The UFC owes much of its success to the 205-pound weight class. For years, it was home to the promotion’s biggest stars: Chuck Liddell, Tito Ortiz, Rampage Jackson, Forrest Griffin and Shogun Rua just to name a few. But these days, the division is thinning rapidly. Many of its stars have aged quickly out of their primes or retired entirely. It’s safe to say that the landscape will be drastically different in just a few years’ time.
But the appeal is still obvious. These men are big enough to blast each other with heavyweight power, but aren’t so enormous as to lose the athleticism that reminds us that these are men with extraordinary capabilities. Let’s check out the state of the division today. And remember you can bet on your favorite fighters with the
UFC Heavyweight Division at a Glance
Weight Limit: 205 pounds
Average Height: 73.7” (6’1.7”)
Average Reach: 76.2” (6’4.2”)
Current UFC Rankings (As of June 1, 2017)
Champion: Daniel Cormier
1. Alexander Gustafsson
2. Glover Teixeira
3. Jimi Manuwa
4. Mauricio Rua
5. Volkan Oezdemir
6. Corey Anderson
7. Ovince St. Preux
8. Misha Cirkunov
9. Ilir Latifi
10. Rogerio Nogueira
11. Patrick Cummins
12. Tyson Pedro
13. Gian Villante
14. Jan Blachowicz
15. Gadzhimurad Antigulov
Daniel Cormier tightened his grip on the light heavyweight strap with an easy first-round victory over Anthony Johnson at UFC 210. While he seems a few steps of ahead of the current division, he has to deal with the lineal champion, Jon Jones, at UFC 214. To date, Jones is the only man to have ever beat DC.
MMA Odds and ends
Currently, Jones is a -275 favorite over Cormier, who is a big underdog at +235. Jones is an even bigger favorite than when they were first paired up in 2015. This is an interesting line from the oddsmakers, considering how rusty Jones looked against OSP in his last outing and how dominant DC was against Rumble.
Fighters to WatchVolkan Oezdemir scored a huge upset win over prospect Misha Cirkunov at UFC Fight Night 109. That makes two straight unexpected victories over guys who were big favorites over him. How good is this guy? There were a few some fluky qualities in both his fights, but he’s earned another shot at a big name.
The GreatsJon Jones easily takes the spot as the greatest light heavyweight in UFC history. He has never truly lost inside the octagon, and his resume is packed with notable scalps like Shogun Rua, Rampage Jackson, Gustafsson, Daniel Cormier, Ryan Bader and Lyoto Machida. What’s more, he’s never truly been challenged except for his fight with Gustafsson.
But perhaps the most famous fighter in this division is Chuck “The Iceman” Liddell, who was a key figure in the UFC’s meteoric rise to popularity. Despite retiring in 2010, the former champion is still one of the division’s most recognizable figures. His trademark mohawk and bone-crushing knockouts will long be remembered, and he is one of the first fighters ever to be inducted into the UFC Hall of Fame.
Other fighters of note are Tito Ortiz, whose rivalry with Liddell is still one of the most famous in history. Forrest Griffin won Season 1 of The Ultimate Fighter with an all-out slobber knocker that’s cited as the most important UFC fight ever - he later went on to win the title in a stunning upset over Rampage Jackson.
The Future of Light HeavyweightThis division currently looms in the shadow of Jon Jones - until he is beaten, it all revolves around him. Still just 29 years old, he’s got years of fighting prime left to further an all-time great legacy. Beyond Jones, there is much uncertainty for the division - we can only hope that it reaches its previous heights.
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