I’m almost shocked that Dana White didn’t go with the surprise and announce Brock Lesnar as the main event of the promotion’s debut on Fox, November 12th. Going with Junior Dos Santos versus Cain Velasquez for the UFC Heavyweight Championship is not a second option at all. Dana promised to deliver a big time main event for the Fox network debut and did not disappoint.
A couple years ago, the UFC Heavyweight division stole the spotlight away from the 205lb Light-Heavyweight division. With exciting fights, led by Brock Lesnar, his fights against Frank Mir, Randy Couture and up to the Shane Carwin fight had fans on the edge of their seats. Other notables like Cain Velasquez, Junior Dos Santos and even “Big Country” Roy Nelson were doing their part in keeping fans entertained.
After Brock Lesnar was rushed to the hospital and spent most of 2010 on the shelf, he returned to fight Carwin and then Velasquez in what would be his last fight before going back on the shelf. Set up to coach on The Ultimate Fighter and then go on to face Dos Santos, once again Lesnar was facing life or death with an intestine disorder.
Injuries to Lesnar and now current champion Velasquez who defeated Lesnar for the title last October, put the UFC’s marquee division on the shelf and out of the spotlight for most of 2011. Dos Santos ran through Shane Carwin. Carwin himself coming back from injury. But otherwise it was an uneventful 2011 for the Heavyweights.
The year however is ending with a bang. First in the UFC’s big event in Brazil, Big Nog Antônio Rodrigo Nogueira knocked out up and coming Brendan Schaub. And now on the docket at UFC on Fox 1 we have Dos Santos getting his much awaited title shot against Cain Velasquez. But that’s not all…
The biggest news of the summer’s end was that Zuffa, UFC’s and Strikeforce’s parent company, had dumped Strikeforce Heavyweight Champion and Grand Prix competitor Alistar Overeem. While coming as a shock, most even including Overeem still maintained his goal was to be in the UFC one day. Well last week he got his wish. Not only did Zuffa re-sign Overeem. They gave him the biggest fight of his career in the world’s number one promotion, the UFC.
Fans around the world have been clamoring for the Overeem vs Lesnar fight for a couple years now. And now we get it. One can’t help but wonder if that was White’s original Fox plan. