Top 25 Heavyweights of All Time…What Do You Think?

  1. Fedor Emelianenko – Fedor’s run was legendary.  The knock on Fedor has always been the level of competition that he fought.  One could argue that he did not consistently fight the best of his era, but he did fight the best of his era.  PRIDE was home to the best heavyweights in the world and he was undisputed king.  Could his return cement this spot as the heavyweight GOAT, or possibly call it into question?  As a fan, I would like to see him in UFC, fighting the best, but my guess is he elects to fight in Asia and Europe and fight lesser competition.
  2. Fabricio Werdum – Werdum has quite the resume now, which includes wins over Fedor and Velasquez. I would imagine that Werdum would love to further cement his legacy with redemption fights against Junior Dos Santos and Andrei Arlovski.
  3. Antonio Rodrigo Nogueira – He embodied toughness. He is so beloved around the world.  His resume is incredible as well.  His impact was not just in being one of the best ever, but also that he is considered a pioneer.  I cannot think of many fighters more revered in the fighting world than Big Nog.
  4. Cain Velasquez – Cain still can climb this list, but the likelihood continues to diminish.  Injuries have hampered him.  He was (is) a different type of heavyweight.  In my opinion, his status is adversely affected by the fact that he has spent so much of his career fighting Junior Dos Santos and now Fabricio Werdum rather than staying active against other heavyweights.
  5. Junior Dos Santos – Wins over Werdum and Velasquez are career defining.  Its hard to find a better resume.  He has a great run to the UFC title before he was bumped off by Cain Velasquez.  JDS can still add to his resume.  I would imagine he has hopes of a second fight with Fabricio Werdum as well.
  6. Frank Mir – Mir has had the longevity at a very high level.  He is one of the best heavyweight submission fighters in history. He has also had two or three skids that made you think he was finished, and then somehow pulled a career resurrection.  With time probably running out on his storied career, Mir has beaten some elite fighters, been a UFC champion, and persevered time and time again. We are only left to wonder, what could have been if it were not the a motorcycle accident that hurt his championship reign.
  7. Mirko Cro Cop – Was there a more feared fighter?  Those kicks make for a great highlight reel.  Cro Cop was a part of that incredible PRIDE heavyweight roster.  He fought some really tough guys.  I think Cro Cop is hurt by a less than stellar UFC run
  8. Andrei Arlovski – Arlovski would have probably been 3-4 spots lower had it not been for this recent resurgence.  He has looked great lately, notching big wins over Frank Mir and Travis Browne.  He may be the rightful top heavyweight contender in 2015, heading into 2016.  Already a former UFC champion, I would imagine that a second title reign would move him up this list even further.  He is probably knocking on the door of UFC Hall of Fame level as well.
  9. Randy Couture – Randy could arguably be higher.  However, I really am not sure how to deal with his career in terms of ranking in a particular weight class.  He had great success at heavyweight, so just judging his heavyweight career alone, I put him at #9.  If we added his light heavyweight resume to this list, he probably leap frogs several guys.  His resume is incredible, and remember he started his career really late.
  10. Mark Coleman – The godfather of ground and pound.  Coleman was a beast in his prime.  He really changed the game with his ability to crush guys from top position.
  11. Josh Barnett – A couple failed tests taint his legacy.  Barnett could have been higher on this list. He is a former UFC champion, has fought for a long time at a high level, but I am probably being generous here with Barnett’s ranking.
  12. Tim Sylvia – Some may place Sylvia lower, but he was a multiple time champion in the UFC.  Granted, he was champion of some of the weakest years of the UFC heavyweight division.  Sylvia really is hurt by the way that Randy Couture came out of retirement and beat him.  Couture even saw Sylvia as a vulnerable champion and was proven right.  To be fair, Sylvia is probably going to have a underrated career.
  13. Brock Lesnar – People are going to hate seeing Lesnar anywhere on this list, but he was a legit champion.  He beat legit guys.  He probably could have done more had it not been for some serious health issues and then a subsequent decision to go back to WWE.  Lesnar’s impact was more than just in the cage, he brought eyes to the sport that no one else could bring.
  14. Dan Severn – He was a legend and a pioneer.  Its hard to rank the early heavyweights.  Their competition was different, but Severn stood out among his peers.  His career went on and on, but he is here primarily for his UFC success.
  15. Alistair Overeem – Overeem had potential to be higher.  A failed drug test hurts him.  Also he spent a good bit of time fighting down a division.  However, he was a Strikeforce and DREAM champion, has had some UFC success, and was a K-1 champion.
  16. Mark Hunt – Hunt’s record is ho hum, but his story is incredible.  He is here because of his UFC run late in his career, which defied all the odds.
  17. Antonio Silva – He beat Fedor.  Also, he was EliteXC champion.  Another steroid guy though.
  18. Bas Rutten – Hard to rate him really.  Had his best moments in Pancrase years ago.  But talking heavyweights without mentioning Bas would be unfair.
  19. Don Frye – People forget how well rounded Frye was.  Had some success in PRIDE and UFC, but Frye was really one of a kind.
  20. Ken Shamrock – Am I being unfair putting Shamrock this low?  Perhaps.  He is one of the legends, but to me steroids and hanging on too long have hurt him.
  21. Daniel Cormier – Don’t forget the UFC light heavyweight champion has some real success in the heavyweight division and could have really carved out a top 10 spot for himself in this division has he stayed put.
  22. Igor Vovanchyn – He did it early.  He was really fun to watch too.
  23. Shane Carwin – Shorter career, but he got near the top.  He was interim UFC champ, and nearly took out Lesnar.
  24. Gabriel Gonzaga – He has a solid resume, highlighted by the win over Cro Cop.
  25. Ricco Rodriguez – He is a former UFC champion, so he has to be here.

One Response to Top 25 Heavyweights of All Time…What Do You Think?

  1. I think Tim Sylvia, was the best in the world for a couple of years, not sure why he went downhill so quickly. Just wasn’t the same after the loss to Randy

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