March 28, 2020

Fight Fixin' - Post-Coronavirus Edition: UFC Heavyweight Division

By Adam Martin

The UFC, like every other sports entity in the world, is currently in limbo while humankind waits out the coronavirus outbreak. The coronavirus has destroyed the global economy and has also led to the cancellation of at least three and possibly more UFC cards. With MMA currently in a hiatus, we thought it would be a good time to look through each division and match-make future bouts for when the sport returns. In this edition of Fight Fixin', we take a look at the UFC heavyweight division. Note: Some fighters currently have fights booked, but we will ignore those matchups for this series.

Stipe Miocic vs. Daniel Cormier 3

In the last two summers, the UFC heavyweight title was up for grabs between Stipe Miocic and Daniel Cormier, and it produced two classic fights. In their first fight at UFC 226 in July 2018, Cormier upset Miocic with a first-round KO to win the UFC heavyweight title. He then fought Miocic in a rematch at UFC 241 in August 2019, but this time Miocic got revenge with a fourth-round TKO in a great comeback. Since then the UFC heavyweight division has been in a bit of holding pattern because the UFC wants to do the trilogy yet both men have been injured. With the coronavirus providing more opportunities for fighters to rest and recover, hopefully Miocic and Cormier will be ready to go once the hiatus is over. The UFC heavyweight division needs this fight to happen so that other fighters in the weight class can start lining up for their chance to fight for the belt. But first things first, we need Miocic and Cormier to complete their trilogy once and for all.

Francis Ngannou vs. Jair Rozenstruik

The UFC Columbus card was supposed to feature Francis Ngannou against Jair Rozenstruik in the main event, but currently, that event is postponed indefinitely. There's a chance that bout could happen at UFC 249 if that card goes down. Hopefully, that's what happens, because it's a great fight. Ngannou and Rozenstruik are both riding a string of knockout wins and both men are banging on the door of title contention. One more win and the victor of this bout likely gets to fight for the belt next. The UFC should do everything in its power to keep this fight together because it's just an awesome matchup.

Curtis Blaydes vs. Derrick Lewis

Curtis Blaydes and Derrick Lewis are two of the best heavyweights in the world. Blaydes, in particular, is deserving of a title fight, but there are a few other guys (Cormier, Ngannou) ahead of him in line right now. Lewis has already fought for the title, but didn't win it and has had to build himself back up. With both men on winning streaks, this would be a very fun matchup between two of the most dangerous big boys on the UFC roster. It would also be a very fan-friendly fight.

Junior dos Santos vs. Fabricio Werdum 2

A rematch that I would really like to see would feature two Brazilians in Junior dos Santos and Fabricio Werdum. These two former UFC Heavyweight Champions first met back in October 2008, and at the time JDS scored a massive upset in his UFC debut when he knocked Werdum out. The two have since turned into two of the most iconic legends in heavyweight division history, but at this point, both are on the downside of their careers. Still, a rematch between these two needs to happen before both hang their gloves up, and ideally, the fight would take place in Brazil.

Alistair Overeem vs. Ciryl Gane

One of the top prospects in the UFC heavyweight division is Ciryl Gane. Only 29, Gane is already a perfect 3-0 since making his promotional debut last summer, and it's time he gets a step up in competition. I'm all in favor of Gane being fast-tracked up the rankings, so I'm thinking Alistair Overeem would be an ideal opponent. Overeem is one of the most accomplished fighters in the division, but at this point is being used as more a gatekeeper rather than as a true contender. Beating Overeem is still a solid accomplishment, and if Gane wants to emerge as a real threat at heavyweight he needs the opportunity to fight a veteran like Overeem and show the world how good he is.

What do you think of the above matchups in the UFC heavyweight division? Comment under this article, or on Twitter at http://twitter.com/MMAdamMartin.

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