Cain Velasquez is Set to Make His Return to the Octagon After a Two Year Hiatus… Widely Regarded as One of the Greatest in the History of the Division… Can He Be Considered the Greatest Ever?
Some fighters are without a doubt the greatest in their divisions. Georges St. Pierre and Anderson Silva are the two best welterweight and middleweight fighters of all time, while Demetrious Johnson is definitely the greatest flyweight. Jon Jones is definitely the best light-heavyweight in the history of the sport, while Jose Aldo is still the best featherweight fighter – although Max Holloway is breathing down his neck.
There’s one division though that remains divisive because it’s just so difficult to defend. Who is the best heavyweight champion ever? While Fedor Emelianenko is widely regarded by many fans to be the best heavyweight fighter in the history of MMA, we’re going to focus on the UFC.
Cain Velasquez is set to return against Francis Ngannou on February 18 after two years out of the sport. The two-time champion is one of the best to ever fight in the division. Can he be considered the greatest? Let’s take a look at him and his competition.
On his day, Velasquez is one of the most electrifying fighters you’ll ever watch. With 12 knockouts in 14 wins, he’s one of the most ferocious fighters in the history of the division. He first took the championship from Brock Lesnar in 2010 but would lose it in his first title defence to Junior Dos Santos. Velasquez would recover to reclaim the title from Dos Santos two years later and successfully defend the belt twice.
As a two-time champion, with a very exciting resume, he’s definitely one of the best the division has ever produced. If he can reclaim the belt again and become a three-time champion, then there will definitely be a strong case that he’s the greatest.
You can’t talk about heavyweight greats without mentioning Randy Couture. If it wasn’t for him and Chuck Liddell, the sport would not be where it is today. As a three-time UFC heavyweight champion and a two-time light-heavyweight champion, there’s a strong argument to be made that he was the best ever. He was the first fighter to become a champion in two different weight categories.
‘The Natural’ remains the only fighter over forty to win a championship fight. He’s a UFC Hall-of-Famer too and was a massive fan’s favourite. The main argument against his status as the best is his record of 19 wins and 11 losses.
Bizarrely one of the most overlooked fighters in this discussion, Stipe Miocic is statistically the most successful UFC heavyweight champion ever. He’s the only fighter in the history of the division to successfully defend the title three times. He went on a six-fight winning streak, beating the likes of Alistair Overeem, Mark Hunt, Junior Dos Santos, Andrei Arlovski and Fabricio Werdum.
However, it was his win over Francis Ngannou that showed just how good he was. He dealt with the KO threat of one of the most hyped and feared opponents of all time and totally asserted his gameplan, nullifying ‘The Predator.’ If Stipe can get the belt back, he’ll probably have to cross paths with Velasquez again. The winner of that fight would surely be the GOAT.