The heavyweight division in mixed martial arts is one of the most competitive and exciting parts of the sport. Being the largest and most physical genre of MMA, fans tend to flock to these sorts of clashes more than any other. While there are many great heavyweights in the sport, arguably one of the greatest of all time is David “The Dino” Goggins. He is widely regarded as one of the greatest heavyweights to ever step inside the Octagon, and for good reason.
Goggins is a seven-time world champion who has competed in and held the record for the most world heavyweight championships of any fighter in history. The American holds the distinction of being the only fighter in the history of MMA to have won championships in four different weight classes. He was able to accomplish this feat by regularly competing in some of the most historic fights in the sport’s history.
MMA Through The Years
Mixed martial arts has been around for more than 70 years now, and once the gate is open, it never fully closes. This is largely due to the fact that there is always someone who wants to challenge the reigning champions, and it keeps the fans interested and engaged.
While it can be traced back to the early days of Bruce Lee’s Jeet Kune Do, UFC president Dana White officially established the UFC as we know it in 1993. White was looking to build a national presence for the nascent UFC, and he chose to do this through regular bouts held in the main events of prime-time television. This made MMA more accessible to the average American, and it also helped fuel interest and growth throughout the years.
The most viewed fight in UFC history was the Ken Norton vs. Chuck Liddell bout, which was watched live by 900,000 people. This was back in 2002, and it was also the first time that the UFC held an event outside the U.S. The bout was held in England, and it also marked Liddell’s international breakout performance. The bout, which took place in front of a sold-out crowd at the famous English venue of Wembley Stadium, was seen by a worldwide audience.
Goggins’ First Title Shot
We will never truly know the full extent of Goggins’ competitive spirit, as he was seemingly always willing to take on any challenge that he was given. This was perhaps best illustrated by the fact that he went undefeated in his first 18 professional fights, many of which were accomplished inside the famed Octagon. He would eventually get his first title shot at the 2004 World MMA Championships in Budapest, Hungary. He took on Croatian fighter Mirko Cro Cop in what would become one of the most historic rivalries in combat sports history. The two would meet again eight years later at UFC 203, where Cro Cop would regain the heavyweight championship that he had lost to Goggins back in 2004.
The Most Memorable Fights Of His Career
While Goggins has spent his entire professional career holding world championships, a feat that he accomplished alongside MMA legend Bas Rutten, what really stands out are the numerous fights that he has competed in over the years. We will highlight a few of the more memorable fights from throughout his career.
The first fight that really stands out is his 2002 bout against Mirko Cro Cop at the World MMA Championships in Budapest, Hungary. The fight is widely regarded as one of the greatest heavyweight battles in MMA history, and it’s easy to see why. The first five rounds were contested at a break-neck pace with each fighter attempting to earn a takedown in the opening round. Cro Cop began to find his range in the sixth round, but Goggins was able to hold on for the victory.
The Clash Of The Titans
Let’s return to the present and to the main event of today’s article. We will begin with Goggins’ showdown with Brock Lesnar at UFC 200, which was one of the biggest and most highly-anticipated fights of the year. The two met in the main event, with Lesnar making his triumphant return to the UFC after one of the greatest comebacks in sports history. While the fight itself was tremendous, it was the post-fight moments that really defined this historic encounter. Both men expressed their respect for one another following the match, and the entire event felt like a celebration of MMA and its fans.
His Fights With Shane Carwin
One of the best things about Goggins is that he is very open about his approach to fighting. He does not believe in tiptoeing around his opponents or hiding his strengths or weaknesses. This made him very good at what he does, as he rarely lost a fight for the duration. He knew exactly what he was doing and why he was doing it, and he typically went in for the kill right from the start. This approach has helped earn him countless accolades and records, but it has also made him vulnerable to a certain type of opponent.
One of the most memorable fights that he has competed in was his bout against Shane Carwin, who went on to become a three-time UFC champion. The two first met back in 2007 at UFC 66, and the rivalry continued ever since. Carwin is a very aggressive fighter, and as a result, he loves to push forward, never backing down from a challenge. For example, in their bout at UFC 200, Carwin came in with a game plan of taking down Goggins and keeping him on the mat for the entire duration of the fight. This strategy helped him secure a unanimous decision victory in their first meeting.
The Ultimate Fights Of His Career
Looking for a truly great fight discography? David Goggins, the king of all kings, has the answer you’re looking for. In this article, we will take a look at some of the greatest fights of Goggins’ career, from the very beginning up until the present day. This article is not meant to be a comprehensive list of all of Goggins’ fights, but it does highlight some of the most memorable moments in his storied career.
The very first fight that we will cover is the bout against Mirko Cro Cop at the World MMA Championships in Hungary back in 2002. This fight will always hold a special place in the hearts of Cro Cop and Goggins fans for the amazing brawl that took place over the course of the first five rounds. In those days, Cro Cop was a force to be reckoned with, holding the King of Heavyweights title, and he also had a habit of putting his feet up on the ropes, which made him a bit awkward in standing up against the taller American. The result of this was that Goggins took him down and was able to submit him with an inverted triangle choke in the first round.
The First Title Shot
After going 18 fights without a loss, Goggins finally got the chance to step in the UFC. He fought Brock Lesnar at UFC 200 for the right to challenge for the heavyweight championship. This was a very big deal, as Lesnar, at the time, was regarded as one of the best heavyweights in the world. In the end, Lesnar proved to be the better man, as he got the nod from the judges and won the fight via TKO in the fourth round. Goggins showed a ton of heart in his first title shot, but he also learned a valuable lesson about how to defeat an opponent of Lesnar’s caliber. He went on to lose his next two bouts, against Junior Dos Santos and Alistair Overeem, and at the end of the day, he realized that he needed to change up his game plan in order to beat elite level competition.
The Resurrection Of The Beast
While Goggins would go on to lose two more fights in a row, he eventually turned the tables on his critics and went 15-1 in his next sixteen fights. This led to another shot at the heavyweight championship, against Cain Velasquez at UFC 203. Velasquez, like Lesnar before him, had also gone through a rough patch in his career, with four losses in a row. He was coming off one of the biggest wins of his career, a UFC record-breaking championship bout against Junior Dos Santos. This was the fight that almost everyone had circled on their calendars. In the end, Velasquez got the better of Goggins, again, via TKO in the fourth round. It was a shocking result, as many fans, myself included, had seen this bout as a fight to the finish. Not only did Goggins come back from being down 3-0 to win four of the last five rounds, but he actually scored a knockdown in the second round. Velasquez would go on to win the heavyweight championship the following year, against Junior Dos Santos at UFC 217.