These are the fighters that make up the Middleweight Division in EA SPORTS UFC:
With the pedigree of a world-class wrestler and a silver medal for Cuba at the 2000 Sydney Olympics, Yoel “Solider of God” Romero made the transition to MMA in 2009 and never looked back. While his base might be in wrestling, striking has proven to be the bread and butter of his MMA career to date, with eight of his nine wins coming by way of knockout. Following the lone loss of his career, Romero made his UFC and Middleweight debuts on April 20, 2013 and has been perfect ever since, running up a 5-0 UFC record that includes wins over Derek Brunson, Brad Tavares and Tim Kennedy. Set to face fellow Middleweight-standout Jacare Souza at UFC 184 in February, a win would bring Romero a huge step closer to a shot at the title.
A decorated military veteran and a highly skilled martial artist, Tim Kennedy began his professional MMA career in August of 2001. One of the elite fighters currently making a name for himself in the UFC’s Middleweight division, Kennedy boasts a well-rounded skillset that’s helped him rack up eight submission victories over the course of his career with another six coming via submission. Since entering the UFC in July of 2013, Kennedy has won three of his four bouts with the organization, posting wins over the likes of Roger Gracie, Rafael Natal and Michael Bisping before most recently dropping a controversial matchup against Yoel Romero at UFC 178. Currently ranked No. 7 in the division, Kennedy will be looking to jumpstart another run at the title in his next Octagon appearance.
Beginning his pro MMA career in February of 2009, Chris Weidman submitted his first opponent in just over a minute-and-a-half and never looked back. Boasting some of the Middleweight division’s most dangerous wrestling and a standup game built on applying constant pressure, Weidman has yet to lose a bout in professional competition. After going 5-0 upon entering the UFC he was awarded a title shot against long-time Middleweight king Anderson Silva whom he defeated twice to become the new champion and earn Knockout of the Year honors in the process. With Silva now in his rear-view mirror Weidman will look to extend his undefeated streak against Lyoto Machida at UFC 175.
When it comes to longevity in an MMA career, it’s hard to do much better than Vitor “The Phenom” Belfort. Still very much in the mix to claim a UFC title, Belfort made his UFC debut all the way back in 1997 at UFC 12 where he emerged at the winner of that Heavyweight tournament. After facing Jon Jones for the title at Light Heavyweight, Belfort dropped down to Middleweight where he rattled off three consecutive Knockout of the Night wins over Michael Bisping, Luke Rockhold and Dan Henderson. Winner of 10 of his last 12 bouts and boasting 17 of his 21 career wins by KO, Belfort has shown no signs of slowing down in his near-20-year career.
The UK’s most popular MMA star, winner of The Ultimate Fighter Season 3, and one of the most colorful personalities on the UFC’s roster, Michael “The Count” Bisping has been a staple within the organization dating back to 2006. After dropping down from Light Heavyweight to find a permanent home in the UFC’s Middleweight division, Bisping has proven himself to be a perennial Top 5 contender at 185lbs. Sidelined with an eye injury since 2013, The Count will be looking to string together some wins to get his name back into the title-contention picture.
Hailing from Paris, France and fighting out of Montreal’s famed Tristar gym, Francis “Limitless” Carmont has been on the rise since entering the UFC in October of 2011. A teammate of former Welterweight champion Georges St-Pierre, Carmont has proven that he’s capable of ending fights on his feet or on the ground, earning 10 of his career wins by submission and six by KO. After seeing his 11 fight win-streak recently snapped by Ronaldo Souza, Carmont will be looking to get back to his winning ways and continue climbing the Middleweight ladder.
A true veteran of both MMA and the UFC, Rich “Ace” Franklin enjoyed an incredible debut to his career, losing only one time in his first 24 professional bouts. With an elite standup game at his disposal, Franklin made his UFC debut with a TKO win over Evan Tanner in 2003, who he would later beat again in 2005 to claim the UFC Middleweight Championship and earn a coaching position on The Ultimate Fighter 2. Franklin enjoyed two title defenses at Middleweight before eventually losing to Anderson Silva. In 37 pro bouts over the course of his 15-year career, Franklin has never lost back-to-back fights.
A gifted striker possessing some of the most powerful kicks in his division, Cung Le stepped onto the pro MMA stage for the first time in 2006. After debuting with Strikeforce, building a record of 7-1 and briefly holding their Middleweight title, Le made the jump to the UFC in 2011 likening his contract with the company to getting his black belt in MMA. The Taekwondo black belt, most recently scored an impressive KO victory over Rich Franklin and is currently the Mentor and Chief Coach of The Ultimate Fighter: China.
Possessing one of the most technical and unorthodox styles in MMA today, Lyoto “The Dragon” Machida has been getting his arm raised in the Octagon since February of 2007. A former UFC Light Heavyweight title-holder, Machida made the move to Middleweight in 2013, instantly becoming one of the division’s top contenders. An elusive stand-up game and an talent for counter-striking has helped The Dragon score his share of highlight reel knockouts including a memorable front-kick KO against the legendary Randy Couture.
