UFC 100 Aftermath: Is Brock Lesnar The Best Heavyweight In The UFC?
This article was originally posted on MMAMadness
UFC 100 will be remembered for years to come as one of the greatest MMA events of all time. It lived up to everyone’s expectations and more and more people are finally starting to realize just how great this sport truly is.
Brock Lesnar was crowned the undisputed Heavyweight champion and avenged his only career loss with a dominating performance over Frank Mir.
Speaking of dominating performances, Welterweight champion Georges St. Pierre completely outclassed Thiago Alves, proving once again that he is the greatest Welterweight fighter in the world.
Also on the card, Dan Henderson knocked out Michael Bisping and Yoshihiro Akiyama went to war with Alan Belcher in a memorable fight that could serve as a candidate for Fight of the Year.
Now that UFC 100 is in the past, we must begin to focus on the future. For as many questions as the event answered, it presented even more.
Is Brock Lesnar the best heavyweight the UFC has to offer?
Whether you love him or hate him, Lesnar is undeniably one of the most dangerous fighters in the Heavyweight division.
From a pure technical standpoint, one can make the argument that Lesnar still has a long way to go before being considered one of the pound-for-pound greats. In terms of raw power, however, he is one of if not the most powerful heavyweights in the sport.
When Lesnar first fought Frank Mir back at UFC 81, he almost instantly took Mir down and pounded him with vicious hammer fists before his inexperience shown through. Lesnar made one mistake and was submitted by the Brazilian Jiu-Jitsu black belt Mir.
That fight was only a year and a half ago, and Lesnar has improved drastically since then. He completely dominated Mir at UFC 100, looking more composed than in the first fight and avenged the only loss on his record.
Lesnar is clearly the most dangerous heavyweight in the UFC and is a bad match-up for anyone.
Lesnar is rumored to make his first title defense against either the winner of the Randy Couture vs. Antonio Noguiera or Shane Carwin vs. Cain Velasquez.
Lesnar has already beaten Couture once before and will likely defeat the UFC Hall of Famer in even more brutal fashion if a rematch were to take place.
A fight against Noguiera would be interesting but this isn’t the same Noguiera from PRIDE, who was so good at taking a beating before catching a submission.
Certainly Noguiera’s high level Jiu-Jitsu skills would pose a threat to Lesnar, but Lesnar’s powerful wrestling and smothering ground n’ pound should be able to neutralize the Jiu-Jitsu black belt.
If Lesnar were to take on someone like Velasquez or Carwin, we might see the heavyweight champion pushed to his limits. Both Carwin and Velasquez resemble Lesnar in fighting style as both are extremely powerful wrestlers with heavy hands.
However, Velasquez is not as big of a threat to Lesnar as Carwin. Velasquez is a great wrestler, but Lesnar is stronger and should be able to out-wrestle him.
Carwin, on the other hand, is the closest to matching Lesnar in size and power. In fact, one could make the argument that Carwin packs more power in his punches than Lesnar does. A fight between those two heavyweight monsters would be like watching Godzilla and King Kong go at it inside the Octagon.
Of course, what every MMA fan wants to see is for the UFC to sign Russian heavyweight Fedor Emelianenko to fight Lesnar for the championship. Fedor is the current reigning WAMMA heavyweight champion and is considered by many to be the pound-for-pound greatest fighter in the world.
Fedor might not match Lesnar in size or strength but there is a lot more to this sport than just pure strength. Fedor is excellent in all areas of the game and he packs a ton of power in his strikes, which doesn’t bold well for Lesnar, who has yet to have his chin tested by a power puncher.
Reports indicate that once Fedor’s contract with Affliction expires, he will be signed to the UFC and will take on Lesnar for the heavyweight championship in what should be billed as the biggest heavyweight fight in MMA history.
That is assuming that Fedor gets past Josh Barnett at Affliction: Trilogy on August 1.
Is Georges St. Pierre The Pound-for-Pound Greatest Fighter in MMA?
