29 Dec 2011 14:47:57 PM
Between Junior Dos Santos’s knee injury, Strikeforce phasing out their heavyweight division in 2012, and the general lack of UFC heavyweight fights lately (just three in their last five events, to be exact), it seems like MMA’s big-man scene is in hibernation mode.
But starting with Friday night’s UFC 141 main event of Brock Lesnar vs. Alistair Overeem — promoted as the “biggest” fight of the year — and continuing on to Josh Barnett vs. Daniel Cormier in March, the action among 265′ers is about to start heating up. With that mind, we decided to pay tribute to the greatest and most important heavyweight MMA fights from this past year. Enjoy, and let us know if we left out any of your favorites…
#6. DANIEL CORMIER vs. ANTONIO SILVA
Strikeforce World Grand Prix: Barnett vs. Kharitonov, 9/10/11
What happened: The smaller man fought like a giant. Cormier landed his punches at will and easily shrugged off Silva’s attempts to take the fight to the ground. Entering the tournament as an alternate, Cormier punched his ticket to the Strikeforce Heavyweight Grand Prix finals with a hook/uppercut combo that stiffened the Brazilian Frankenstein.
What we learned: Undersized doesn’t always mean outgunned — and a big chin doesn’t always mean a strong chin.