Despite getting a late start in his MMA career and only taking his first pro bout in 2007, Mark Munoz wasted little time hitting his stride, putting together an 8-2-0 record in his first 10 fights. Making his Middleweight debut in 2009, Munoz has squared off against some of the division’s top athletes including Demian Maia, Lyoto Machida and current title-holder Chris Weidman. A standout wrestler possessing excellent striking, The Filipino Wrecking Machine will look to get back into the win column when he faces Gegard Mousasi at the end of May.
A constant threat in the UFC’s Middleweight division, Costas Philippou has been hard at work making a name for himself in MMA since taking his first pro bout in 2008. A highly-skilled striker and former professional boxer, the hard-hitting Cyprus native packs enough power to end any of his fights by knockout, and boasts six wins by KO in his MMA career. With another win-streak, Philippou stands to establish himself as a true contender in his division.
Luke Rockhold began his professional MMA career in July of 2007, eventually going on to fight in Strikeforce where we won the Middleweight title and defended it twice before making the transition to the UFC. While his debut with the organization may not have gone as planned as he suffered a KO at the hands of Vitor Belfort, Rockhold has looked unstoppable since, dominating Costas Philippou and Tim Boetsch with first-round TKOs and submissions respectively. Clear about his goal to claim the UFC Middleweight strap, Rockhold continues to make a case for a title shot as he climbs the division rankings.
Widely considered to be the best fighter to ever compete in the UFC or any other organization, Anderson “The Spider” Silva owns one of the most dominant runs of any champion in MMA history, defending his Middleweight title a record 10 times. An elusive fighter and a highly creative striker, Silva set the record for most consecutive wins in the UFC with 16. Precise and devastating in his attacks, The Spider has only gone past the second round four times in his career while earning a staggering 22 wins by KO/TKO and another four by submission. Following a leg injury sustained in his most recent bout with Chris Weidman, Silva plans to make his return to the Octagon in early 2015. He remains tied for most post-fight bonuses in UFC history with 12.
Arriving in the UFC after an extended run in Strikeforce, Ronaldo “Jacare” Souza has gone three-for-three since stepping into the Octagon, with wins over Chris Camozzi, Yushin Okami and most recently Francis Carmont. A former Strikeforce Middleweight Champion, Jacare’s last loss came in a 2011 title bout against Luke Rockhold. Having already climbed to No. 4 in the UFC’s Middleweight rankings, another strong performance from Souza in his next fight should bring him significantly closer to challenging for the belt.
With a pro career that spans all the way back to 2003, Gegard Mousasi has already put together an impressive record despite being 28 years of age. A talented finisher, only five of Mousasi’s 34 victories have come by way of decision, earning 19 other wins by knockout and another 10 by submission. After emerging victorious against Ilir Lafiti in his UFC debut in 2013, Mousasi was recently handed one of the few losses of his career by Lyoto Machida. He’ll be looking to bounce back with a win in his next fight and crack the Middleweight Top 10.
A true MMA legend, Dan “Hendo” Henderson, has squared off against the best-of-best in a pro career that dates all the way back to 1997 and is still going strong today. With 14 wins by KO/TKO it’s safe to say that Hendo has some of the heaviest hands in the UFC while also boasting one of the best chins. A fan-favorite who holds winning records in the UFC, PRIDE and Strikeforce, Henderson most recently got himself back into the win column with a Fight of the Night comeback-performance in his rematch with fellow legend, Mauricio “Shogun” Rua.
With nearly 50 professional fights under his belt in a career that dates back to 1996, Wanderlei “The Axe Murderer” Silva remains of the most intimidating fighters to ever compete in the Light Heavyweight division. A former PRIDE champion, Silva actually made his debut with the UFC in 1998, but would eventually find a permanent home with the organization in 2007. One Brazil’s most well-known mixed martial artists, Silva separated himself from the pack over the course of his career thanks to an elite standup game that saw him score 23 of his victories by KO/TKO. Winner of three of his last five bouts, Silva most recently logged a KO against Brian Stann in March 2013.
Perhaps the most polarizing figure in the history of the UFC, everyone has an opinion about Chael Sonnen. A talented wrestler with a sharp tongue, The American Gangster never holds back on the trash talk leading up to his bouts and backs it up with an aggressive style once inside the Octagon. His 2010 bout of against Anderson Silva won Fight of the Year and is considered by many an instant classic.
With a skill-set divided down the middle between striking and takedowns, it’s little wonder that 18 of “Ruthless” Robbie Lawler’s 22 career wins have come by way of knockout. Back in the UFC after a stint in Strikeforce, Lawler immediately began working his way back up the Welterweight ladder and into the division’s top tier with three consecutive victories, including wins over Josh Koscheck and Rory MacDonald. The three fight win-streak earned him a bout with Johny Hendricks for the vacated Welterweight title.
Considered by many fans and fighters alike to be the best pure grappler fighting in the UFC today, Demian Maia has been submitting his competition in the Octagon since 2007. A true MMA veteran and consummate Brazilian Jiu Jitsu master, Maia put together an impressive five-fight winning streak upon entering the UFC and most recently a three-fight winning streak since dropping down to Welterweight in July of 2012.