The most unpredictable division in MMA has always been heavyweight. Thatâ€™s just how it goes when abnormally large, powerful, athletic men step inside a cage to punch each other in the face. The lights can go out at any moment.
Itâ€™s the reason why current champion Stipie Miocic holds the UFC record for most heavyweight title defenses at a whopping three. That tells you all you need to know about the unpredictability at heavyweight and how difficult it is to stay at the top of the mountain.
But thatâ€™s not to say thereâ€™s a shortage of all-time great heavyweights. Itâ€™s just that, when looking at the divisionâ€™s history, there seems to be two names in the conversation for greatest ever: Miocic (18-2 MMA, 12-2 UFC) and former PRIDE champion Fedor Emelianenko (36-5 MMA, 0-1 BMMA).
Emelianenko has further opportunity to stake his claim when he begins his journey for Bellatorâ€™s title against Frank Mir on Saturday in a heavyweight grand prix quarterfinal to headline Bellator 198.
Thereâ€™s also what couldâ€™ve been with former UFC champion Cain Velasquez, whose injury history has marred his career. But Velasquez (14-2 MMA, 12-2 UFC) is expected to return soon and who knows? Maybe he thrusts himself back into the conversation.
In the meantime, for our Daily Debate, we asked MMAjunkie readers and MMAjunkie Radio listeners who should be considered the heavyweight GOAT if the sport ended today. The results (via Twitter):
To hear MMAjunkie Radio hosts â€śGorgeousâ€ť George, â€śGozeâ€ť and special guest Julian Marquez weigh in on the topic, watch the video above.
And for more on the upcoming MMA schedule, visit the MMA Rumors section of the site.
MMAjunkie Radio broadcasts Monday-Friday at 1 p.m. ET (10 a.m. PT) live from Mandalay Bay Resort & Casinoâ€™s Race & Sports Book. The show is hosted by â€śGorgeousâ€ť George Garcia, Brian â€śGozeâ€ť Garcia and Dan Tom. For more information or to download past episodes, go toÂ www.mmajunkie.com/radio.