Commentary

Heavyweights flourish once again

Originally Published: May 28, 2012
By Josh Gross | ESPN.com

Across weight divisions, fighters shined this month. Still, it was the heavyweight division that represented the major attraction, with six of the top 10 listed in ESPN.com's rankings stepping in the cage over the past couple of weeks. Many more prospects, contenders and journeymen showed up as well, positioning May among the busiest periods for big-boy MMA in the sport's history.

UFC 146 on Saturday showcased 10 heavyweights on the main card in a first-of-its-kind attraction for Zuffa. (Remember way back, when every fight was essentially a heavyweight bout?) Considering all the injuries and mishaps that shaped the Memorial Day weekend event, it's impressive that Joe Silva could salvage five acceptable fights. Not so long ago, that would have been impossible.

Sifting through the rubble, there are clear winners and losers over this stretch.

Junior dos Santos and Cain Velasquez remain at the top of the heap.

They're joined by Strikeforce grand prix winner Daniel Cormier with the wind at their backs. Meanwhile, Josh Barnett's fate is unknown after he fell on points to Cormier. A win would have secured his future. Losing, by definition, does not, especially in light of his history with Dana White. Some fans will want Barnett in the UFC, and he's already begun to lobby for a spot.

Time will tell how that plays out. For now, let's get to grades for UFC 146.