Ranking Past Champions: HWs
So I thought it could be a good game to match up the former UFC champions with the current generation of UFC fighters. This might be a cool way to show how the sport has evolved, and how strong the section currently is.
Ken Shamrock: Submission specialist with great wrestling skills. Won the UFC Superfight Championship, and may well have won the 3rd Tournament had he not quit. HOFer.
Mark Coleman: Two time UFC Tournament Winner, UFC Superfight and Heavyweight title holder. Used his wrestling to dominate in both UFC and Pride for several years. HOFer.
Dan Severn: Another wrestler, who took the UFC tournament 2 times. He also held the Superfight title, and had a good knowledge and ability with submissions. HOFer.
Randy Couture: Master of wrestling and grappling. Was able to finish opponents with ground and pound, and could compete throughout his entire career. Tournament winner, three time heavyweight champion, two time light heavyweight champion, HOFer.
Maurice Smith: Probably the most forgettable UFC champion ever. Had mixed results throughout his MMA career, but was a decorated kickboxer.
Ricco Rodriguez: The only HW champion I have never seen fight. He had an awesome UFC run up until he won the title, being able to both knockout and submit several of his high level opponents.
Tim Sylvia: A heavy handed striker who was capable in most areas of the game. His only losses in his prime came to the best of the best.
Andrei Arlovski: One of the best strikers at HW in MMA history until his jaw disappeared. Was able to stand toe to toe and take anyone out.
Brock Lesnar: MMA's biggest star. He surprised everyone with his wrestling ability and punching power, and might have had the hardest entrance into MMA ever, defeating some fantastic fighters.
Shane Carwin: Carwin had finished 11/11 before his first title fight, and was gigantic, even as a HW. His punching power is almost unrivaled, and he was a very capable and decorated wrestler.
Current Names (UFC Top 10)
Junior Dos Santos
Where would the former champions match up with the current UFC rankings?
we're talking career or title level primes....
1. Cain Velasquez
2. Junior Dos Santos
3. Brock Lesnar (3-6)
4. Fabricio Werdum
5. Daniel Cormier
6. Shane Carwin (5-8)
7. Antonio Silva
8. Travis Browne
9. Josh Barnett
10. Randy Couture (7-10)
11. Andrei Arlovksi (11)
12. Alistair Overeem
13. Tim Slyvia (13-18)
14. Mark Hunt
15. Dan Severn (13-16)
16. Mark Coleman (14-16)
17. Ricco Rodriguez (17)
18. Frank Mir
19. Ken Shamrock (19-20)
20. Maurice Smith (19-20)
Out of that list Carwin is probably the best fighter. He can beat any of the others IMO.
No Josh Barnett?
At 3 times HW champ over a long time span surely Randy has to be number 1 as the most successful HW of all time. Coming out of retirement to beat Sylvia, being a relatively small HW and fighting much bigger guys sets him apart.
Comparing skill level with todays fighters is pretty much impossible with the evolution of skills, but I dont think Randy has a peer on that list to his achievements. The only one who has a hope to do it is Cain.
Fedor? Or are we talking just UFC here?
The retro champs would get pulverized. I exaggerate, of course. Shane Carwin can beat a few of the modern guys. And Mir could certainly lose to one or two of the zimmers, when they we're in their pomp.
But generally? It's a new world baby.
I think Ricco Rodriguez in his prime pre Drug Problems could have been competitive even in the current landscape I could see him having been in the 5-10 range. I don't think Arlovski ever had that great chin either the guy just was that much better a striker during his hey day so it wasn't as big of a problem, he is competitive till he is not against most even still. Lesnar I think would still be top 3 if he had not had the surgeries whether it was the time off or merely just a result of the illness and surgery themselves its impossible to ignore how fast he fell apart.
Big HW Wins
and the the HW loses
He was basically a .500 "champion" at HW but at LHW he lost to Machida, Liddell, and Belfort that's a hell of a lot more impressive in my eyes.
For me I have Fedor at #1 just because of who he defeated. Antônio Rodrigo Nogueira and Mark Coleman likely "acheived" more winning titles in both company's
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