Tag Archive for Heavyweight

How Hot Is The Heavyweight Fire?

“You never know how hot is the fire until you put your finger in it.” — Francis Ngannou

Former Ultimate Fighting Championship (UFC) heavyweight champion, Cain Velasquez, is making his return to mixed martial arts (MMA) after two-and-a-half years on the sidelines. In fact, Velasquez has only competed twice since late 2013.

That means we missed five years of his fighting prime and honestly, I’m not sure what to expect moving forward. Even if he wins and looks like the previous version of himself, the one who made a mockery of Junior dos Santos and Travis Browne, just to name a few, how many years do we have left?

Velasquez is 36 and prone to injuries and it’s not like you get hurt less as you get older, so I’m not sure if the emotional investment is worth it, for even his most loyal fans. Like a fighter who consistently misses weight, or fails multiple drug tests, Velasquez is going to need a solid stretch of consecutive appearances to prove otherwise.

“This Cain now in 2019, I feel like I am much-improved. I just know that I have what it takes to beat everybody,” the ex-champ told UFC.com. “I improved from the last time you saw me, so you are going to see a much better Cain Velasquez. I know I can get back to that greatness of being heavyweight champion again. And I will. I’m ready to go out there and get a victory.”

That journey begins in the UFC on ESPN 1 headliner tomorrow night (Sun., Feb. 17, 2019) inside Talking Stick Resort & Casino in Phoenix, Arizona, where Velasquez battles top heavyweight contender, Francis Ngannou. Like his opponent, “The Predator” is also working to negate some of those less-than-flattering headlines over the past few months.

“This is a very important fight, he is my best opponent so far,” Ngannou said in a recent promotional video. “This is going to be a very tough fight, he is a good wrestler. I want to show the world that I can fight a wrestler, I’m more determined than ever. I really believe I have the skills to become a world champion.”

When you combine the heavyweight Top 15, it’s 500 years old with an arithmetic mean of 33.5. That doesn’t include the unranked Velasquez at 36 or the soon-to-be 40 year-old Daniel Cormier, who captured the crown from Stipe Miocic, 36, last July. I find it troubling that only two ranked fighters are under the age of 30 and those are Curtis Blaydes and Tai Tuivasa.

Ngannou (12-3) sits right in the middle at 32 years old.

Velasquez and Cormier, longtime friends and training partners, are never going to fight for the division title. Not that “DC” will be available anytime soon, thanks to proposed title defenses against Brock Lesnar and perhaps even Jon Jones, so regardless of who walks away the winner in Phoenix, they’ll likely need another dance partner to stay active this year.

I hear this guy is (still) looking for a fight.

MMAmania.com will deliver LIVE round-by-round, blow-by-blow coverage of the entire UFC on ESPN 1 fight card on fight night (click here), starting with the ESPN+ “Prelims” matches online, which are scheduled to begin at 5:30 p.m. ET, then the remaining undercard balance on ESPN at 7 p.m. ET, before the ESPN main card start time at 9 p.m. ET.

For much more on UFC on ESPN click here.

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Jon Jones to Defend Light Heavyweight Crown vs. Anthony Smith in UFC 235 Headliner

Jon Jones wanted an active 2019, and it appears that he will get a quick start on achieving his three-fight goal this year.
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Ovince St. Preux-Misha Cirkunov Light Heavyweight Clash Added to UFC 235

A battle between light heavyweight contenders is now set for UFC 235, when Ovince St. Preux meets Misha Cirkunov in Las Vegas.
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Alexander Gustafsson Mulls Move To Heavyweight In Wake of UFC 232 Loss

After coming up short in his third shot at the Ultimate Fighting Championship light heavyweight belt, Alexander Gustafsson may consider a change of scenery.
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Gustafsson The Heavyweight?

After coming up short in his bid to capture the Ultimate Fighting Championship (UFC) Light Heavyweight title on three separate occasions, Alexander Gustafsson may be running out of opportunities to win the division strap.

Especially if Jon Jones decides to stick around the 205-pound division for the remainder of his career. But that doesn’t mean “The Mauler” is giving up on his championship dreams so easily.

“Yeah, it’s not over yet,” he said during the UFC 232 post-fight presser (via MMA Junkie). “Let’s see what’s next. Like always, you do this for a reason, and it’s to compete with the best guys out there, and that’s what I’ll do. I will do it as long as I think it’s fun.”

Being one of the biggest 205-pound fighters in the division, a move up to Heavyweight seems like a simple transition for the towering Swede. Banging with the big boys of the 265-pound weight class is something that could intrigue Gus into packing on a bit more weight in search for gold.

“Yeah, of course. The heavyweight division is also an alternative. I’m here to fight, either if it’s at light heavy or heavy. I have to talk to my coaches and see what’s next,” he concluded.

With division king Daniel Cormier — who also holds a championship win over Gustafsson — set to retire pretty soon, the weight class will be searching for a new man to lead the big men in 2019 and beyond.

That means a win or two up north could put Gus back into a title fight sooner, rather than later. If he does indeed choose to stay at 205-pounds, there are several fights he can still engage in.

