New Year, Same Champions

ufcc-220The Light Heavyweight and Heavyweight Divisions in the UFC have always been two of the premier divisions in the promotion.

Both have been home to some of the biggest names and follow the rules of combat sports where the biggest fighters get the most attention.

For years these were the divisions that held the biggest talent in the UFC and everyone paid attention when the champions were on a card.

That hasn’t been quite the same in recent years though as the lighter weight classes have begun to take over.

The top two divisions still remain the fights that more people know than anywhere else but the divisions have not been doing themselves any favours.

In the light heavyweight division, things have been strange for years as there is really nobody left to challenge the champion

Yet the champion is a fighter that many do not consider to be a legitimate champion due to the way he earned his title.

Daniel Cormier is clearly one of the best fighters in the world and although some may doubt it, his record is all of the proof he needs to be considered a great.

The problem with his reign is that he cannot beat Jon Jones and has only earned his title when Jones was unable to compete due to drug test failures.

That has left Cormier in a strange spot as he is clearly a great champion but a great champion with one massive hole in his record.

While with the belt, Cormier has continued to clear out the division of the best fighters in the world.

Heading into the new year there weren’t a lot of fighters left for Cormier to fight and to defend his belt against.

So to kick-off the new year he got a fighter with very little experience that found his way to the title shot.

Volkan Oezdemir had looked good but had only fought three times in the UFC and although two of them ended with a knockout a title shot is not usually in the cards for someone with so little experience.

Yet in the light heavyweight division, the challengers are not there which is part of the reason why the division has not been the most popular in recent years.ufc-220ii

Cormier was looking to take the win anyway and continue to add to his legacy as his career is coming to an end soon and he was looking to ensure it would go down as one of the greatest.

He looked to do that against the fast-rising Oezdemir and despite a shaky start, he proved that the challenger was never on his level.

Oezdemir did what he does best and came out fast with plenty of heavy punches with a lot landing against the Champion.

Cormier had been through it all before though and he weathered the storm before grinding Oezdemir down.

At the end of the first round, Cormier had Oezdemir in a rough spot but the bell delayed the inevitable.

The next round saw the fight go to the ground again and Cormier began doing work putting Oezdemir in the crucifix position and forcing the referee to stop the fight.

It continues the reign of Cormier and has a few options although not many seem like they will be able to end Cormier’s time at the top of the division.

As the light heavyweight division saw the title remain in the hands of a dominant fighter the heavyweight division looked at an interesting matchup of their own.

This was the match-up between the champion Stipe Miocic and one of the most exciting prospects in the UFC in Francis N’Gannou.

The heavyweight division has seen their own issues in recent years mainly with the fact that the same few older fighters continued to exchange the title.

There was nobody that could stand as a dominant champion and no prospects to get excited about.

UFC 220 marked the moment when Miocic looked to become that dominant champion and N’Gannou looked to make good on his promise as the best prospect in years.

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With a win, Miocic could have broken the record for most title defences by any heavyweight fighter in the UFC.

It may only be four straight but that would be enough to be considered the most dominant fighter in the UFC establishing someone to chase for everyone else.

He would need to get by a man that the UFC has been trying to find for years, a legitimate prospect in the heavyweight division.

N’Gannou had put a lot of big names on his record and had finished every single one of them with a power in his punches that has never been seen in the UFC.

He was looking to show that the hype around him was worth it and with a win would have been on his way to becoming one of the biggest stars in the UFC.

When the fight started the up and comer came close to ending it all but Miocic was able to avoid the power shot and keep on the outside.

After the first round, the truth was revealed about N’Gannou as he was clearly not ready for a long fight and he was out of gas quickly.

Miocic took full advantage and ground out a win against the inexperienced challenger to become the best heavyweight champion of all time.

The Heavyweight and Light Heavyweight divisions will see another year starting with the same champions and that will continue a pattern with little room to grow among the fans.

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