The UFC may have a very thin Heavyweight division, but it has not stopped them from making the most of what matchups they can make. It is already known that newly minted heavyweight champion Stipe Miocic is set to make his first title defense in his hometown of Cleveland, Ohio at UFC 203 later this year against kickboxing expert Alistair Overeem in a matchup that has everyone calling for a knockout even if they are calling for different opponents. Now, the co-main event has been set for that card and it is not a juxtaposition of sizes as it will also come in at heavyweight.
Former Heavyweight champion Fabricio Werdum was looking to get an instant rematch despite being knocked out int he first round by Miocic, but he will have to settle for a fight that may put him within one win of shot to regain his title. His six fight winning streak was snapped with that loss, and his opponent had his own UFC best career winning streak snapped in his last loss as well.
Ben Rothwell had been a very up and down fighter since entering the octagon for the first time in 2009 since ehe traded wins and losses. A win over brandon Vera stirred a four fight win streak, all finishes, over the likes of the aforementioned Vera, Matt Mitrione, Josh Barnett and none other than current number one contender Alistair Overeem. He made a quick turnaround earlier this year after his win over Barnett to take on former champion Junior dos Santos. Unfortunately, his momentum came to a halt when he lost a decision to JDS, but he can redeem himself with a big win over the former champion Werdum.
Also, another big fight is supposed to headline the UFC’s foray into Hamburg, Germany where they are pitting two veteran UFC fighters and former UFC Heavyweight champions against each other in the main event. Everyone thought Josh Barnett would be a contender to the title when he resigned with the promotion back in 2013, but tough losses to Rothwell and Travis Browne have stopped his momentum. His opponent, Andrei Arlovski made the unlikeliest of comebacks when he won four straight in the UFC, but fell victim to two knockouts in his last two fights against the man who now holds the title and the man who is going to try and take it from him in Stipe Miocic and Overeem respectively. Who will win these big fights and keep themselves relevant int he UFC’s biggest division?