Thursday, January 13, 2011

FIGHT BLOG: Dueling Heavyweight Divisions

With Cain Velasquez on the injured list for the foreseeable future, the world of MMA heavyweights has been stagnant as of late.

The UFC champion not being able to defend his belt for 4-6 months certainly put a bit of sadness into what had been a breakthrough when it came to MMA fighters who couldn't make the 205 lb. limit.

It had seemed like the days of freak fights with Hong Man Choi as main events and champions like Tim Sylvia had finally been exorcised, but with the Cain Train temporarily delayed, what would hold everyone's interest in the weight class?

Well, the two strongest heavyweight classes in MMA came up with solutions.

UFC's was simple but will draw interest in heavyweights for months: Have Brock Lesnar and Junior Dos Santos fight this summer - after coaching against each other on "The Ultimate Fighter 13."

Brock on television has really been a license to print money since he was on SmackDown, and I feel like this show is going to be exciting television. I do think that Dos Santos will fare better as a coach, as he remains in his "Where is my friggin' title shot?" focus, but I will need more time to determine who will win in summer.

The other important moment came from Strikeforce, as they announced their Heavyweight Grand Prix at last.

Strikeforce has finally done something with their division's ample talent, and I am very hopeful that this produces some fun matches. I will say that the right half of the bracket is definitely weaker and Arlovski-Barnett as a possible semi-final will be a disappointment, but look forward to the left end of the bracket.

I firmly hope that Fedor and Overeem finally get their hands on each other and in all honesty, it would be in MMA's best interests if Overeem won.  Fedor has no plans of joining the UFC, but Overeem does not have a ridiculous management team, so we can hope there.

The newfound depth of MMA heavyweights is definitely being seen in these two organizations, although I feel UFC's is stronger because their skill level doesn't drop off after the top seven or eight as much as Strikeforce.

I have to say I am very optimistic that 2011 will be the year of the heavyweights.

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