UFC News: Ilir Latifi moving up to heavyweight; organization to benefit from the move?
After succumbing to back-to-back defeats against Corey Anderson and Volkan Oezdemir respectively, “The Sledgehammer” Ilir Latifi is reportedly returning to the heavyweight division after a decade. While there hasn’t been an official announcement on behalf of the fighter himself, he did take to social media to announce that a piece of big news is on the cards.
Latifi debuted in the UFC at heavyweight in 2008 and competed in two bouts; a no-contest against Blagoy Ivanov and a knockout victory over Roman Mihocka. He then decided to move down to the light heavyweight division in 2009 and has been competing at 205 lbs for over a decade now.
According to MMA Junkie, Latifi's team has confirmed the fact that The Sledgehammer will indeed be moving up to compete at 265 lbs in the hope of a turn around in his fortunes.
Latifi’s last victory came in 2018 when he earned a submission win over Ovince Saint-Preux. But since then, he has suffered back-to-back losses, with the most recent one coming in the form of a knock out loss against Oezdemir.
UFC to benefit from Latifi's jump to heavyweight?
Latifi’s return to the heavyweight division is being seen as beneficial for the promotion, as former heavyweight champion, Cain Velasquez recently announced that he is officially retired from the sport of MMA and is concentrating on newer pastures in the form of pro-wrestling with WWE. Also, with Daniel Cormier set to bid farewell to the sport after the completion of his much-awaited trilogy fight against the reigning UFC heavyweight champion, Stipe Miocic, the division will be void of big names and Latifi's addition will certainly be a welcome one.
Check out Latifi's latest post on Instagram.