We’ve all seen the previews. We know how big they are. We know what’s at stake. I’m not going to focus on the styles or match-ups yet. I could write on this forever. But rather, I want to echo the previous post, “UFC Heavyweight Fight: Lesnar vs. Overeem“, and add my own $.02 if I may, on the possibilities that may be facing the heavyweight division after this all goes down on December 30th.
I agree with our contributor Jeff Herbst in that the heavyweight division was in all sorts of trouble about 3 years ago, and it still has a lot of work to do. There are two great fighters in the UFC at heavyweight right now, that being Junior dos Santos and Cain Velasquez. We had the two best in MMA go at it in November and we all loved it in all of its 64 second grandeur. Lately, it seems nobody has really done anything in the division to warrant a third person involved in this conversation.
That’s exactly what UFC 141 is producing. The winner of this match is getting a title shot, the winner will get a huge career boost that they would need. Lesnar can prove to the doubters that he’s back and better than ever and be one step closer getting his belt back, and Overeem can rightfully say that he belongs among the best, that he wasn’t a big fight dodger, and a win could solidify that. We all gain something out of the upcoming UFC 141. But, let’s face it, the loser of this fight has an uphill battle. If the loser is Lesnar, that moves the former “Baddest Man On the Planet” to 5-3 overall. What does each man face with a possible loss? Let’s find out.
With Big Nog and Shane Carwin being out indefinitely, Lesnar probably gets matched up with the likes of Cheick Kongo—almost by default. This, of course, barring any migration of a Strikeforce fighter taking the leap into the UFC. I see a short list of Strikeforce fighters that the UFC would sign like a Josh Barnett or a Shawn Jordan, perhaps, but we’ll have to see how soon Strikeforce effectively dissolves the heavyweight division.
With Brock being such a huge draw, it would be a letdown for the common fan, and the luster of the division could once again be looked at in question. I’m not saying it’d be bad for the UFC, they always find a way to rise above, and the UFC is too smart to let it be bad for them. But, it might take away from the avid fan who buys a pony keg, and invites a few of his buddies over to watch some fights that night.
If Overeem lost, well…. it’s way too early to say what will happen with Overeem, so speculation is futile because it’s his first fight in the UFC. His contract is deemed to be “long term”, and it was just signed in September. He’s 31 years old, so he’s not going to just fade away. But, it’s not like Dana signed him so he could put tomato cans in front of him and win easy. I think it’s pretty evident he’s going to get thrown to the wolves, even if he loses.
But, if he loses, and depending on how he loses, it might take a lot for him to just to get to the top of the heap again. He’d likely have to go through a steady diet of Chieck Kongo, Cain Velasquez, and Frank Mir just to get into the conversation. This is also not knowing when Shane Carwin is going to step back in either. That’s a big task.
I think the loser of this fight will have the fight of all fights in their hands, but for now, I’m sure both of them would just settle for each 10 days from now and worry about the rest later.
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