The UFC rolled out what can be termed "Heavyweight Royalty" at the UFC 146 press conference today from the MGM Grand in Las Vegas.
President Dana White was on hand to answer questions and he was flanked on both sides by six of the biggest and baddest fighters on the planet. Top-10 UFC heavyweights Roy Nelson, Cain Velasquez, Junior Dos Santos, Alistair Overeem, Frank Mir and Antonio Silva were all in attendance to promote UFC 146, which will take place on May 26th from the same venue where they sat today.
The fighters on hand answered many different questions about their upcoming fights against each other and the new-and-improved depth in the heavyweight division. The May card is being billed as one of the best heavyweight fight cards in the history of the promotion.
World and UFC Champion Junior Dos Santos will defend his title against monster striker Alistair Overeem, while two former champions Cain Velasquez and Frank Mir will battle for the next shot at the title.
"After this card it will be interesting to see how it all shakes out," President Dana White stated.
The event has an "Elimination Tournament" feel to it, with very intriguing consequences for the future of the division, although it wasn't made that way by design.
"There are so may factors in making fights and this one just lined up as an all heavyweight card," White said.
In a heavyweight fight, it is often feast or famine. You get a brief slug fest of fireworks ending in a devastating knockout or submission, or you get two tentative and out-of-shape men who are weary to engage.
A question was asked if having this many heavyweights on one card is a risky thing for the quality of entertainment that fans are expecting to see.
"There is a concern there, but if you look at the last few fights that these guys up here have had, they weren't boring. Yes it's possible, but not likely," White acknowledged.
It is very true that fight fans have a particular obsession and admiration for the heavyweights of the sport. Fans rarely get more excited than they do leading up to an elite heavyweight clash.
Why is that? Why the popularity over the lighter and smaller divisions?
Each fighter at the table gave the obvious cookie-cutter answer that people like finishes and "heavyweight's finish fights. People like the knockout." While that is all very true, it was veteran Frank Mir who once again articulated it best.
"When a lot of fans see a 135-pound elite fighter, if you are a 220-pound man you are still thinking 'I could still kick his ass,' but we're the heavyweights....if you are thinking that you are stupid," Mir said.
Frank Mir often says it best, and I see him holding the title before 2012 is done.
Dwight Wakabayashi is a Featured Columnist for Bleacher Report MMA, MMA Editor at CKSN.ca and guest blogger for Sportsnet.ca. All quotes were obtained via the UFC 146 Press Conference on http://www.sportsnet.ca/mma/