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The Fight That Needs to Happen: Junior Dos Santos Wants Cain Velasquez


(Photo courtesy of MMAFighting.com.)

After his first-round TKO of Gabriel Gonzaga on Sunday, Junior Dos Santos boldly announced that he was ready for a title shot. But there are some timing-related realities he has to deal with: The interim title fight between Frank Mir and Shane Carwin, Brock Lesnar‘s return this summer (hopefully), and Cain Velasquez‘s equally high standing in the heavyweight pecking order. So instead of pleading for a title shot, Dos Santos is angling for the next best thing:

"I don’t know who I’m gonna fight [next]. I’d like to fight against [Cain] Velasquez. He’s a tough guy, but the UFC has other great names too. I just wanna fight against the best and with the best, that’s what I’m waiting from the UFC now. [Velasquez is] a very complete guy. His wrestling is superior than mine, but I think I can surprise him on striking. I’d train a lot of ground game for this fight too, it could make some difference”

Well, we’re already sold. Not only would Dos Santos vs. Velasquez establish a legitimate title contender after the Mir/Carwin winner fights Brock Lesnar, there’s already a "you killed my master" storyline in place, considering that Velasquez is fresh off his drubbing of JDS’s mentor, Antonio Rodrigo Nogueira. Though to hear Dos Santos tell it, payback is not what he’s after:

“It’s not about revenge, I’m cool with that, so is Rodrigo. I’d fight Cain for who he is, an undefeated fighter, a great fighter inside the UFC. I’d like to face him because of that. This revenge thing, I think Rodrigo can get that.”

If you ask me, Dos Santos vs. Velasquez is the only heavyweight contender fight that makes sense. But Dana White doesn’t seem very hot on the idea — at least not yet. During the UFC on Versus post-fight press conference, DW said he has to wait to see how Mir vs. Carwin shakes out before announcing Junior’s next fight: 

"They’re all going to fight. All these guys in that lineup are going to fight, but we’ve got to figure out how it’s all going to go down. Mir and Carwin are going to get this thing started. We’ll see what happens there, and the great thing is, we’re a week away from that."

So why would a contenders’ match between Dos Santos and Velasquez depend on the outcome of Mir vs. Carwin? Allow us to speculate…

— Maybe Dana doesn’t want to eliminate one of his potential title contenders by making them fight each other. Instead, he’ll green-light Cain Velasquez for a title shot first, and make Dos Santos knock off one more guy, like the loser of Mir vs. Carwin.

— Maybe Dana feels it’s too early for Mir vs. Lesnar III. So, if Mir beats Carwin on Saturday, he’ll have to fight either Velasquez or Dos Santos before he gets Brock again, "interim title" be damned.

— Maybe Brock Lesnar isn’t ready to return this summer, or needs a non-title tune-up fight first. If this happens, he’d probably be stripped of his title. In that scenario, the Mir/Carwin winner would need somebody to fight. Either Dos Santos or Velasquez would do.

None of these situations are ideal. Hopefully, everyone stays healthy, the interim heavyweight champ fights Lesnar this summer, and Dos Santos and Velasquez are free to fight each other, even if it means one of them gets knocked down a peg on the contender ladder. Doing it any other way means the best aren’t fighting the best.

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rlh61- March 24, 2010 at 7:22 am
@robthom and ghostboner...

That's the kind of stuff that keeps me coming back to CP every day! The analogy is relevant in so many ways...like Mir needing a harpoon gun if he's going to beat Lesnar again.
KingZipperhed- March 24, 2010 at 2:52 am
wooop woooop dont care gonna be a shitload of good fights thats all i know pick two guys make em fight each other win win for us
Walrus- March 24, 2010 at 12:16 am
Let the white men settle their business.

This whole hispanic thing...

...will work itself out.
munche- March 23, 2010 at 5:18 pm
Am I the only one that remembers them saying that Cain was going to fight Brock if the winner of Mir/Carwin is hurt? If Carwin gets a broken nose or hand while knocking Mir out, they don't want to leave Brock on the shelf, so in goes Cain. If Carwin comes out peachy keen healthy, then Cain will probably fight JDS.

