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08-17-2008, 04:05 PM
Status: Mir is A Pornstar.
Join Date: Nov 2007
| | Sam Caplan's UFC Top 10 HWs
Five Ounces of Pain: Lesnar stacks well against UFC heavyweights - Boxing - CBSSports.com MMA, Results, News
1. Antonio Rodrigo Nogueira: Nogueira is officially the UFC's interim heavyweight champion. But the reality is that it's undisputed. Even if he didn't hold a title, he still would be considered far and away the best fighter in the division. He's 2-0 since joining the UFC with strong wins over Heath Herring and Tim Sylvia. Before fighting in the States, he was a PRIDE heavyweight champion and has career wins over fighters such as Josh Barnett, Fabricio Werdum, Mirko Cro Cop, Ricco Rodriguez, Mark Coleman, Dan Henderson and Semmy Schilt. Few fighters can hold a candle to Nogueira's reputation, and I don't see how anyone could argue that he's not the No. 1 heavyweight in UFC. |
2. Fabricio Werdum: Werdum isn't officially the No. 1 contender in the UFC but is expected to assume that position once he's able to defeat Junior dos Santos at UFC 90 on Oct. 25 in Chicago. That would improve his UFC record to 3-1 with strong wins over Gabriel Gonzaga and Brandon Vera. Outside of the UFC, he has beaten Alistair Overeem, Aleksander Emelianenko and Gonzaga again. He already lost to Nogueira in 2006, and there is little reason to believe a rematch would produce a different outcome. But Werdum is clearly a step above just about everyone else in the UFC's heavyweight division right now.
3. Gabriel Gonzaga: You can't really make a case that he belongs ahead of Werdum considering he's lost twice to him but with a 5-2 UFC record, he certainly should be toward the top of the rankings. His only losses in the UFC have been to Randy Couture and Werdum. There's no shame in losing to Couture, but there might have been some in how he lost to Werdum during their rematch at UFC 80 in January. Gonzaga is much more physically gifted but allowed himself to be broken. While his stock is not as high as it was following his stunning head kick against Mirko Cro Cop at UFC 70, he still has tremendous ability and the UFC-specific credentials needed to put him just one or two wins away from another title shot.
4. Frank Mir: Mir is a former UFC heavyweight champion, and it's obvious the promotion considers him the No. 1 contender -- otherwise he wouldn't be scheduled to fight Nogueira for the interim belt on Dec. 27. He has not been the same since coming back from a major motorcycle accident after which his leg almost had to be amputated, but he has won three out of his past four fights. However, it's hard to consider him the second best heavyweight in the promotion because his list of wins isn't overly impressive. Yes, the names Tim Sylvia and Brock Lesnar stand out, but Mir needed a Hail Mary submission in order to survive against the former pro wrestler at UFC 81. If Mir isn't able to beat Nogueira in December, he's going to face another long road back to the top.
5. Brock Lesnar: If you want to know where Lesnar stands, this is one man's opinion. Some are going to suggest this is too high for him since he's only 2-1 in MMA and has just one UFC win. But pure fighting ability should count for something, and he dominated Mir up until tapping during February's fight at UFC 81. With a lack of division depth, Lesnar's ladder to the top simply isn't that long right now. If you believe he's being ranked too high, I'd be curious who you think deserves to be ranked higher, and why? Lesnar has looked like a machine when it comes to his takedowns, and his standup has been much better than many had expected. And with a guarantee of six figures per fight, the UFC is not in a position to put Lesnar against opponents who aren't high profile. He's going straight to the top and will likely be fighting for the title within the next 12 months. And when he does get his shot, are you going to bet against him?
6. Heath Herring: Herring has the credentials to be ranked ahead of Lesnar, but it's hard to justify considering he was just dominated by him this past weekend. No, I'm not using MMA math to formulate this list, but head-to-head wins should be factored in when you're looking at two fighters who are ranked within close proximity. Herring is a capable heavyweight who has recorded some wins over very good opponents. The problem is that he's been unable to gain significant traction because he has lost against great opponents such as Mirko Cro Cop, Fedor Emelianenko, Antonio Rodrigo Nogueira (three times) and Vitor Belfort. There are also infamous losses to not-so-great opponents such as Jake O'Brien and Travis Fulton. Herring is a good fighter for a promotion to have in its heavyweight division for depth purposes, but he shouldn't be viewed as a top contender until he begins to show more consistency.
