In each article I want to name a few stars who I see having big years in 2010. Its just my opinion on who I like and predict a big year for in 2010. I've tried to pick one main guy from each division.
With quite a few emerging stars in a division that is growing in depth this one was actually quite hard. 2009 witnessed the growth of Shane Carwin and Cain Valasquez as genuine contenders. Young studs such as Todd Duffee and Stefan Struve announced their arrival and some of the more experienced guys such as Frank Mir and Noguiera still kept in title contention.
The biggest star of 2009 was obviously Brock Lesnar who captured the title in impressive fashion. We all know his current situation with health but that is another topic altogether. However my pick for 2010 is Junoir Dos Santos.
'Cigano' had a great 2009 and really announced himself to the world as a genuine threat in the heavyweight division. Three wins, all by KO or TKO against top level competition has accelerated his rise to the top.
A January 2nd bout at UFC 108 against the experienced Gilbert Yvel is his next test. With all the other recognized title contenders already matched up, an early win in 2010 for the Brazilian would put him in a very strong position for a title shot.
He would be 4-0, undefeated and he would make an exciting title fight for UFC match maker Joe Silva. Providing he beats Yvel at UFC 108 here is why I see Dos Santos having a big year.
Whatever happens to Lesnar and his health the the title picture is set to change a lot in the next few months. The Cain vs Nog match-up is interesting because Dos Santos trains under Big Nog, therefore he would likely never want to fight him. A win for Cain would set up a very worthy No.1 contender match between him and Dos Santos, with great hype potential with the student taking on the guy who beat his master etc..
If Nog were to win he would in my mind already by the No.1 contender, so no need for a fight with Dos Santos which wouldn't happen anyway. This would probably mean that Dos Santos could be paired up with someone from the Carwin vs Mir fight.
A Win for Carwin in this proposed fight makes him a solid No.1 contender. Depending on Lesnar's situation we could see the winner of this fight in a interim-title fight, a title fight with Lesnar or No.1 contender fight with Nog or Cain or Dos Santos.
A win for Mir would end the Carwin hype train and eliminate him from the picture for the time being. However even if Mir wins I don't see him being thrown straight back into a fight with Lesnar. So a fight with Nog makes sense, or a No.1/ interim fight with Cain or Dos Santos.
Basically if Nog wins then I see Dos Santos fighting the loser of the Mir vs Carwin fight.
As I said earlier the heavyweight title picture is a bit of a mess and will take a few months to sort itself out. But I feel that with an early win in 2010 against Yvel then Junior Dos Santos could find himself in a very strong position. He could be in line to fight in a title eliminator, an interim title fight or even a title fight himself depending on the other fight results.
He just seems to be the one left out of conversations about the current title picture which i don't understand. He is in my mind very close to a title fight, a big win at UFC 108 and then a possible match up with Cain, Mir or Carwin as I have suggested could cement his claim in the division. I just feel that 2010 could really be his year.
Thanks for reading and I will post my pick for the LHW soon. Remember this is just my pick and I would like to read yours.