Before their title fight at UFC 100, Thiago Alves was billed as a wrecking machine and was thought to be the biggest threat to St. Pierre’s title. Once the fight started, however, it became apparent that St. Pierre is on a much higher level than everyone else in the Welterweight division.
Alves is a huge Welterweight and in the past has been proven incredibly difficult to be taken down, but St. Pierre once again proves how great his wrestling ability is by taking The Pitbull down at will several times.
For St. Pierre to dominate an opponent like Alves makes a huge statement in the pound-for-pound rankings. It proves that St. Pierre just might be the greatest fighter in the world and should be ranked higher than Anderson Silva and Fedor Emelianenko.
St. Pierre is consistently defeating top tier competition in the Welterweight division and continues to look better with each fight.
It is very unlikely that anyone in the Welterweight division will step up and dethrone this Canadian phenom. The rumor is that the winner between Mike Swick and Martin Kampmann gets the next shot, but stylistically speaking neither of those fighters poses much of a threat to St. Pierre.
The only threat left to challenge St. Pierre is Anderson Silva. Silva has been dominating the middleweight division since 2006 and a fight against St. Pierre would be a good test for him as well. Assuming the Brazilian gets past Forrest Griffin at UFC 101 next month, a mega-fight between Silva and St. Pierre is very likely to take place.
Does a knockout victory over Michael Bisping make Dan Henderson the number one contender to Anderson Silva’s middleweight title? Is that a rematch that fans would want to see?
Before Henderson and Bisping met at UFC 100, reports were indicating that the winner of the bout would receive the next title shot against Silva.
Shortly after Henderson knocked the Britt out, however, UFC President Dana White revealed in the post-fight press conference that Henderson “could be” the new number one contender and that it’s not set in stone at the moment.
With Silva fighting in August, the UFC has ample time to determine a new number one contender. The possibility of a St. Pierre vs. Silva mega-fight must also be taken into consideration, which would set back a Silva vs. Henderson rematch even further down the road.
If that’s the case, then the UFC could set up a number one contender bout between Henderson and the winner of the Demian Maia vs. Nate Marquardt fight, which is taking place on UFC 102.
How far back has Alves dropped in the welterweight rankings with a dominating loss to St. Pierre?
There is no shame in losing to a guy like St. Pierre, so the loss will not drop Alves much in the rankings. Alves is still a wrecking machine with insane striking ability, but he just isn’t on the same level as St. Pierre.
Alves is likely to learn from this loss and make the necessary adjustments to his game, so that one day we might see him with Welterweight gold around his waist. In the meantime, he will need to fight a ranked opponent and win convincingly.
A likely option would be a rematch against fellow top-three Welterweight Jon Fitch. Fitch left UFC 100 with a decision victory over Brazilian Jiu-Jitsu black belt Paulo Thiago and needs a win over a ranked opponent in order to be considered worthy of a title shot.
Fitch defeated Alves back in 2006 by TKO in the second round, but both fighters have improved tremendously since then so a rematch would be very intriguing.
Yoshihiro Akiyama vs. Alan Belcher: Fight of the Year candidate?
Akiyama vs. Belcher was the first fight shown on the televised portion of the card and it turned out to be the best fight of the night.
Both fighters went back and forth, putting on a striking clinic for three rounds. At one point during the fight, Belcher actually leaped off the cage, hitting Akiyama with a superman punch, which is something that has not been seen in the Octagon before.
The end result saw Akiyama awarded the contest by split decision in his UFC debut. Akiyama, who is nicknamed “Sexyama” on the internet, clearly swayed the judges’ decision with his blatant sexiness. Otherwise, Belcher probably would have been given the nod.
Regardless this should be considered a candidate for Fight of the Year as it was a great way to kick of a historic fight card like UFC 100.
Mitch Ciccarelli is a staff writer for MMAMadness.com. He can be reached with questions and comments at firstname.lastname@example.org.
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