The heavyweight division has never been so strong. With so many up-and-coming prospects, top contenders, and a new champion, the division is set to be strong and exciting for the years to come.
Daniel Cormier made history back in 2018 by knocking out Stipe Miocic in the first round to become the new heavyweight champion and be the second man to hold two titles simultaneously. Cormier is also the first man since Hall of Famer, Randy Couture held both the light heavyweight and heavyweight titles.
Recently, D.C. was expected to make his second title defense against former UFC and WWE champion Brock Lesnar. However, leading up to UFC 236, Dana White revealed the fight was never in negotiation. With D.C. potentially focused on Brock and Stipe just hanging around, there are some great fights that could be made in the meantime.
Besides the Cormier vs Miocic rematch and the potential Cormier vs Lesnar bout, here are some fights that make sense and should take place at heavyweight this year.
Stipe Miocic vs Francis Ngannou 2
Stipe beat Ngannou back in 2017 via unanimous decision and it was a pretty one-sided beat down. Every time they stood up Stipe was always in danger though. Since their clash, Francis has dropped one fight to Derrick Lewis where no punches were thrown. Today, he is riding a 2-fight win streak and is coming off big knockouts against Curtis Blaydes and former heavyweight champion, Cain Velasquez. Today, I feel this fight would be a different fight and Francis would be ready for a challenge like Stipe. However, Francis now needs to get through JDS at UFC 239.
Junior Dos Santos vs Curtis Blaydes
Junior Dos Santos has found his form again since moving his camp to the famous American Top Team. He is riding a 3-fight win streak against some top names. Those names include Derrick Lewis, Tai Tuivasa and Blagoy Ivanov. Curtis Blaydes is another fighter who has been top five for sometime he is 4-1 in his last five fights, his only loss in those last five fights is to Francis Ngannou. A fight between these to top heavyweight makes the most sense. They both are in the top five and haven’t fought each other yet. This fight will need to wait though since JDS is taking on Ngannou next.
Derrick Lewis vs Cain Velasquez
Both men are great heavyweights, coming off TKO losses. Cain Velasquez made his return to the Octagon in February of this year, from a 2 year layoff. He suffered a TKO loss to Francis Ngannou. Although he lost that fight, Cain is still considered one of the best and because of his name, they will say it was ring rust. For that reason alone, he deserves a big fight again. I believe he will be better coming out for his next bout. As for Lewis, he suffered a TKO loss to JDS last month. He brings a big fan base with him, so if he wants it, this is a fight he could get done.
Tai Tuivasa vs Justin Willis
These two men are two who do not hide their feelings about each other. Tai has been tweeting about Willis since his fight with Curtis Blaydes. This is a fight the fans would love to see and it would for sure be entertaining. Tai Tuivasa is 3-1 since joining the UFC, he is 10-1 and definitely one of the top young stars coming up in all of MMA. Justin is also 4-1 since joining the UFC and holds a win over Mark Hunt. Willis only has 2 losses on his record. Some people believe this time next year he won’t be in the UFC, however I think otherwise. He has very good potential to be a top heavyweight in this promotion and definitely can make a run at that title. This fight will also need to wait since Tai is taking on Blagoy Ivanov at UFC 238.