MMA: Have the Heavyweight Divisions Lost Some of Their Fire?

Gregory Chase@FightersCreedCorrespondent IJune 19, 2011

Photo from Don at
Photo from Don at

Strikeforce came to Texas and brought on the second installment of the Strikeforce Heavyweight Grand Prix.

The HW GP fighters on the card were Josh Barnett vs. Brett Rogers, and Alistair Overeem vs. Fabricio Werdum. By the end of the night, Barnett had risen victorious in a submission victory in the second round, and will now face Sergei Kharitonov.

The main event did not go as quickly or exciting as the co-main, however. Watching Overeem and Werdum fight was like a flashback to Anderson Silva vs. Thales Leites.

As soon as Overeem would close the distance, Werdum would fall to his back and teasingly invite and plead for Alistair to join him on the ground. Alistair did not oblige him.

What did happen was that Overeem seemed to hold back his hands and would not let them go. In fact, Werdum many times got the better of striking exchanges. In the end, Overeem walked away with a decision win, and will advance to face Antonio Silva.

Alistair Overeem, Fedor Emelianenko, and Fabricio Werdum are arguably three of the most well known and popular fighters in the heavyweight division of Strikeforce, however their performances recently have been quite abnormal and not impressive.

With Fedor’s two losses in a row, Alistair’s struggle with Werdum, and Werdum apparently not wanting to keep the fight flowing, is the heavyweight division starting to look less exciting?

Of course, Werdum was using his advantages and strategy for the fight, but one has to look at his stamina and willingness to engage. Both he, and Overeem, did not look like the fighters many had hyped them up to be.

Fedor, whom many revered as one of the greatest of all time, was submitted quickly in his fight vs. Werdum, and then was dominated by Antonio Silva.

Right after his bout with “Bigfoot,” he made remarks about possible retirement in the near future. With his new opponent, Dan Henderson, he has the chance to gain his aura back.

But for now, how do fans view the heavyweight division in Strikeforce? Before, fans have expressed that Strikeforce’s HW division is better than the UFC’s.

One has to wonder after a fight like Overeem vs. Werdum, and Rogers losing his fight, does the heavyweight division still have the strength it did before?

In boxing right now, many people believe that the reason the sport is not as popular as it used to be, is because it is missing a good heavyweight division.

In fact, if Pacquiao and Mayweather do ever fight, boxing could have nothing much left after to offer the Pay-Per-View community.

But how does the UFC heavyweights stack up against the Strikeforce ones?

If the UFC and Strikeforce ever decide to merge, or if the HW fighters sign with the other organization, we will see how some of these potentially exciting matchups will play out.

The heavyweight division in MMA has always been one of the divisions that has had great fluctuations of talent and popularity. But are fighters like Emelianenko, Werdum, and Overeem able to keep it afloat?

With both UFC and Strikeforce being under the same roof, the HW division is sure to get the attention it needs from the company, but as far as pleasing the fans, we very well may be hitting a lull.

With media-magnet fighters like Brock Lesnar being sidelined, the UFC’s Heavyweights seem to be composed of guys who are very tall, very round, or get very gassed.

Not to say they are bad fighters, since all are very good and fight on the most prestigious stage in the sport, but as far as promotionally, the divisions of the UFC and Strikeforce could be stronger.

But this article wants to ask YOU, the fans, what you think of Strikeforce: Overeem vs. Werdum, and the heavyweight divisions in general in MMA.

Is it losing its luster? Is it doing just fine? Who needs to fight each other to make a great Heavyweight bout? Who are some of your all-time heavyweight favorites and why? And last but not least, if there were a MMA Heavyweight Hall of Fame, what three fighters would you put in it? 

Leave your answers and comments below!

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