1. Cain Velasquez
In the trilogy fight against Junior Dos Santos, Velasquez removed any doubt that his victory over the former champ was a fluke. The Mexican battered 'Cigano' for the second time in his career, out-striking the man widely viewed as having the best boxing the the heavyweight division, this time finishing the fight in the final round to retain his title.
Velasquez will next meet Fabricio Werdum in what could be a very tough test after they serve as coaches on TUF: Latin America later this year.
2. Fabricio Werdum
Since Werdum returned to the UFC, Werdum has looked world class. He’s worked hard on improving his striking after teaming up with former Chutebox trainer Rafael Cordiero. The Brazilian is 4-0 inside the Octagon, and most recently annihilated Travis Browne for five rounds to gain a shot at the Cain Velasquez after the pair coach on TUF: Latin America
3. Junior Dos Santos
It seems that Velasquez is the only man JDS can’t beat. ‘Cigano’ was badly beaten by the champion in their triology fight. However he still is a top 265lber, as his victories over Frank Mir, Fabricio Werdum and Mark Hunt displayed.
Dos Santos was scheduled to meet Stipe Miocic at the TUF Brazil 3 Finale, however a hand injury forced him to pull out.
4. Travis Browne
Browne was on a massive tear in the heavyweight division before he was defeated by Werdum. Previous that he had defeated both Alistair Overeem and Josh Barnett by KO and was making huge claims for a title shot.
5. Antonio Silva
‘Bigfoot’ has had two cracks at Cain Velasquez and has failed miserably in both. Nonetheless, many have failed against the UFC Heavyweight Champion. Silva recently saw himself involved in an epic five rounder with Mark Hunt that will go down as one of the greatest fights in the division's history.
However, Silva tested for a high testosterone count after the fight and it was reversed to a no contest. He’s been suspended until the end of the year.
6. Josh Barnett
Most people expected Barnett to easily defeat Browne. He put in a very under par performance that day and was finished after 60 seconds. Previous to that he waltzed past Frank Mir with a huge knee in the first round. Barnett is known for his high class submission wrestling and will be looking to implement that strategy the next time he enters the Octagon
7. Stipe Miocic
Miocic looked very impressive when he defeated Fabio Maldaoado with the first minute. Albetit, Maldonado is a natural 205lber and stepped in as a late replacement, however it was certainly an eye catching performance. He extended his UFC record to 6-1 and will definitely be looking for a top ten opponent next time
8. Alistair Overeem
When Overeem entered the UFC and defeated former champion Brock Lesnar, he looked sure to have a run in at the title. However back to back losses to Antonio Silva and Travis Browne put a lot of doubt in peoples mind. Luckily ‘The Reem’ bounced back with a solid performance against Frank Mir but unfortunately injured his elbow and required surgery.
9. Mark Hunt
Everyone loves Mark Hunt. In 2011 he faced the brink of being cut from the UFC. However ‘The Super Samoan’ has completely turned it around since. He went on a four fight win streak and then encounted himself in two epic battles against Junior Dos Santos and Antonio Silva that both earned Fight of the Night honours.
10. Roy Nelson
‘Big Country’ has taken some criticism lately for his weight issues. His performances against Stipe Miocic and Daniel Cormier were abysmal to say the least and many doubted it he could carry on competing at the top level in the shape he’s in. Nelson provided the doubters wrong next time out, as he landed a vintage right hand to knock out Antonio Rogerio Nogueira in the very first round.
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