There's no doubt that heavyweight is a thin division, but more than that it's just a strange space; sort of a "Mystery Spot" on the MMA landscape in which the normal laws that bind MMA divisions no longer apply. Who will the next great heavyweight be? Will it be a collegiate wrestling star, a former professional kickboxer, an NFL washout? Could it possibly be Jared Rosholt or Walter Harris? These two new UFC heavyweights are set to face off at the Ultimate Fighter 18 Finale this November.
Rosholt, as many may recognize, is the brother of former UFC fighter Jake Rosholt. He's a hulking heavyweight at 6'2" 243 lbs (in his last fight) and has run up a decent record of 8-1 with his sole loss coming to current UFC fighter Derrick Lewis. At age 27 and with only two years of pro MMA experience he's an exciting prospect to watch. He's riding a four fight win streak into the UFC with his last two wins coming via first round KO. He was a three time all American at Oklahoma State as a collegiate wrestler, a record which puts him among the highest decorated wrestlers in the UFC. He announced his signing via Twitter:
What a day. Had a healthy, perfect second child today and the call for my UFC debut!! November 30th in Vegas! Again, what a day...— Jared Rosholt (@JaredRosholt) September 19, 2013
His opponent, MMAJunkie announced, will be another UFC newcomer, Walter Harris. Harris is a former college basketball player, and something of an unknown as an MMA prospect. At 30 years old his professional record is 6-1, with his only loss to MFC title challenger and heavyweight prospect Chris Barnett in a fight in which Barnett came in 29 lbs overweight. Since dropping a decision to Barnett, Harris has won five straight with all his wins coming by way of first round knockout. At 6'4" 240 lbs Harris has a huge frame, even for a heavyweight. With his basketball background he's also reasonable light on his feet. He's working with Jeff Mayweather and appears to have decent striking and good hand speed and given the nature of heavyweight competition being 30 doesn't mean much for his competitive ceiling. This is still very much Rosholt's fight to lose as he has the obvious skill advantage, but I expect to see a lot more from Harris down the line.
The Ultimate Fighter 18 Finale takes place on November 30th and will be headlined by a Flyweight title fight between Demetrious Johnson and Joseph Benavidez. As with all debuting fighters I write about here's some footage from their recent fights to get us acquainted.
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