Not too complex of a situation there, folks....
Yeti Stomp- March 23, 2010 at 4:56 pm
Agreed that if Moby Chest Dick Lesnar does not fight this summer, he should be stripped. Didn't take the UFC long to strip Mir of the title when he was hurt/couldn't fight.

The point I'm trying to make there is that a rule is a rule, and it shouldn't matter what puts a guy out of action. Call it 10 months where the champ is unable to defend, strip him. If he's capable of overcoming whatever put him out of competition, he'll work his way back to contender status. If able to do so, then the fans will celebrate that guy as a true champion.
Azzkicker90- March 23, 2010 at 3:16 pm
I don't think these 2 should fight just yet. June is in 10 weeks and after the brawl that will be Mir vs Carwin I don't think the winner will be ready to face Brock. I think Cain should fight Brock in June for the title and the interim champ will fight the champion this fall. JDS should fight the loser of Mir vs Carwin to gain a top contender position.

If Brock doesn't come back this summer then his belt should be stripped. Of course this will most likely not happen since DW and Brock are buds. We all know that the HW division is stacked and a bit congested but we should have a true champion by the end of this year. Maybe by that time Mirko CroCop will be back in true head kick/knock out fashion and maybe Fedor will tell M-1 to fuck off and fight the best in the world in the UFC.

robthom- March 23, 2010 at 3:07 pm
@ Ghost, yeah there was a few good possibilities there to be considered so I just chose 2 and went with it.

I didn't even think of moby dick chest though.
Lol :)
Stash- March 23, 2010 at 2:58 pm
Why has it taken Shane Carwin an entire year before they put him on a card?
Yeti Stomp- March 23, 2010 at 2:30 pm
Kongo? Dude, that guy's not even relevant in the UFC anymore. Not only would it be insulting, it would be a punch in the dick to put either of these two atomic fireballs against a chump like Kongo while they're en route to a title shot.

Keep in mind that Kongo just fought Paul Buentello. Mr. 2000 himself, and he wasn't that shit-hot then either. Today, i dunno what he is, but he's no UFC caliber fighter.

JDS and Velasquez are on the rise, and Kongo is on the fall. The only contact either of the two young guns ought to have with Kongo on the way up is to use his prone body as a stepping block.

Just sayin'.
ghostboner- March 23, 2010 at 2:13 pm
@robthom - I am still laughing. the combinations there are all just classic. Frankhab Mir vs Brock Dick (chest). Or my favorite, Moby Dick Chest.
Titos Head- March 23, 2010 at 2:08 pm
I agree...this must HAPPEN
Lecter- March 23, 2010 at 2:04 pm
@LargeMidget - that just wouldn't work. While sound in theory, for Cain to fight the winner of Brock v Mir/Carwin would mean a huge layoff for him. He'd be waiting around for 6 months to get back in the cage.

As mentioned, while Cain/JDS would be a great fight and establish a true number one contender, it just wouldn't be smart business for the UFC. Cain finished Big Nog, one of the reasons Frank Mir is a week away from a title fight and JDS finished Gonzaga, one of the reasons Shane Carwin is a week away from a title fight. Both Cain and JDS have proven they deserve a shot, and to pit them against each other would turn two legit contenders into one.
Clyde- March 23, 2010 at 1:54 pm
This could be a great fight, assuming that Dos Santos can stay on his feet for the first minute. We've not seen much of his takedown defence so it could turn into a long night for JDS. I don't think Cain has enough of an ego problem to try and prove anything in the standup.

But there is a good chance that they won't want to do it. I know the UFC keeps going on about how "stacked" the division is right now, but lets face it, there's 4 guys vying for the title right now and then there's brock. And he's fought one of the challengers twice already. Given that the loser of Mir/Carwin will probably be out of the running for 6-12 months as they'll probably need at least 2 wins after that before they get another shot. The UFC wants their campions to defend al least 2 times a year, and they'd prefer 3.

I too would like to see JDS Vs Kongo, but that's just because I don't like kongo. The match would prove nothing.
Goat- March 23, 2010 at 1:53 pm
Mir vs. Carwin: Winner gets Brock this summer
JDS vs. Cane: Winner get next title shot
-- Loser of both fight eachother in September
-- Guy who loses twice in a row fights Roy Nelson

I want Joe Silva's job.

