UFC 124: Can Sean McCorkle Be a Heavyweight Contender in the UFC?

Todd SeylerContributor IDecember 8, 2010

Sean "Big Sexy" McCorkle
Sean "Big Sexy" McCorkle

Cain Velasquez, Junior dos Santos, Brock Lesnar and Shane Carwin. These names comprise the top tier of the UFC heavyweight division.  Sean McCorkle is hoping to eventually be mentioned in the same breath as the the best heavyweights in the world.

At 6’7” 263 pounds, Sean “Big Sexy” McCorkle has the physical frame to compete with the biggest in the octagon.  However, the physique he carries on that large frame is soft and lacking the comparative strength and power needed to equally challenge those top heavyweights, including former UFC heavyweight champion, Brock Lesnar.

Fighting out of Indianapolis, Indiana under the tutelage of C-4 MMA, “Big Sexy” has a 10-0 MMA record with one victory within the UFC.  4 (T) KO’s, 5 submissions and 1 decision victory make up Sean’s overall mixed martial arts resume.   

Balanced in his fight game, McCorkle has the ability to take opponents to the mat to work for a submission or stand and trade in the center of the octagon. 

Signing a four fight contract, McCorkle earned a submission victory in his UFC debut over seasoned veteran Mark Hunt. 

After taking a few hard punches from the PRIDE and K-1 veteran, McCorkle took the fight to the mat and secured a kimura from his back that appeared to dislocate Hunt's elbow.

At times arrogant, brash and involved with too much internet chatter on MMA fan sites and Twitter, Sean McCorkle will need to focus his mind on his next opponent, Stefan Struve, at UFC 124 in Montreal, Quebec, Canada this Saturday evening. 

Seemingly distracted by the publicity and notoriety of being in the UFC, McCorkle continues to joke about his presence within the world’s top MMA promotion.  “Some people live for the attention,” Sean said.  “I'm kind of more into the money. I'm a quarter Jewish, so you can't blame me.”[i]

At 6’11,” Stefan “Skyscraper” Struve is a force to reckoned with within the UFC heavyweight division.  Only 22 years old and already with five plus years of professional mixed martial arts experience, Struve has a 4-2 UFC record and a 20-4 overall MMA mark.

His only UFC losses coming via (T) KO to Junior dos Santos and Roy Nelson, Stefan has made some changes in his preparation for his fight with Sean McCorkle.

Adjusting his diet, resulting in an increase in lean muscle, Struve will top the scales at 255 pounds for his match up with McCorkle.

Training with some of the best kick boxers in the world, including Jerome LeBanner and Hesdy Gerges, the Dutchman is confident that he will prevail either on his fight or on the ground against the Indiana native in Montreal.

Earning “Knockout of the Night” honors against Christian Morecraft at UFC 117, as well as earning “Submission of the Night” honors via triangle choke of Chase Gormley at UFC 104, Struve possesses devastating knockout power, as well as a high level of jiu-jitsu needed to earn victories off of his back.

As competitive as Mark Hunt was during his days in PRIDE and K-1, he is no longer a threat within the heavyweight division.  McCorkle’s submission victory over the hard hitting Samoan is not an indication of the level of competition he will face against the “Skyscraper.”

Stefan Struve possesses a high level fight game with the ability to throw strikes from every angle, at varying levels and with every body part.  Additionally, Stefan has proven that he is a formidable ground threat with slick submissions and a solid defense.  Lastly, “Skyscraper” has become increasingly popular with the fans for his propensity to trade punches and deliver some blood shed.

Sean McCorkle will face a tremendous challenge in his second UFC fight.  With a MMA resume lacking fierce competition, “Big Sexy” has yet to face someone with the complete fight game like the “Skyscraper.”

Managed by one of the best in the business in Monte Cox, the two need to enhance McCorkle’s strength and power resulting in an improvement on his overall physique.  Looking into the future, he currently will not be able to match power and strength with the likes of a Brock Lesnar or the present UFC heavyweight champion, Cain Velasquez.

Additionally, being 6’7,” McCorkle needs to continue to develop his stand up game, in  order to utilize his reach advantage effectively, resulting in devastating combinations.  With only 4 (T) KO’s to his credit, Sean McCorkle’s kick boxing will not match up with the UFC’s top heavyweights, including Cain Velasquez or the number contender, Junior dos Santos.

Blessed with size, Sean McCorkle needs to improve all aspects of his fight game to be a competitive threat within the UFC heavyweight division. 

Never one to back away from a microphone or a computer, one current attribute that does not need improvement is his trash talking. 

For “Big Sexy’s” sake, I hope that his fight game can back up his mouth.  Otherwise, this current undefeated competitor will exit the UFC quicker than he can describe his departure in 140 characters on Twitter.    

[i] http://mmajunkie.com/news/20827/virtual-superstar-sean-mccorkle-adjusting-to-fame-in-real-world-following-ufc-win.mma, December 8, 2010.