At the end of the week the UFC finally brought some clarity to the UFC 146 fight card by announcing that Frank Mir would now be fighting Junior Dos Santos for the heavyweight title, but that now leaves a big question mark over who will face Cain Velasquez in the co-main event.
So far the UFC doesn’t have an answer to that question, but there a few potential fighters who could be moved into the fill that space on the card.
The most logicial step would be to move Fabricio Werdum over from the UFC 147 event where he’s currently scheduled to face Mike Russow.
However the word from sources close to the situation is that Werdum is being ruled out and will not be moved from the UFC 147 fight card.
Over the weekend Roy Nelson appeared to indicate that he’d been offered the fight, writing, “Just asked if I would fight cain for #1 contendership, answer is YES! Overeem pissed hot is my gain!”
However he doesn’t say who asked him, so it’s a misleading statement and perhaps a bit of mischief making from the quirky fighter. I’d be surprised if the UFC has offered him the fight given that he’s lost three of his last four fights, and offering him No.1 contendership if he beat Velasquez seems out of the question.
If Alistair Overeem is granted a license to fight by NSAC at a hearing on Tuesday then he could still compete on the UFC 146 card and would definitely be the best option available to face Velasquez if that was the case.
It seems unlikely that he will be able to convince NSAC to give him that license however after his failed drugs test recently, with even Dana White confessing last night that he doesn’t think Overeem will be successful.
Prior to Mir being installed in the main event slot there was a fan campaign to give Mark Hunt the opportunity after producing an unexpected three fight winning streak.
White ruled out that possibility however and while there’s a chance he could instead go up against Velasquez I think it’s a step too far for him and would just create more complications as hunt is currently scheduled to face Stefan Struve at the same event.
With all that taken into consideration I think the best option for the UFC now is to opt for Travis Browne who emerged unscathed after a quick submission victory over Chad Griggs last night.
He’s now 4-1-0 in the UFC, 13-0-1 in his MMA career overall and so he’s earned an opportunity to move up to a bigger fight and last night at the post-fight press conferenced indicated he would take the fight if he was offered it.
With few other alternatives available at relatively short notice it appears the best option they have at their disposal right now.