So Shane Carwin’s heavyweight title challenge and twelve fight unbeaten run came to an end this past weekend against current champion Brock Lesnar, but there’s still plenty of fight left in the 35 year-old and he’s already setting his sights on a second title push.
With that said, who will he fight next?
Given the fact that he gave Lesnar such as tough fight, and was perhaps unlucky not to have finished him in the first round, I believe Carwin should still be placed right back into the mix at the upper reaches of the division, and ideally sooner rather than later.
There’s plenty of potential fights for him there with the division being more competitive than ever, but due to the fact that several fighters are already being lined up as future title challengers, not all of them are available to him at right away.
Junior Dos Santos Vs Roy Nelson goes down on August 7th at UFC 117 with Dana White already having confirmed that the winner will take on the eventual winner of Lesnar Vs Cain Velasquez which is rumored to be taking place in late September.
I believe the loser of the Dos Santos Vs Nelson fight makes the most sense as Carwin’s the next opponent, and stylistically both would present an interesting challenge for him.
Of the other upper-ranking heavyweights he’s only just beaten Frank Mir which rules him out, but Antonio Rodrigo Nogueira is currently not booked up and could be a possibility. I suspect the UFC may be more keen to see a rematch between Mir and Nogueira first though.
Going any further down the ladder for a potential opponent seems doubtful, but if they are forced into it by a lack of options then Cheick Kongo springs to mind, though the rumor is that the UFC have another opponent in mind for him at UFC 120.
As a last resort someone like Ben Rothwell would be a suitable alternative if the plan is just to let Carwin get another fight under his belt in the near future.
When all’s said and done though I’m fairly confident that the loser of Junior Dos Santos Vs Roy Nelson will turn out to be his next opponent later in the year, barring any unforeseen injuries.
In the longer term, dependent of results, a rematch with Brock Lesnar also seems inevitable.