Junior dos Santos officially submitted his resume for a shot at UFC heavyweight champ Brock Lesnar’s title after putting Gabriel Gonzaga to sleep in the first round at “UFC on Versus” this past Sunday.
Although dos Santos is the division’s current flavor of the month, there are plenty of others in line along with him.
“We’ve got this big lineup of heavyweights,” UFC president Dana White said at the “Vera vs. Jones” post-fight presser. “Back in the day, it was pretty grim. Now we’ve got them lined up ready to go. They’re all great guys, and there’s so many different ways that we can mix and match these guys that it’s going to be fun.”
While Lesnar was away recovering from a severe case of diverticulitis, four solid contenders emerged as legitimate threats to his crown in Frank Mir, Shane Carwin, Cain Velasquez and dos Santos – making the pecking order at the top more confusing and crowded than it has ever been.
“They’re all going to fight,” White said of the glut of contenders. “All these guys in that lineup are going to fight, but we’ve got to figure out how it’s all going to go down. Mir and Carwin are going to get this thing started. We’ll see what happens there, and the great thing is, we’re a week away from that.”
As we approach Saturday’s heavyweight interim title bout between Mir and Carwin at UFC 111, here are the possible fallout scenarios fans could be facing as Lesnar eyes a summer return.
If Frank Mir wins:
Lesnar vs. Mir III – There is no reason to believe a rubber match to unify the title wouldn’t go down immediately, especially when you consider the hoopla surrounding their bitter beef.
There is nothing left to sell, this fight promotes itself.
It will also allow the UFC to start pushing fresher names if Mir were to drop his second straight to Lesnar, particularly if he receives another thrashing similar to what the reigning champ handed him at UFC 100.
Velasquez vs. dos Santos – Although this is the fight fans would love to see, it’s understandable neither want any part of it as anything short of a five-round title affair in their next outing would be a disappointment.
However, they aren’t Fedor Emelianenko and can’t just sit around idly, so if the UFC opts for a Lesnar/Mir trilogy, this scrap would leave no doubt as to who the true heavyweight top contender is.