwin, Frank Mir, Roy Nelson, and Minotauro Nogueira
These are the six fighters that I consider to have a chance against Brock Lesnar, but most likely will not be able to beat him.
Some people think Cain Velasquez has a good chance of winning at UFC 121 because of his great boxing and underrated wrestling skills. But we all know Lesnar will not stand with Velasquez and will try to take him down. Hypothetically let’s say Lesnar and Velasquez have at least equal wrestling and grappling skills, so therefore common sense would tell us that Lesnar would win because of his size and strength.
Junior Dos Santos is next in line for Brock assuming Brock beats Cain. I would consider JDS having a slightly better chance of beating Brock Lesnar because he is bigger then Cain Velasquez.
Once Shane Carwin gets his next shot at Brock Lesnar, which I’m sure he will, it will be a toss up. I’m a firm believer that Carwin has the best chance out of anyone to defeat Lesnar. He seems to be the only heavyweight that can match Lesnar size, strength, and wrestling ability.
As for Frank Mir, Roy Nelson, and Minotauro Nogueira, I think they all have the ability to have the skill, size, and strength to hang with Lesnar, its just if they can improve the skill they have now to match Lesnar.
Up and Comers:
Joey Beltran, Travis Browne, Jon Madsen, Christian Morecraft, Brendan Schaub, Stefan Struve
Joey Beltran, Travis Browne, and Jon Madsen all have great records in the UFC but have not yet faced any real tough competition. It is hard to determine where guys like this would stand against top contenders or Brock Lesnar. As these fighters progress in their career, we will have to see how they do against the elite of the UFC heavyweights.
Christian Morecraft is an up and comer who lost to Stefan Struve in his UFC debut but put on a great performance, dominating the first round. We will have to wait and see how he rebounds after that loss.
Brendan Schuab and Stefan Struve are both young fighters who are constantly improving. Schuab looks better every fight and one day may be a top contender. Struve’s last two fights have been rocky after losing to Roy Nelson and getting a lucky knock out over Morecraft, but with his young age and determination, one day Struve will bounce back high.
Pat Barry, Mike Ciesnolevicz, Mirko Cro Cop*, Gabriel Gonzaga, Antoni Hardonk, Heath Herring, Mark Hunt, Cheick Kongo, James McSweeney, Matt Mitrione, Ben Rothwell, Mike Russow, Chris Tuchscherer, Gilbert Yvel
These 14 fighters all have their own reason why they will never be able to beat Brock Lesnar. Some of them such as Gonzaga, Kongo, Hunt, Yvel, and Herring are getting older and have seen their better days in the heavyweight division.
While others like Barry, Cienznolevicz, McSweeney, Mitrione, and Russow all have young UFC careers; they have already shown that they are not the type of elite fighters like the top contenders in this divison.
*Mirko Cro Cop is in his own category in my opinion. He obviously isn’t a non-contender nor and up and comer. Cro Cop is a legend and can beat almost any in the heavy weight division. However, until he proves himself to still be who he used to be against Mir at UFC 119, he has to be considered a non-contender.
Brock Lesnar’s dominance in the UFC is never questioned, only who will be able to beat him is questioned. I see Lesnar having a long road of success in the UFC as the most of the 26 fighters named above do not stand a chance against him.
However, this is Mixed Martial Arts and anything can happen, so therefore we must wait until UFC 121 to determine the next UFC heavyweight champion.