Cleat Geeks

The UFC Heavyweight Class (207 lbs-265 lbs)

mark-coleman-ufcFormer UFC fighter Wes Sims started a gofundme called “Save The Hammer”. His intent was to help former UFC Heavyweight Champion Mark “The Hammer” Coleman pay medical bills resulting from a strenuous career in MMA. What many fans failed to realize, is that this man not only held the belt for the organization, he was the first to do so.

When the UFC began, weight classes didn’t exist. It was not uncommon to see a 300 lb. wrestler, take on a 145 lb. muay thai fighter. This is obviously considered immoral by today’s standards, but it did help form one of the greatest combat sports to ever exist. The first ever UFC Heavyweight championship belt was awarded to Mark at UFC 12 in Feb. of 1997. Coleman would later go on to be inducted into the UFC Hall of Fame, an induction that I had the pleasure of being present for during UFC 82 in Columbus, Ohio.randy-couture-ufc

There is so much history in this specific division, but there also appears to be a very fruitful future that has begun to grow over the past few years. This was not always the case. UFC President Dana White once received a phone call from Randy Couture (former two-time heavyweight champion, one-time light heavyweight champion, and current UFC hall of famer) in reference to the weakened state of the heavyweight division. Couture had been out of the fight game for over a year, and he still believed that he could defeat any fighter in the heavyweight class. The then current champion Tim Sylvia (a 6′ 5″ behemoth who utilized the UFC’s 265 lb. weight limit) accepted the challenge. Couture walked away with his hand raised, after getting an easy 5-round unanimous decision nod, making him the only 3-time champion in that specific class. He is also the only fighter to hold titles in two classes (light heavyweight (187-206), and heavyweight) in the UFC. He has since moved on to acting in movies such as The Expendables franchise, and the third installment of The Scorpion King.ufc-191

This upcoming weekend at UFC 191, we have the opportunity to see two former UFC Heavyweight Champions face off in what could very well be a title eliminator bout to be the next to face current champion Fabricio Werdum. Frank Mir and Andrei Arlovski look to keep their current streaks alive, in what has been a resurgence in both of their careers. This fight is really 11 years in the making. Frank Mir held the title in 2005, but was stripped of his belt after sustaining injuries during a motorcycle accident, making Arlovski the interim champion at the time. Both men won their titles after defeating the aforementioned Tim Sylvia. It is amazing to see how closely tied all of these veteran fighters are.


Randy Couture in his upset of Tim Sylvia in a memorable Heavyweight bout.

The beauty of each individual class, is that they hold their own dynamic. This specific class is prone to early ends, as the fighters pack a larger punch, whereas the lower classes are more easily subject to lightning fast displays of martial arts that almost always end in a decision, more like a typical boxing match. Weight cuts also effect the larger weight classes in a more harsh manner. It is easy to see which fighter is in the better shape as the fight progresses. We are blessed to have such a plethora of examples in each and every heavyweight bout. Their are fast knockouts, great comebacks, big upsets, and even the consequential boring fight that two large men throwing their arms around for 15-25 minutes at a time has the possibility of creating. Regardless of how a fight ends, there is always a story surrounding each man or woman before the cage door is closed.


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