Earlier today, Shane Carwin tweeted that he expects to return to the Octagon at UFC 125 (January 1st, Las Vegas), but doesn’t have an opponent yet. He also promised that "If I knock my opponent out on 1-1-11 in the 1st round at the 1:11 mark I will give the gloves to a follower on Twitter." In other words, Shane will probably be hanging on to those gloves.
So who is this mystery opponent? The answer might be the most obvious one. Sources have informed MMAFighting.com that the UFC is trying to book Carwin against TUF 10 winner Roy Nelson, though the matchup could be delayed depending on Nelson’s knee surgery recovery. Carwin and Nelson had a brief Twitter feud in August regarding steroids and obesity, so they already seem to dislike each other. Plus, both guys are coming off of nasty losses, so the fight also has a nice redemption angle. Makes sense to us, especially since UFC 125 needs a prominent co-headliner. We expect Carwin to be the odds-on favorite in this one. Who’s picking Big Country for the upset?
In a related story, MMAFighting is also floating a report that former UFC middleweight champ Rich Franklin and former light-heavyweight champ Forrest Griffin will meet in a 205-pound feature at UFC’s February 5th show, tentatively labeled UFC 127. Franklin most recently knocked out Chuck Liddell in the main event of UFC 115, while Griffin hasn’t competed since his split-decision victory over Tito Ortiz last November. UFC 127 is already slated to feature Anderson Silva vs. Vitor Belfort, and Jon Jones vs. Ryan Bader.