After suffering back-to-back losses to Corey Anderson and Volkan Oezdemir, Ilir Latifi is moving up to the Heavyweight division. While “The Sledgehammer” hasn’t officially announced the news himself, he did allude to big news coming soon.
According to MMA Junkie — who got the word from Latifi’s camp — the Swede will pack on the pounds to compete at 265 pounds. Latifi actually started off his career competing in the land of the giants, going 1-0-1 before dropping down to 205 pounds 10 years ago.
Inside the Octagon, Latifi has gone 7-5 as a Light Heavyweight, which hasn’t allowed him to gain the momentum he needs to get into championship consideration. Still, he did score big wins over Tyson Pedro and Ovince Saint Preux.
Latifi’s jump up is a welcome one for the promotion, as former division champion, Cain Velasquez, recently announced his retirement from the fight game to focus on his future with WWE. Furthermore, ex-champion, Daniel Cormier, will also be walking way from the sport once he rematches current champion, Stipe Miocic, leaving the Heavyweight class that much thinner.
Care to offer up a few potential opponents who would be a good first challenge for Latifi in UFC’s land of the big men?