The UFC’s heavyweight division has the lowest amount of fighters in any weight class within the organization. The UFC’s website lists 28 heavyweight fighters under contract, though that number is really 23.
Heath Herring is under contract, but has not expressed any desire to fight recently with the UFC, Antoni Hardonk has recently retired from competition, James McSweeney dropped down to light heavyweight, Anthony Perosh stated he’s dropping down to light heavyweight next time he fights and Vinicius Queiroz was recently released for testing positive for PED’s.
So with that low of a number of heavyweights, I propose the UFC does an Ultimate Fighter comeback season featuring heavyweights.
For this season the winner will be fighting for a UFC contract and will be guaranteed at least three fights with the UFC; no title shot like the previous comeback season. The criteria for this season is simple in that you must have been a heavyweight in the UFC at some point in your career.
With that in mind, I came up with 16 fighters, five which have been former UFC heavyweight champions and six that have been former No. 1 contenders that will compete in the heavyweight comeback edition.
The first UFC heavyweight champion and UFC hall of famer Mark Coleman would be a welcomed fighter for the heavyweight comeback edition.
Coleman would bring years of experience and world class wrestling into the competition as well as his famous ground and pound.
He would also bring his hot but short temper with him, which would be good for the viewers and ratings and could lead to some arguments in the house.
Coleman has not fought since being released from the UFC, and this show could prove he still has enough left in his tank to fight for the UFC once more.
The UFC 5 tournament champion, Ultimate 95 tournament champion, former No. 1 heavyweight contender and UFC Hall of Famer Dan Severn would be another worthy competitor in this comeback season.
Severn, one of the UFC's pioneers, would be bringing a five fight winning streak into the competition and could compete with anyone in this season despite being 52 years old.
David “Tank” Abbott, one of the UFC's early characters and former No. 1 contender, would be invited to join this season.
Even though he brings a 10-14 record and an 8-10 record in the UFC, Abbott would be up to fighting anyone on the show with his brawling style.
Tank would be one of the most colorful characters on this season and you can guarantee that he would be drunk a few times at the house and pulling some sort of prank on someone.
Former UFC heavyweight champion Kevin Randleman would be the fourth competitor on this season.
Randleman, who won the UFC heavyweight title in 1999 and defended it once, would be one of the smaller and lighter guys on this season, since he has recently competed as a light heavyweight.
Randleman would bring experience fighting in UFC, Pride and Strikeforce and powerful wrestling in which he would be able to control his opponents from top position.
The three-time No. 1 heavyweight contender should have been the UFC heavyweight champion, losing a controversial decision to Randy Couture for the heavyweight championship at UFC 31 in which he was given an immediate rematch.
Rizzo would bring devastating striking ability and brutal leg kicks to the competition. Rizzo has stated he would love another shot in the UFC, and at 36 years of age this might be his only way back into the organization.
The former UFC heavyweight champion Ricco Rodriguez also would love a return trip back into the UFC and he would be getting his shot by competing on this season of TUF.
Rodriguez, who was 5-2 in the UFC and beat Randy Couture for the vacant heavyweight title, is on a nine-fight winning streak, seven of which have been by knockout or submission.
Rodriguez would be an interesting story in the house. He is a former drug addict, which derailed his career for a little while trying to earn his way back to the top.
A once-promising prospect in the heavyweight division, Assuerio Silva could once again prove that he can hang with some of the top heavyweights and compete in the UFC.
Silva was 0-3 in three fights in the UFC and this season could be redemption for him, proving not only to himself but also to the fans he does have the skills to fight in the UFC.
Assuerio is a black beat in Brazilian Jiu-Jitsu as well as Shotokan Karate, so he could hang with any fighter in this season.
Most of you probably don’t know who this is, but Travis Fulton has competed in over 250 pro MMA fights.
Fulton has a record of 195-47-11, only going to a decision 20 times in those fights. He holds a 1-1 record with the UFC.
Travis Fulton has fought many big named and successful MMA fighters over his career such as Renato “Bablau” Sobral, Evan Tanner, Dan Severn, Forrest Griffin, Rich Franklin, Ian Freeman, Jeremy Horn, Ben Rothwell and he has beaten the likes of Joe Riggs, Wesley “Cabbage” Correira and Heath Herring.
