People are saying the winner of Cain Velasquez versus Antonio Rodrigo Nogueira will possibly be next in line for a title shot. I want to address this issue in a few minutes. They will definitely be on the list and if they don’t mind waiting, they will be in line for a title shot.
People seem to forget that Frank Mir versus Shane Carwin is for the Interim Heavyweight championship. This is important because people in the UFC realize that the interim champion is really just the No. 1 contender spot. These titles are only being used when the champion can’t fight and needs time off. After that, the two will meet to determine the real champion.
This isn’t boxing; we won’t have two champions running around this division forever. With his newfound size and striking, Frank Mir should beat Shane Carwin. In fact, Carwin’s only chance of winning will be to catch Mir with a huge haymaker. A Mir victory sets up a huge payday for the winner of the rubber match between he and current champ, Brock Lesnar.
Back to the fight on Saturday night, I expect Nogueira to submit Velasquez. This would immediately put him in line for the title after the Mir-Lesnar fight, both of which would have intriguing story lines. A healthy rematch against the man who was the first to TKO him, or a match against another big wrestler like the one he just beat. The unbeatable beast against the legendary fighter who's shown the ability to tame wrestlers. If Big Nog wins on Saturday, expect the UFC to delay his next fight until a title is on the line.
Now, if Velasquez does manage to decisively beat Nogueira, it sets the UFC up to promote a big-time wrestler, fresh off his victory against another true legend of the sport. No matter what happens, we all win here. I’m excited!