July 10, 2018

UFC Fight Night 133: Heavyweight Division Looks To Maintain Its Strong Momentum At UFC Boise

By Adam Martin

The UFC heavyweight division is alive and kicking. Just a week after Daniel Cormier brutally knocked out Stipe Miocic to become the new UFC Heavyweight Champion, the former champ Junior Dos Santos makes his return from a long layoff when he welcomes former World Series of Fighting heavyweight champion Blagoy Ivanov in the main event of this weekend's UFC Fight Night 133 card. The event takes place Saturday night at CenturyLink Arena in Boise, Idaho, and JDS and Ivanov should put on a fantastic fight that results in the winner closing in on the top five.

The heavyweight division was stale for a while when Cain Velasquez barely fought, but in the last few years it's really picked up, and 2018 so far has been amazing for the division. After Miocic opened up the year with a dominant win over Francis Ngannou, there was a slight fear that Miocic would reign supreme over the division, which lacked fresh contenders. But then Alexander Volkov knocked out Fabricio Werdum to emerge as a new contender, and Curtis Blaydes emerged as another fresh contender with a vicious TKO win over Alistair Overeem. Then DC brutally knocked out Miocic to turn the entire division upside down, before calling out the former champ Brock Lesnar, who will return to the Octagon in early 2019. Now all of a sudden there are plenty of exciting, fresh matchups for the title, and the heavyweight division is fun again.

And adding the winner of JDS vs. Ivanov to the mix makes it even more interesting. Yes it's true that JDS is on the decline, but there's no reason to think he doesn't have a few big knockouts left in him. He's only really lost to elite guys in his career, and even if he has diminished somewhat he should still be a solid gatekeeper to the Top 5. The division is just better with a healthy JDS, as he's one of the greatest knockout artists we've ever seen, and he's a guy who has sadly been forgotten about due to a long USADA layoff that saw him receive an apology. Ivanov, though, shouldn't be slept on in this matchup. The former WSOF and Pro Fight League heavyweight champ is on a five-fight win streak, and his only loss came against Volkov in Bellator. He's a really dangerous fighter, and a tremendous addition to the UFC's heavyweight roster.

So right now, when it comes to the heavyweight division pecking order, you have DC at the top and Lesnar is skipping the line to fight for the title when he gets back. Right behind them you have Miocic, who realistically deserves an immediate rematch, though he won't get one. Then right behind them you have Blaydes and Volkov, who will likely fight with the winner getting a title shot. Behind them would be the winner of JDS vs. Ivanov, as well as Derrick Lewis, who just beat Ngannou. Werdum, Mark Hunt and Overeem are coming off of losses, but all those guys are still top-10. If Velasquez comes back, there's another guy. Then you have younger blood like Tai Tuivasa coming up the ranks. After a few years of a boring heavyweight division, it seems like there's a ton of momentum for the big boys now, and after last weekend's incredible UFC 226 event, we'll see what Ivanov and JDS can do at UFC Boise to add to what is becoming a very exciting weight class.

UFC Fight Night 133: Dos Santos vs. Ivanov takes place July 14, 2018 at CenturyLink Arena in Boise, Idaho.

Click HERE for more UFC Fight Night 133 Pre-Fight Analysis

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