Fulton is a second-degree black belt in American Kenpo and would be a game opponent and give another in this season a tough fight.
Wesley “Cabbage’ Correira is a mixed martial arts veteran and posted a 2-2 UFC record with both his losses to former UFC heavyweight champions, Andrei Arlovski and Tim Sylvia.
Cabbage being known for his strong chin and striking ability would love to get another shot to prove himself against top competition.
He would be a well liked person on the show, because who doesn’t like a fat guy that loves to trade punches and doesn’t mind taking a few in return.
Former No. 1 heavyweight contender Jeff Monson would love to get another shot in the UFC and his time in front of the camera.
Jeff, who is on a four-fight winning streak, was 4-3 in his UFC career.
Monson, a former Division I wrestler, two time ADCC submission wrestling world champion, no-gi Brazilian Jiu-Jitsu champion and Brazilian Jiu-Jitsu black belt, would be one of the most skilled ground fighters of the season.
Monson, a very colorful character and known anarchist, would be loving the camera time on the show. He would tell you about his views and stir up some controversy in the house.
Former two-time UFC heavyweight champion Tim Sylvia has been looking for his shot back in the UFC, and at one point Dana White stated the only way Tim would get his shot back in the UFC would be going through a season on TUF, so what better way than earning himself a spot on this season?
Sylvia has an impressive 27-6 MMA record, but never gets the credit he deserves in the sport. By coming on this show, it proves how dedicated he is to getting back into the UFC and proving he is a top heavyweight in the sport.
Former UFC heavyweight Marcio “Pe de Pano” Cruz posted a 2-2 UFC record, with one of his wins over former UFC heavyweight champion Frank Mir.
Marcio would be the most skilled ground and submission fighter in this competition.
Cruz is a third degree black belt in Brazilian Jiu-Jitsu, a six time Brazilian Jiu-Jitsu world champion, an eight time Brazilian Jiu-Jitsu Pan-American champion, five time Brazilian Jiu-Jitsu national champion and the 2003 ADCC world champion.
He would be a handful for anyone if he sticks to his gameplan and takes the fight to the ground.
The former No. 1 heavyweight contender Paul Buentello would love another shot back with the UFC after his recent stint with the organization losing to Stefan Struve and Cheick Kongo.
Buentello holds a respectable 28-13 record in MMA and a 3-3 record in the UFC.
He would love to display his striking skills, his heart and his competiveness to the fans and prove that he is better than his last couple of performances inside the Octagon.
Former UFC heavyweight champion Andrei Arlovski had a promising career early on, but has been struggling as of lately.
Arlovski holds a 10-4 record inside the Octagon, five of which have been title fights.
Arlovski has devastating knockout power, but as of lately has been showing a granite chin and has lost in his last three fights.
The show would prove that he has been improving from his recent mistakes and still has what it takes to be a top 10 heavyweight fighter.
Former No. 1 contender Gabriel Gonzaga has been recently released from the UFC, and he could be slotted for a spot in the TUF house.
Gonzaga, a very talented fighter, holds a 7-5 record inside the Octagon, but most people would say it was an up and down career with the organization.
Gonzaga, a high level Brazilian Jiu-Jitsu black belt, has been known as of recently to stand and trade with his opponents instead of taking it to the ground, which is his biggest strength.
I know he was recently released from the UFC, but Gonzaga has stated he would retire from MMA if he doesn’t get a good pay day, which he was receiving from the UFC, so what better way to receive a UFC payday than by earning a spot back with the organization through this season of TUF and prove you have gone back to your roots?
Devastating Muay Thai and kickboxer Gilbert Yvel, who has also recently been released from the UFC, would love to prove to himself and the fans he can compete within the organization.
A loser of four of his last five fights, three of which were in the UFC, Gilbert would love to show he has the striking ability and skills to compete with top flight competitors.
Gilbert’s hot temper and unpredictable emotions would be exciting to watch during this season of TUF.
I want to know who everyone thinks would be the winner of The Ultimate Fighter: The Heavyweight Comeback season.
Write down your winner, and if you have time write down who fights who on the show and what the finale would be.