Who's Really Next for Brock Lesnar?

Nick ColonSenior Analyst IAugust 24, 2009

LAS VEGAS - JULY 11:  Brock Lesnar reacts after knocking out Frank Mir during their heavyweight title bout during UFC 100 on July 11, 2009 in Las Vegas, Nevada.  (Photo by Jon Kopaloff/Getty Images)

Whether you hate Brock Lesnar or you really hate him, you cannot deny he is the UFC heavyweight champion and the man to beat in that division.

From his short time in MMA, Lesnar's already accomplished so much. Sure, his background as a former WWE wrestler has contributed to his fame and fortune, but his size and strength are the main factors that have contributed to his staying power in MMA.

His first fight in the UFC was against Frank Mir, and Lesnar did not disappoint fans within the first minute, pummeling Mir with hammerfists and shots to his face.

After a questionable call by the referee, stopping the momentum and resetting the fighters after taking a point away from Lesnar for strikes to the back of Mir's head, Mir immediately understood the urgency to get out of the position, and locked onto Lesnar's leg, submitting him with a kneebar.

Following the loss, Lesnar's gone 3-0, avenging his loss to Mir and merging the UFC interim heavyweight belt with his own belt, as well as taking down Randy "The Natural" Couture in devastating fashion. Lesnar is for real.

The question that remains, however, is determining who will be the next true test for Lesnar. The UFC recently announced that, at UFC 106, Shane Carwin will be the next man to fight Lesnar for the title.

Carwin's resume may exude stellar numbers, but the numbers don't tell the entire story. Carwin has had a total of 11 professional MMA bouts, none of which have made it beyond two minutes and 11 seconds of the first round. Three of his professional bouts have been in the UFC. Two of those bouts have been against very questionable competition, in Neil Wain and Christian Wellisch.

Carwin's last bout against Gabriel "Napao" Gonzaga in March was a very telling fight. Gonzaga took hardly any punishment from Carwin and gave him a decent beatdown, which is something he had yet to see in the UFC—heck, maybe even his life.

Carwin then regained a little bit of composure, and was able to land a flush right cross that dropped Gonzaga.

Against Brock Lesnar, the same outcome likely would not happen.

If taken down, Carwin would have a very difficult time getting back up, just due to the mere size of Lesnar. If he is indeed able to get back up, the problem Carwin would have is matching the strength and firepower Lesnar would counter with.

Simply put, it is my belief that Shane Carwin will not be defeating Brock Lesnar come this November.

So who does have the capability of defeating Lesnar currently in the UFC? Not many men come to mind, but one that does come to mind is Cain Velasquez.

The proud Mexican fighter has come to show great things in his short MMA career, and, while his game does need some fine polishing, he appears to have the skills necessary to defeat the bigger, stronger fighter in Lesnar.

Velasquez has had six professional fights, nearly half the amount Carwin has faced, yet has faced stiffer competition, though still fairly weak by comparison to Lesnar. His last fight came against Cheick Kongo at UFC 99, and Velasquez showed no problems taking the bigger, stronger Kongo down and beating him thoroughly.

One area Velasquez may need to improve before a possible bout with Lesnar is his striking defense, as Kongo's massive punches nearly floored Velasquez at the start of two rounds. However, as the fight progressed, Velasquez appeared to be more comfortable and showed no signs of fatigue. He could be the one contender to actually be a contender to Lesnar.

However, right now, Lesnar still remains the best heavyweight in the UFC, and, until someone proves otherwise, he is the man to beat.