(Will the pain from Shane fall mainly on the Cain? Photos courtesy of Sherdog.)
During an appearance on the Opie and Anthony show, Dana White had this to say about the UFC’s heavyweight title picture: "We’ve got Shane Carwin and Cain Velasquez fighting and probably the winner of that fight will fight Brock Lesnar."
Are Carwin and Velasquez worthy of the honor? Sure, in the sense that they’re both incredibly talented, exciting to watch, and undefeated. But like many #1 contenders matches, timing is everything. From my angle, the winner of Carwin/Velasquez would have to fight the winner of Cro Cop/Dos Santos to truly determine who’s worthy of the next heavyweight title shot. Unfortunately, that would take too long, and the UFC needs to strike the Brock-iron while it’s hot.
Still, Shane vs. Cain will get the job done. After all, both possess the wrestling chops to avoid the smothering that Brock put on Heath Herring and Frank Mir, and Carwin in particular has the striking power to give Brock a bad night. (For the same reason, he’ll probably come out on top against Velasquez, who was repeatedly put on queer street by Cheick Kongo at UFC 99, and relied on his vast wrestling advantage to even the playing field — an advantage he wouldn’t have over Shane or Brock.)
And of course, Carwin vs. Velasquez is a more legitimate #1 contender fight than the upcoming welterweight match between Mike Swick and Martin Kampmann. The winner of that one gets a golden ticket to his own funeral. Good luck with the reconstructive surgery, guys.