courtesy of mmaweekly.com

At the conclusion of UFC 160, the UFC’s heavyweight division is finally offered a direction as to where it will go. With the division stacked full of exciting contenders, we should be expecting a very entertaining year regarding the heavyweights whom have been labeled as the UFC’s “dullest” division. But now that we’re making progress in determining where everyone stands, let’s take a step back and look at what is really going on among the heavies.

Scheduled Bouts:

Antonio Rodrigo Nogueira vs. Fabricio Werdum (UFC on Fuel TV)
The two TUF: Brazil II coaches will finally square off; longtime MMA vet and superstar “Big Nog” will face returning UFC contender Fabricio Werdum, who has re-surged his UFC career since departing the organization in 2008. This bout could arguably sport the division’s number 2 contender.

Alistair Overeem vs. Travis Browne (UFC on FS 1)
A showdown between two very heavy hitters. Overeem is looking to rebound from his upset loss to Bigfoot Silva, and get back into title contention while Travis Browne needs a big win over Overeem to compliment his KO over Gabriel Gonzaga. The winner of this bout could very well be number 3 contender.

Roy Nelson vs. Stipe Miocic (UFC 161)
Just incase you can’t get enough Roy Nelson, “Big Country” is back at it again looking for for his 4th straight first round KO. He’s facing former contender Stipe Miocic who is looking to get back into the win column after losing for the first time to Stefan Struve.

Other notable bouts:
Pat Barry vs. Shawn Jordan (UFC 161)
Dave Herman vs. Shane Del Rosario (UFC 162)
Brendan Schaub vs. Matt Mitrione (UFC on FOX)
Brendan Vera vs. Ben Rothwell (UFC 164)

Unscheduled Fighters

Josh Barnett
Daniel Cormier
Geronimo dos Santos
Junior dos Santos
Todd Duffee
Gabriel Gonzaga
Mark Hunt
Frank Mir
Soa Palelei
Antonio Silva
Stefan Struve
Cain Velasquez

Expected Match-Ups

Junior dos Santos vs. Cain Velasquez III

After seeing both of these guys perform at UFC 160, it’s evident that they are the number 1 and number 2 fighters in the division. A rubber match has all but been officially scheduled, and will most likely take place this year in August or September. Junior and Cain are 1-1 against eachother, and will finally have a chance to settle the score.

Frank Mir vs. Josh Barnett

After receiving the exciting news about Josh Barnett’s return to the UFC (His last appearance being in 2002), it didn’t take long for Frank Mir to pick a fight. Barnett and the UFC have always had some sort of beef between eachother, but now with that pushed aside, we’ll finally be able to see how he stacks up against the top competition in the world. Frank Mir is a very representative face of the UFC, and is a perfect match up for a guy like Barnett.

Daniel Cormier vs. Todd Duffee

While Cormier’s debut wasn’t necessarily “shock-and-awe”, it was still a solid debut that gave us a glimpse behind the athleticism of Daniel Cormier. However, there’s another athletic freak in the house, and that’s Todd Duffee. With two hype trains heading toward eachother, we could truly be in for a treat.

Other notable expected match-ups:
Antonio Silva vs. Nelson/Miocic Winner
Gabriel Gonzaga vs. Stefan Struve
Geronimo dos Santos vs. Soa Palelei

-Hodgi