Five Fights To Make Next in the UFC's Heavyweight Division

Five Fights To Make Next in the UFC's Heavyweight Division

Evan Montgomery|
June 05, 2022|

UFC Vegas 56 featured a top 10 Heavyweight main event, with Alexander Volkov making a statement with a 1st round TKO win against Jairzinho Rozenstruik.

The current UFC Heavyweight Champion Francis Ngannou is out of action due to an injury Credits to: Greg Baker-AFP/Getty Images
The current UFC Heavyweight Champion Francis Ngannou is out of action due to an injury Credits to: Greg Baker-AFP/Getty Images

The Heavyweight division is currently stuck in a logjam, with Heavyweight Champion Francis Ngannou sidelined with an injury until 2023. #1 ranked Stipe Miocic is rumored to fight Jon Jones for an interim title, though there is nothing confirmed as of yet.

Elsewhere at the top of the heat, #4 ranked Curtis Blaydes will take on the surging Tom Aspinall, seated at #6 in the UFC rankings, this July in London, England. Come September in Paris, #2 contender Ciryl Gane faces off opposite the fan-friendly Tai Tuivasa. Still, there are a number of hot matches to make in this division, especially after the spectacle of this card.

Alexander Volkov vs. Winner of Derrick Lewis/Sergei Pavlovich

With so many matchups booked at the top of the division, there is not a single available opponent ranked above Volkov, forcing him to either fight a lower ranked opponent or wait on the sidelines. Fortunately for Volkov, there are a slew of bouts booked in the coming months, including Derrick Lewis vs. Sergei Pavlovich at UFC 276 on July 2nd. Though Lewis has lost 2 consecutive fights, a rematch against Volkov will always be interesting to fans, as the Russian was dominating before being caught with a signature Lewis bomb with only a few seconds remaining in their fight. On the other hand, if Pavlovich defeats Lewis, a fight with the technical and experienced Volkov would be a perfect test for him as he looks to climb the division. Either way, Volkov needs another win to push himself into that top 5, as he was recently defeated by Tom Aspinall, who holds the slot ahead of him in the rankings.


Jairzinho Rozenstruik vs. Marcin Tybura

This loss was a tough one for Rozenstruik, who will see his losing skid extend to two, in addition to suffering the second (T)KO loss of his pro MMA career. Rozenstruik will be looking to rebound, and I would love to see the fight between him and Marcin Tybura rebooked. The pair were scheduled to match up in February and April, though the bout did not materialize. Tybura is also coming off of a loss to Volkov, though the Russian beat him in a decision. It is a fantastic stylistic clash for each fighter, who each have the tools to test the other’s weaknesses.

Chris Daukaus vs. Alexandr Romanov

The #9 ranked Chris Daukaus is currently coming off of two straight knockout losses to Derrick Lewis and Curtis Blaydes in his first two main events. He needa a step down from the top five in his next fight, and I like a match with Moldovan prospect Alexandr Romanov, who is ranked at #13. Romanov, while similarly experienced in the UFC, is on one of the hottest win streaks in the division right now, and certainly deserves a step up in competition. He is undefeated in his professional career and off five straight wins in the UFC, with all but one of his victories coming via stoppage.


Blagoy Ivanov vs. Ilir Latifi

After nearly two years away from the Octagon, Blagoy Ivanov returned last month to capture a decision win over Marcos Regio de Lima. This stopped his two-fight losing streak and secured him the #15 ranking. Ivanov is immensely well-rounded with an insane durability, always driving the fight forward, though he is yet to find a UFC finish. Ilir Latifi moved up to Heavyweight with little immediate success, dropping a decision to Derrick Lewis. He righted himself in his next outing, taking home a close decision over Tanner Boser. Latifi is a freight train, with powerful takedowns and winging overhands, and a bout between these two granite-chinned fighters would be a excellent bout.

Andrei Arlovski vs. Alexey Oleynik

Who doesn’t love a clash of veterans? Andrei Arlovski has spent the past few years proving that age is just a number after 23 years as a professional fighter. He is riding a four-fight win streak and has won six of his last seven, proving he still has what it takes to compete at a high level. Alexey Oleynik looked to be on the chopping block before he snatched up a neck crank submission in his last fight against Jared Vanderaa. Oleynik has some of the best grappling the division has to offer, and the comparable years on the clock make this a bout all fight fans will love!

As previously stated, we have three top five bouts set to go down at Heavyweight in the coming months, with the top of the division looking to all make their statement at the title. Stay tuned for news and analysis on all the upcoming events!

All of your weekly MMA updates in one place.
Keeping up to date with combat sports news can take up a lot of time, so we’re simplifying the process by bringing the most important stories directly to you. We read the internet all week and then summarize what you need to know in 3-4 minutes.
Enter your email to sign up for the OverUnder newsletter. The first email newsletter in MMA.
By subscribing, you will receive a weekly MMA newsletter from Verdict MMA. You can unsubscribe at any time.