Like this one.

If he reels off another impressive win streak, then perhaps the promotion will have no other choice but to book a trilogy fight between Gus and “Bones” should Jon still be the leader of the pack at that time.

After all, Jones isn’t opposed to fighting a guy a third time after stomping him out on two separate occasions.

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Jon Jones Sees Eventual Future at Heavyweight, Wants Third Bout vs. Cormier at 205

It had been two-and-a-half years since Jon Jones officially scored a win inside the famed UFC Octagon, but Saturday’s victory may have been his sweetest to date.
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UFC Fight Night 142 Results: Junior dos Santos Is Still the Coolest Heavyweight in the UFC

As local heavyweights go, Tai Tuivasa earned his main event spot at UFC Fight Night 142. Three wins in three Octagon appearances, and all of them pretty decisive, meant it was time for him to take a step up in competition with the spotlight shining on him brightly. So he got to face former champ Junior dos Santos.

There was no real heat between the two before the fight. In fact, they seemed to have gotten married and adopted a baby kangaroo, which is a common thing in Australia. But when the cage door shut it was time for business, and Tuivasa wasted no time chopping away at the Brazilian with kicks, kicks and more kicks. Meanwhile, whenever JDS clinched him, Tuivasa would use that opportunity to land elbows. Things were getting hairy.

And yet, JDS has been an elite heavyweight for a while now – and one of the coolest guys around to boot – so all it took was some sloppiness on Tuivasa’s part and Dos Santos was able to capitalize. A short hook in an exchange sent the Aussie to the canvas, and after some ground and pound, JDS got the win via TKO.

This loss probably does nothing for Tuivasa’s standing as local hero. Whenever the UFC comes to town, he’ll be on the card. As for Dos Santos… like Shogun’s win in the co-main event, maybe this staves off the talk of retirement for a little while longer?

The post UFC Fight Night 142 Results: Junior dos Santos Is Still the Coolest Heavyweight in the UFC appeared first on Caged Insider.

Caged Insider

UFC Fight Night 142 Results: Junior dos Santos Is Still the Coolest Heavyweight in the UFC

As local heavyweights go, Tai Tuivasa earned his main event spot at UFC Fight Night 142. Three wins in three Octagon appearances, and all of them pretty decisive, meant it was time for him to take a step up in competition with the spotlight shining on him brightly. So he got to face former champ Junior dos Santos.

There was no real heat between the two before the fight. In fact, they seemed to have gotten married and adopted a baby kangaroo, which is a common thing in Australia. But when the cage door shut it was time for business, and Tuivasa wasted no time chopping away at the Brazilian with kicks, kicks and more kicks. Meanwhile, whenever JDS clinched him, Tuivasa would use that opportunity to land elbows. Things were getting hairy.

And yet, JDS has been an elite heavyweight for a while now – and one of the coolest guys around to boot – so all it took was some sloppiness on Tuivasa’s part and Dos Santos was able to capitalize. A short hook in an exchange sent the Aussie to the canvas, and after some ground and pound, JDS got the win via TKO.

This loss probably does nothing for Tuivasa’s standing as local hero. Whenever the UFC comes to town, he’ll be on the card. As for Dos Santos… like Shogun’s win in the co-main event, maybe this staves off the talk of retirement for a little while longer?

The post UFC Fight Night 142 Results: Junior dos Santos Is Still the Coolest Heavyweight in the UFC appeared first on Caged Insider.

Caged Insider

UFC Fight Night 142 Results: Junior dos Santos Is Still the Coolest Heavyweight in the UFC

As local heavyweights go, Tai Tuivasa earned his main event spot at UFC Fight Night 142. Three wins in three Octagon appearances, and all of them pretty decisive, meant it was time for him to take a step up in competition with the spotlight shining on him brightly. So he got to face former champ Junior dos Santos.

There was no real heat between the two before the fight. In fact, they seemed to have gotten married and adopted a baby kangaroo, which is a common thing in Australia. But when the cage door shut it was time for business, and Tuivasa wasted no time chopping away at the Brazilian with kicks, kicks and more kicks. Meanwhile, whenever JDS clinched him, Tuivasa would use that opportunity to land elbows. Things were getting hairy.

And yet, JDS has been an elite heavyweight for a while now – and one of the coolest guys around to boot – so all it took was some sloppiness on Tuivasa’s part and Dos Santos was able to capitalize. A short hook in an exchange sent the Aussie to the canvas, and after some ground and pound, JDS got the win via TKO.

This loss probably does nothing for Tuivasa’s standing as local hero. Whenever the UFC comes to town, he’ll be on the card. As for Dos Santos… like Shogun’s win in the co-main event, maybe this staves off the talk of retirement for a little while longer?

The post UFC Fight Night 142 Results: Junior dos Santos Is Still the Coolest Heavyweight in the UFC appeared first on Caged Insider.

Caged Insider

Francis Ngannou Realistic About Standing in Heavyweight Division After UFC Beijing Win

Francis Ngannou went from being “The Next Big Thing” in the UFC to being labeled a bust in just a few short fights.
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