For months now, it seemed as if the careers of Shane Carwin and Cain Velazquez were destined to be intertwined, and that they would meet for a colossal showdown at some point in the UFC’s heavyweight division.
Now, according Carwin’s Twitter page, an October 24 bout in Los Angeles against Velazquez looks like a strong possibility at UFC 104. The mouths of UFC betting fans are watering with anticipation.
With both Carwin and Velazquez crushing fellow heavyweights before the end of the first round in many of their first fights in the UFC, a heavyweight title shot always seemed more like a matter of when and not if for both of them. The winner of this fight could find themselves getting a crack at the belt sooner than many expected if all goes according to plan.
The bout was originally rumored for UFC 103 on September 26 in Dallas but Carwin didn’t seem ready so it appears as if the fight will be pushed back.
Carwin’s 11-0 record is even more impressive considering the way he’s beaten his opponents: oftentimes in the most quick and brutal fashion possible. His last win over Gabriel Gonzaga wasn’t nearly as dominant as his earlier wins but it showed fans just how strong Carwin was as he powered out of a bad position on the ground and shrugged off a point-blank shot from Gonzaga before coming right back and knocking him out.
Velazquez has a 6-0 record and perhaps an even more impressive win over Cheick Kongo, who seemed on his way to a title shot before the loss.
Velazquez showed off his technical wrestling and athletic ability on the ground by maneuvering around and forcing Kongo into bad positions where he could unleash some good old-fashioned ground-and-pound.
So who would be the favorite going into this landmark showdown? The thought here is that Carwin would get the nod due to his brute strength, size advantage of about 20+ pounds, and knockout power. Carwin also has the wrestling experience and ability to keep Velazquez in check.
But Velazquez has a pretty crisp stand-up game and a quickness advantage over Carwin, and he might be a little more polished at this point in his UFC career despite having less overall fight experience.
Velazquez was smart to take the Kongo fight to the ground because there were some potentially dicey exchanges on the feet that Kongo looked to take advantage of in some situations, and it’s not the best idea to trade punches with a guy like Carwin as Gonzaga found out the hard way.
Regardless of how it turns out, this looks like a must-see matchup and an unofficial ceremony of sorts that could usher in the new guard in the heavyweight division.
Next Up: The biggest fight in UFC History, Frank Mir takes on the heavyweight title holder and favorite in the UFC betting lines, Brock Lesnar.