Heavyweight tournament to culminate at UFC 100 on July 4th

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Heavyweight tournament to culminate at UFC 100 on July 4th

UFC heavyweight champion, Brock Lesnar is set to sit out the first half of 2009, making his return to the octagon at the promotions celebration event, UFC 100 on July 4th.

His opponent will be the winner of the UFC 92 clash between interim champion, Antonio Rodrigo Nogueira and former champion, Frank Mir.

After being in action three times in ten months during his debut year in the UFC, sources close to the UFC champion have indicated to MMABay that the star will take some time out to recover and spend time with his pregnant wife before beginning training for the showdown for the undisputed UFC heavyweight crown on Independence Day.

Lesnar has made it clear who he would like to face, singling out Frank Mir, the man who defeated him in his UFC debut in February. Keen to set the record straight Lesnar made statements before his fight with Randy Couture that both he and Mir know the outcome would be very different second time around.

Mir first has to get past fellow “Ultimate Fighter” coach Nogueira who has never been stopped in his 37 mma fights to date. Having fought the best in the world and possessing some out the best Jiu-jitsu and boxing in the heavyweight division, Mir will certainly have an uphill task come December 27th.

Whichever one is successful will move on to face the unenviable task of trying to prise the UFC title from Lesnar’s grasp, something he will not give up without a serious fight.

By Michael Pepper, of mmabay.co.uk

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That leaves Lesnar with over eight months to train, and two things strike me about that.

Firstly, the difference between the Lesnar that had a rush of blood and got submitted by Mir and the Lesnar that mauled Heath Herring for three rounds was apparent. This itself was different to the Lesnar we saw defeat Couture. People at his camp say he's like a sponge, absorbing and soaking up information and techniques rapidly. That doesn't bode well for whoever his opponent will be on July 4th.

Secondly, eight months seems a good amount of time to allow Zuffa/UFC's investment to develop even further and become a legitimate and credible champion. Not many people would favour him over Nogueira at the moment, perhaps rightly so, but eight months down the line, the story could be different.

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