Brock Lesnar Out of UFC 106: Now What?
First off, Mark Coleman got injured, much to the dismay of Tito Ortiz, who was returning to the Octagon for the first time in a year. Fans were also let down; this was supposed to be a meaningful fight between the old-school veteran/father of Ground & Pound and his 10-years-younger successor, the Huntington Beach Bad Boy.
But things keep turning from bad to worse for UFC 106, scheduled to be held at Las Vegas on Nov. 21.
Now, Brock Lesnar (4-1), the current Heavyweight champion of the UFC, is out of the event as well, though not due to injury. President Dana White informed Yahoo Sports that the former WWE star and NCAA Wrestling champion has "never been this sick in [his] life."
So what is Dana going to do about this?
Dana knows that Brock Lesnar draws more Pay-Per-View buys than any other mixed martial arts fighter in the business.
Lesnar versus Carwin was destined to make tons of money; Shaquille O'Neal versus Carwin, or Kimbo Slice versus Carwin (Dana, please make this happen!) might make a little more money, but that's just wishful thinking.
Finding a replacement fighter that can match Lesnar's name-recognition and drawing power is an almost impossible task.
Besides, contender Shane Carwin (11-0) has been doing a fair amount of trash-talking to hype up the fight, and I highly doubt that he would be willing to fight anyone else.
But what needs to be done has to be done. Rising prospect Cain Velasquez (7-0) absolutely pummelled Ben Rothwell (30-7) in his main-event fight for UFC 104, and left the octagon basically unscathed. Velasquez can possibly replace Lesnar for UFC 106. Just the phrase "Cain versus Carwin" sounds pretty catchy too.
Another option is bringing Rodrigo "Minotauro" Nogueira (32-5). His last fight was in August at UFC 102 and he dominated Randy Couture. But I doubt that he will be able to get himself to proper fighting shape by Nov. 21. If Joe Silva, the UFC matchmaker, actually makes this fight happen, it would be interesting see how Carwin fares against the legendary Brazillian Jiu Jitsu fighter that is leaps above Gabriel "Napao" Gonzaga. Nogueira was in line to face the winner of Lesnar versus Carwin anyways, so not much controversy here.
Am I being too dreamy to suggest that Alistair Overeem should come to the UFC to fight Carwin? He finished James Thompson in 32 seconds in Dream 12, which was held on Oct. 25. He seems to enjoy having a fight every month or two. While Overeem versus Carwin would be a fantastic match up, I somehow worry that not many UFC fans haven't even heard about this phenomenal heavyweight talent. And of course, UFC contract negotiations take some time to work out, and in Fedor Emelianenko's case, it can take years.
But if nothing works out, I guess Forrest Griffin vs Tito Ortiz is good enough for the main event. Griffin desperately needs a win after a disappointing loss to Pound-for-Pound great Anderson Silva, and Ortiz wants a run for the title shot again. For the fans, they will just have to wait until Lesnar gets well.
For now, the most important heavyweight fight for November is Fedor Emelianenko versus Brett Rogers, scheduled for Nov. 7. That can change if Dana White makes something magical happen.
Only time will tell.
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