The UFC's heavyweight division has reached maximum capacity for title contenders.
There are a number of guys who could fight Brock Lesnar for his title tomorrow, and the fans could be happy with the match-up.
But, it is unclear which way Dana White is going to go when he puts together the next heavyweight title fight. He could play it safe, or go to where the hype is.
Here is my opinion on how the UFC heavyweight division could play out.
Right now the buzz is around Cain Velasquez and Junior dos Santos. I think Velasquez could be ready for a title shot, and he has a good shot at beating Lesnar.
Cain is a force right now, and I think putting him on ice is a bad decision. Match him up with Lesnar while he is hot, and while the buzz is still around him.
Junior dos Santos is a fight or two away from being ready. Yes, he is a good fighter, and yes he deserves a shot just as much as the next guy. But, he needs one more big win for me to fully believe he could give Brock Lesnar a challenge.
In the near future I can see dos Santos being in a title fight, whether Lesnar is the champ or not.
The safe way to play it would be for Dana White to set up Lesnar with the winner of the Interim Heavyweight title fight, between Frank Mir and Shane Carwin.
Mir is the favorite going in, so assuming he wins, Mir vs. Lesnar III would be a good show. Already a lot of hype built around this match-up, not to mention the hatred between the two guys.
If Carwin wins, you know he will be the center of attention. He was supposed to fight for the belt before Lesnar got sick, and missed a lot of time.
Carwin and Lesnar would also be a good fight to watch, mostly because these guys both have heavy hands, and good ground skills. We will see if Shane Carwin is for real vs. Frank Mir, or if he is just another over-hyped fighter.
If I were Dana White, this is what I would do:
1. Set up the winner of the Mir vs. Carwin to fight Brock Lesnar for the title.
2. Have the loser of Mir vs. Carwin fight Cain Valasquez as a No. 1 contender match.
3. This leaves Junior dos Santos taking a step back, but set him up to fight Cheick Kongo, Antonio Rodrigo Nogueira, or even Roy Nelson.
I think this system keeps every contender fighting against top talent, and keeps the heavyweight division producing top rated fights.
You can't go wrong either way when putting together a heavyweight title fight. All these guys are deserving of a shot at Lesnar's belt. It's a shame that they all became contenders at the same time.
Where was this heavyweight depth a year ago?