7. Cheick Kongo: I was tempted to rank him higher but didn't feel comfortable. Some might claim this is too low because Kongo's 5-2 career UFC record is very respectable, but his only major win came against Cro Cop this past September at UFC 75. A UFC-level fighter is supposed to beat Dan Evensen, Assuerio Silva and Christian Wellisch. There's also the issue that Kongo's credentials outside of the UFC aren't very impressive and a head-to-head loss vs. Herring made it tough for me to justify ranking him ahead. I really don't feel bad for ranking Lesnar ahead of him because Lesnar beat Herring and Herring beat Kongo. You can call that MMA math, but I call it a pecking order. Kongo and Lesnar have yet to face each other, but that could be next, according to several reports. And when that match is made, Lesnar will be favored, and for good reason.
8. Cain Velasquez: Lesnar isn't the only prospect with a standout wrestling background who is starting to gain traction within the UFC's heavyweight division. Velasquez is already 2-0 inside of the Octagon, and while beating Jeff Morris and O'Brien isn't much to write home about, he is 4-0 lifetime in MMA with his other wins taking place with the BodogFIGHT and Strikeforce promotions. While it might seem too early to rank him this high, there's that lack of depth: Brandon Vera has dropped to light heavyweight; Mirko Cro Cop went back to Japan; Randy Couture is trying to resign from the promotion; and Tim Sylvia has been let out of his contract early. In my mind, this ranking feels pretty right.
9. Shane Carwin: Carwin may only be 1-0 in the UFC, but he's 9-0 overall. His debut at UFC 84, where he knocked out Wellisch at 0:44 of Round 1, put a lot of people on notice considering many pundits had felt the former Division II wrestling standout relied too much on his ground skills. If Carwin can be a threat on his feet in addition to being one on the mat, a lot of heavyweight fighters are going to be in trouble. Seeing Lesnar, Velasquez and Carwin all make an immediate impact raises the strong possibility that within 15-18 months, the big money main events for major shows such as the UFC's New Year's Eve and Super Bowl weekend events will be headlined by matchups such Lesnar vs. Velasquez, Lesnar vs. Carwi, and Carwin vs. Velasquez.
10. Antoni Hardonk: I know, I know, Antoni Hardonk? But my other options were O'Brien and Justin McCully. It was a tossup, but I felt Hardonk was more deserving considering that O'Brien was let go following his UFC 82 loss to Andrei Arlovski and then lost his second consecutive fight upon returning against Velasquez at UFC Fight Night 14. McCully holds a head-to-head win over Hardonk in April 2007 but hasn't won since. Hardonk has gone 2-1 during that time. His recent wins against Colin Robinson and Eddie Sanchez are hardly impressive, but the lack of depth plays a huge role in him earning this spot.
This is sad.
They had 7 or 8 top 10 guys at one point last year and a few of the top 15 guys, some of which are on this list. To think anyone can make this a top 10 list is unreal. Now two of the guys on this list have 3 fights under their belt... 3 fights, and in a top 10 list... crazy.
Remember the middle of last summer when the division looked like this; Randy, Arlovski, Sylvia, Cro Cop were all still there. Brandon Vera was still undefeated and about to make his comeback. Brock Lesnar was about to be signed. Fedor was still up in the air. What 12/13 months can do is insane lol
08-17-2008, 06:14 PM
Status: Dangida Dangida Dang
Join Date: Jun 2008
Originally Posted by Diegonightmare
Brock Lesnar at 1-1 UFC is top 5. Nuff said.
It's hosed. Cro Cop being a bust, Randy defecting, Brandon Vera falling right off the horse, the UFC for God knows what reason choosing to dick around with Arlovski and let him slip away, and the fact that they let Tim Sylvia go as well as failing to secure Fedor all combined to make their HW division arguably their weakest - I would argue it is weaker than their MW division now!
With Werdum, Lesnar, and Velasquez they do have some excitement for future years, but still the overall shape of the division is pretty sad. Affliction definitely dominates the UFC at heavyweight.
Well said, they let the HW division go to shit, it's real sad.
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