UFC heavyweight champion Cain Velasquez is currently undefeated sporting a 9-0 record. With his dismantling of former champion Brock Lesnar, Cain is currently the top heavyweight in the UFC and possibly in all of mixed martial arts. In these slides we will go over the fighters who may have the best chance at defeating Cain and becoming champions themselves.
Thankfully we don’t have to wait too long to see this fight come to fruition. Junior Dos Santos is one of the most dangerous strikers, not just in the heavyweight division but in the UFC period. The Brazilian trains out of the famous and well respected Black House gym with the likes of Anderson Silva, The Nogueira brothers and Lyoto Machida to name a few.
Sporting a 13-1 record, with his only career loss coming by way of an armbar submission back in 2007, Junior Dos Santos has been powering through the UFC’s elite heavyweights. He most recently defeated Shane Carwin via unanimous decision and while Carwin did land a few good shots on Dos Santos he never seemed to be at all hurt.
In fact Dos Santos nearly finished Carwin in the first round. Dos Santos also showed that he is not all about his stand up as he took Shane Carwin to the ground at will on two separate occasions. With Junior riding an eight fight win streak, he is the current number one contender to the heavyweight title.
I won’t go on and on about this fighter since most mixed martial arts fans know him already. All I will say is I am looking forward to this fight that is set to take place on November 21st.
I know, I know. Carwin just lost a fight where he was punished by Junior Dos Santos for three rounds, but regardless of his performance, Shane is still a very dangerous fighter with knockout power in each hand. Although he’s not shown it much in his fights Shane is a very skilled wrestler and could give Cain Velasquez a run for his money.
Cain is said to have the best cardio of anyone in the heavyweight division and with Shane Carwin dropping close to 20 pounds of weight recently we know that he won’t be gassing out like he did in the Lesnar fight.
If this fight ever gets made. It should be quite a slug fest as both fighters are heavy handed and great at striking. However after suffering two straight losses, it may be a while before we see Shane Carwin back in title contention.
Unfortunately their were no photos available for me to use on this slide.
Cheick Kongo is an extremely scary fighter in the octagon. He could possibly be the man to take the title from Velasquez with his powerful striking and solid ground game. Kongo makes this list for two very specific reasons.
1. He is the only man to go the distance with Cain Velasquez so we know that cardio will not be a problem. Granted he lost that fight via unanimous decision.
2. He not only has a good chin, he also has amazing power in his hands as well as determination to keep the fight going as he displayed against Pat Barry back on June 26th at UFC live. It was one of the most stunning comebacks in the history of the sport. Perhaps he could catch Cain in a rematch.
Many people seem to believe that Frank Mir has become a gatekeeper among the heavyweights and maybe he has but lets not forget that he has beat some great fighters during his time. Not to mention the fact that Frank has probably the most dangerous guard in the heavyweight division.
Time and again he displayed the ability to not only knockout but submit his opponents when he was in bad positions. Case in point, his first fight with Brock Lesnar. Lesnar was seemingly dominating Mir in the first round but made a mistake and Mir sunk in a nasty kneebar forcing the soon to be champion to tap out.
Frank has also submitted the fighter from the previous slide, Cheick Kongo with a guillotine choke. Frank has knocked out the likes of Antonio Rodrigo Nogueira and Mirko “Cro Cop” Filipovic. However Frank has had some bad luck against big guys like Brock Lesnar and Shane Carwin who have both beaten him by TKO.
With Frank Mir winning his last two fights in dominant fashion, it will be interesting to see if he might be in line for a title shot soon.
No image for this guy either. Sorry.
This fighter makes the list not simply because I like his nickname but because he has shown the potential to be a champion in the future. Say what you will about this guy but he finishes his fights.
With his 21-2 record he has 15 wins by knockout or TKO. Five wins have come by submission and only one win was a judges decision.
He made his debut at UFC 131 defeating Jon Olav Einemo by technical knockout. Pee Wee looked pretty good in that fight and showed his willingness to stand in the pocket and trade strikes with his opponent.
He posses a lot of power in his strikes judging by his knockout wins. This guy could pose a serious threat not only to Cain Velazquez but any future heavyweight champion as well. Keep an eye on this guy.
Just hear me out...
I know he already lost once to Cain Velasquez. Not only did he lose, but he lost the heavyweight title in embarrassing fashion. The reason that Lesnar makes this list is the fact that he is still a tough opponent for anyone to handle. Ask Frank Mir or Shane Carwin. Even though he barely got by Shane, that was a huge come from behind victory for Lesnar.
Brock possesses wrestling skills that are second to none, and he has lots of power in both of his hands. Anyone remember when he broke the orbital bone of Heath Herring with one punch? Lesnar only has a 5-2 professional record, which of course is nothing to brag about, but he has beaten good fighters such as Randy Couture and as previously stated, Frank Mir, who also appears on this list.
As most of us already know, Lesnar is currently recovering from a second bout of diverticulitis, which took him out of action for a year the first time around. Since that time, Brock has demonstrated a willingness to change and a humble attitude as well.
He is not the same arrogant champion that publicly trashed the UFC sponsor Bud Light and flipped off the entire crowd. He seems to have changed his perspective on things, and assuming he is able to come back and train again, maybe this time he will focus on developing his striking game more so he can possibly become a champion again, however likely or unlikely that may be.