Friday, July 17, 2009

Why a Super Heavyweight Division is a Horrible Idea

I know I said I wasn't going to write another feature involving Brock Lesnar until his next title defense, but I can't help it.

Everywhere I turn, every article that discusses the reigning UFC Heavyweight champion, the "need" for the UFC to create a Super Heavyweight Division is thrown out there and it's driving me insane.

Pictured next to Lesnar is Hong Man Choi, "The Techno Goliath" whom I share a birthday with and you would surely see in a Super Heavyweight division if one ever came into existence. If he looks familiar to you, it's because he was the massive Korean kickboxer who chased down Jose Canseco and smashed on him a couple months back.

Before I get to my real reasons for disliking the notion of a new division, let's first take an intellectual approach to this, analyzing the idea and what said division might look like.

Let's say the weight class begins at 250 and has no ceiling, allowing for the possible return of Emmanuel Yarborough. Looking down the current UFC heavyweight roster, here are the guys who would be eligible:

  • Brock Lesnar
  • Shane Carwin
  • Gabriel Gonzaga
  • Antoni Hardonk
  • Heath Herring
  • Tim Hague

"Big Country" Roy Nelson is the only other guy currently under the UFC umbrella who would also be eligible, which brings the total to seven whole fighters.

That means the UFC would have to go out and find more guys over 250 pounds with the athleticism and skills to compete with these seven individuals. How many of those guys do you think are just walking around?

Instead, I would bet that the likes of Jan Nortje, Bob Sapp, and Mark Hunt would be given an opportunity. Personally, that's not something I'm interested in. They're even lesser Mixed Martial Artists than Lesnar.

Even if you bump the weight down ten pounds, you're not increasing the talent pool all that much.

In creating such a division, you'd end up with a situation where, and this is best case scenario here people, Brock Lesnar and Shane Carwin trade the title back-and-forth a couple times a year. That's only if Carwin has the strength to drop Lesnar the way he dropped Gonzaga, which we still don't know for sure.

Tell me how that is entertaining? UFC 124: Lesnar vs. Carwin: First One to Seven Wins!

Sarcasm aside, here is the real reason a Super Heavyweight division is ridiculous to me:

You don't change the rules just because no one seems to be able to beat Brock Lesnar.

For starters, he has been beaten. Up until last Saturday, countless people were reminding Brock Lesnar supporters like myself of his UFC debut and the kneebar he tapped to. How has this suddenly become a forgotten fact?

Additionally, Anderson Silva is just as dominant at middleweight as Lesnar is at heavyweight and no one is calling for him to give up his belt and make a permanent change in address.

And before everyone starts telling me how Silva uses "skill and technique and martial arts training," the bottom line is that he decimates opponents with the same quickness and ferocity as Lesnar and how they do it doesn't matter.

The goal is winning and you don't get style points in MMA.

Besides, if you think he's a dick now, imagine if the UFC went out and did this.

"Well Brock, none of these heavyweights seem to be able to compete with you, so we're going to make a new division with bigger guys just because of you."

He'd run through the list of "Super Heavyweights" listed above just as quickly as he ran through Frank Mir at UFC 100, probably even faster in many cases.

Creating such a division would presumably be giving Brock Lesnar even less competition and a longer title reign, and that seems to be the last thing his detractors want.

The solution? Adaptation.

Like it or not, Brock Lesnar is the next evolution of Mixed Martial Artists in the heavyweight division. He is more than a handful and a very difficult puzzle to solve.

But so was Royce Gracie.

So is Anderson Silva, Fedor Emelianenko and Georges St-Pierre.

While some believe Brock Lesnar being champion makes the heavyweight division weaker, I say he will only serve to make it stronger.

He is a new wrinkle, a new challenge and a new twist on an already difficult task.

What we should all be looking forward to is seeing how others step up their game in an attempt to defeat the Minnesota mammoth, not looking to banish him to a less competitive landscape.


  1. I don't think comparing Lesnar to silva, emelianko, and st pierre is really a fair comparison.

    Nor do i think that Lesnar is the 'next evolution'. Hes a brute, plain and simple, and yes, while people are going to have to adapt to beat him hes not ushering in a new era of fighting. The things that make the above listed fighters phenoms in the sport is the unconventional skill they bring to the ring. Again, Lesnar is simply a brute and while i agree with you 100% on people bitching about him having no skill, he can't compare to fighters like Silva and St. Pierre or Gracie.

    Hes not much of a puzzle either, hes powerful, and oddly quick for his size which is seen all the time. Someone will come along who'll be a little quicker and equally as strong and down him. Mir has already shown that the man is not invincible, all thats required is to equal the man in strength. I think if Frank Mir had been strength training we would have seen a much better performance.

    i don't see Lesnar making it much longer as the champ, but thats just my opinion.


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