Brock Lesnar was in attendance at UFC 146 this past Saturday night as the UFC put forth it’s biggest foot, hosting a night of PPV Heavyweight action. With Junior Dos Santos, Cain Velasquez and Roy Nelson’s performances Saturday night, it’s insulting to them that the MMA spotlight shines on a professional wrestler whose last significant victory was in 2010. So let’s focus on the some of the guys who battled it out for our enjoyment and leave the enquiries with Lesnar for another day.
For those of you who witnessed the outstanding UFC 146 card, you were treated to an overdose of heavies. Long thought to be the money fighters, who bring with them the big fight atmosphere, the heavyweights performed splendidly. The fights were all exciting, and none of them saw the third round. Here’s a look at five of the winners and losers, and where they go from here.
Junior Dos Santos
The UFC heavyweight champion rolled into Vegas, and handled his business like a professional. I’ve said before and I’ll say it again now. If the UFC is looking for someone to build around, Junior Dos Santos is the main. Generous and gracious outside the cage and vicious and destructive inside it, he brings everything needed to sell a company with. The heart whelming story of him bringing a young fan and his family along for the ride is exactly the news that the UFC needs to promote and advertise. What’s next for the champion? Here are a couple of ideas.
Dana White has said that Cain Velasquez is in line for a title shot, and based on his performance against Antonio Silva, it’s more than fair, but let’s not forget about Alistair Overeem, who would have been in the main event with Junior, sans an elevated level of testosterone in a prefight urinalysis.
Perhaps, in order to get a true number one contender, Cain Velasquez should square off with Alistair Overeem and then the winner would fight for a championship with Junior Dos Santos. One thing is clear, Junior’s first title defense did a lot to cement him as the man to beat at Heavyweight.
Let’s be Frank, Mir is on the downhill side of his outstanding UFC career. See what I did there? Truth be told, Frank is a tough guy who did well to come back from injuries he received when he was hit by a drunk driver but did more than just come back, he became a champion.
When Frank loses, he always seems to take a lumping. The losses he took to Lesnar, Carwin and Junior left him looking a little worse for wear, and taking big shots certainly shortens the career. He’s been to the top of the mountain, and now he fights for his legacy, and if forced to wager, I’d be willing to bet he’s out of the game in the next couple of years.
Frank always fights top-level guys, so it’s not likely he’s going to face a lower level guy. The winner of the Travis Browne/Ben Rothwell fight could be a potential fit. Of course, a rubber match with Lesnar would generate buzz and be a pretty payday for the Las Vegas, but who knows if that’s even possible.
Well, in all likelihood, Cain will get a rematch and contend for the world championship against Junior Dos Santos next. His performance against Antonio Silva at UFC 146 was clean, efficient and violent. He looked every bit his former self, and seems to be one of the top three heavyweights in the world.
As stated earlier, a potential number one contender fight with Alistair Overeem would be very entertaining, and would provide a solid contender for Junior Dos Santos. More or less, Junior and Alistair are the only fitting next fights for the AKA heavyweight standout.
Bigfoot is a tough guy, not doubt about it. His fight with Cain might not have been as one-sided had that cut not opened and been such a factor. It was one of those cuts that bleeds and bleeds and in was definitely a factor in the outcome of the fight.
The loss, is the second consecutive for the Brazilian giant, as he was defeated by Cain’s teammate Daniel Cormier in the Strikeforce Grand Prix back in September of last year. Silva needs a victory in his next fight, and he needs to fight someone who has a good name in the sport. Potential matchups for Silva would be Shane Carwin when he returns, or Lavar Johnson.
Roy Nelson knocked out Dave Herman with one big right hand, and in doing so, sent a message to not just the heavyweight division, but to the brass as well. Long been viewed as the division’s stepchild, Nelson delivered a big screw you to the people who doubted him, questioned his conditioning and way of life. Nelson is a smart man, and he’s a tough fighter who never quits.
Nelson is 4-3 since winning the Ultimate Fighter and has won two of his last three. He needs to face someone with a big name, if he’s to continue to climb the ladder. A potential fight with Mark Hunt would be absolutely amazing and surefire fireworks.
Nelson is marked at times as a journeyman or a gatekeeper, but he’s capable of more. The problem is he has losses to Frank Mir, Junior Dos Santos, and Fabricio Werdum, who’s also in the mix in the heavyweight division. There are a lot of options for Nelson after UFC 146, but whoever he faces next, he needs to win.