Brock Lesnar may be less than a day out from his latest victory over Shane Carwin at UFC 116, but he already knows who’s next in line for a shot at his title.
Cain Velasquez was installed as the No.1 contender prior to the fight and was confirmed by Dana White at the post-fight press conference last night as his opponent.
Velasquez may not have Carwin’s one punch knockout power or his imposing physique, but he does bring a similar unbeaten record to the table, arguably the best cardio in the division, strong wrestling, excellent agility and athleticism, and an ability to throw down combinations of kicks and punches that could pose a significant problem for the champion.
The question now isn’t if but rather when the fight will take place. At the UFC 116 post-fight presser Lesnar was non-commital about when he would be looking to get back into the cage, saying he would have to speak with Dana White about it.
White himself wants to see the fight happen sooner rather than later.
“I need to talk to Brock about it and I’m a big believer in let’s get these guys right back in as soon as we possibly can. You know, farming sounds fun but… that’s not what really pays the bills,” he told MMAfighting’s Ariel Helwani.
Interestingly, White also revealed prior to the fight that the next challenger after Velasquez is also set to be decided in an upcoming bout.
“You’re going to see Cain and Brock fight, then coming up, Dos Santos is going to fight ‘Big Country,’ and the winner of that fight will get the next shot.”
So Junior Dos Santos and Roy Nelson have an added incentive to win when they face each other on August 7th at UFC 117.
To my mind that indicates that a Lesnar Vs Velasquez title fight will have to take place before the end of the year, and that’s only fair to Velasquez who has been waiting patiently since February for his shot at the title.
Whatever happens Lesnar is unlikely to be short of opponents for some time to come. Frank Mir stated earlier this week that he is refocusing his sights on getting a rubber match with Lesnar, while a rematch with Shane Carwin is also a strong possibility at some stage.