There are quite a few UFC heavyweights on the verge of becoming a gatekeeper, or worse being let go. Today we take a look at five UFC heavyweights generally accepted by the public as competent and that are mainstays in the UFC. These are guys who are on the edge between staying in the spotlight and falling in to obscurity.
Big Country may have won his last fight against Jared Rosholt, but it only serves as a band aid for a sliding career. Before that fight he was 1-5 and yes those were to quality opponents we understand that. The problem is that if you want to stay relevant you need to beat relevant fighters. No offense to Jared Rosholt, none at all here, however if you ask fans who Nelson’s last fight was I bet you they say it was a loss to Josh Barnett. A name like Nelson needs to beat another name or people stop caring, or worse label him a bad fighter. That means less media attention, lower spots on the cards, and smaller paydays.
Stefan is a hit or miss kind of fighter. He is capable of four fight win streaks against lesser opponents for sure. It’s when he is faced with someone of equal skill, and more importantly size that he folds. He has one win that stands out and that was against Stipe Miocic. He is 1-3 in his last four and another loss could spell the end for the tall Dutch athlete.
Browne was the next big thing for a long time. He lost to Bigfoot Silva in 2012 and then plowed through the division beating Alistair Overeem, Josh Barnett, and Gabriel Gonzaga by KO. His loss to Fabricio Werdum was not terrible, but it wasn’t a great performance by any means. He beat Brendan Schaub, admittedly not a top heavyweight – just ask Joe Rogan, his best friend. Schaub has been essentially a tune up fight for most guys looking to face top 20 fighters.
When Travis stepped up against Andrei Arlovski he was put away in the first round violently. He would bounce back against a long time friend in Matt Mitrione. Let’s face it folks, the Schaub win and Mitrione win were tune up fights. Next up for Browne is former UFC champ Cain Velasquez. A win here would get him a title shot, but a loss sends him back down the ladder.
Probably more than anyone else on this list Bigfoot needs a win. In his last ten fights he is 3-6-1. All of those losses were by knockout and his one good fight was a five round war against Mark Hunt that ended in a majority draw. If Bigfoot does not win his next bout on May 8 against Struve he is certainly gone from the UFC.
Mir is arguably one of the best BJJ practitioners ever in the heavyweight division. He is a two time world champ with wins over Cro Cop, Roy Nelson, and Antonio Rodrigo Nogueira. After three straight wins over quality opponents he has gone 2-6 and those two wins were over guys on the downswing. If Frank does not retire his next fight needs to be a win or Dana White might force his retirement like he did Chuck Liddell.