Smitty- March 23, 2010 at 1:52 pm
No one can beat Dos Santos right now. He WILL be champ, and you can take that to the bank!
superflat- March 23, 2010 at 1:48 pm
Honestly, I think Dana is doing what any sane business man would do -- giving a guy who just fought some time to recover and waiting for a relevant fight to finish (Mir/Carwin) before making any kind of announcement. What if Dos Santos discovers he has an injury? What if Mir and Carwin simultaneously knock each other out and can't fight for six months? In any case, the announcement will have more punch after this weekend's card. At this point it would only distract from a PPV White is currently trying to market.

Man I feel like a killjoy.
Times Infinity- March 23, 2010 at 1:41 pm
Uhh remember those numbers on the recent ppv's not containing a title fight? I do, thats why Dana wants to drag out the heavy weight title drama well into 2011. More title fights equals more ppv buys. Dana is taking advantage of an unseen (at least to me) boom in the relevance of heavy weight title contendors and competition in the division.
budsellers- March 23, 2010 at 1:37 pm
another possibility is that strikeforce may end up having no choice but to cut fedor and then m-1 would have no other option for fedor other than to let him sign a ufc contract(without any considerations for themselves).

in that case, fedor would likely get to pick his opponent of those 5 men and i am sure each of them would accept that fight!
El Guapo- March 23, 2010 at 1:34 pm
What, no Mumbles? Toney will "break them mawfukas down, nawmsayn"?

In all seriousness tho, Dana's all about the greenery. And I'm not talkin kush, either. He'll milk these guys till all that's left is a title shot, let them beat up a Joe Schmo or five. I highly doubt he matches Cain and Junior anytime soon.
LargeMidget- March 23, 2010 at 1:23 pm
It's simple, really.

Winner of Mir/Carwin fights Brock for the title.

Dos Santos fights the loser of Mir/Carwin.

Valesquez fights the winner of Brock vs. Mir/Carwin.

___


That, or they're gonna do Kongo vs. Dos Santos. Would be an excellent fight I think, even if Kongo isn't quite as high on the totem pole right now.
robthom- March 23, 2010 at 1:18 pm
Possibly the most interesting HW match that can be made right now next to Ahab Frank vs. Moby Lesnar.
RaginAsian- March 23, 2010 at 1:17 pm
I disagree with the closing statement. Giving JDS the loser of Mir-Carwin might mean one of them doesn't have forward momentum, but that doesn't mean they aren't one of the best the division has to offer. I think either one of them represents another step up in competition still for JDS from hot and cold Gonzaga.

I still think we need to see JDS's ground game tested more thoroughly before his title shot, though. Anyone remember when we had to learn Jeff Monson couldn't strike the hard way?
Get Off Me- March 23, 2010 at 1:15 pm
I think Dos Santos deserves a shot before Velasquez, but a match between the two would be best to decide this.
Dos Santos will beat Velasquez in my books, training with the pedigree of fighters he trains with at his age, Dos Santos is a diamond right now, his boxing is similar to lil' Nog, he has heavyweight power and he has takedown defense. Big Nog I am sure has also made sure he is more than competent on the ground.

ImataleaoU- March 23, 2010 at 1:13 pm
You see, call me crazy but I think that if the UFC puts that fight between JDS and Cain Velazques, they could ruin one of those contenders and wipe out the division. Basically we are looking at 4 real contenders aside from the champ (B.Les) and so if JDS and Velasquez throw down you will only be looking at 2 contenders after the Mir and "engineer of Pain" instead of 3 which would be Mir & Carwin winner plus JDS and Cain. I think it's a good thing to hold off on making rash decisions and still make the Heavy weight division look stacked. There are no other real threats as up and comers and if the UFC ruins one more contender and Brock puts a whippin on the other 2, then the heavy weight division would no longer be stacked and that means less fights from Lesnar which means less payper views and so on so forth.. Get it children?
BigCuev- March 23, 2010 at 1:08 pm
Dana White see's Dos Santos as a young excellent prospect, a future star for him. I dont think he wants to fuck all of this up by feeding him to Velasquez. He's playing it safe with Jr........
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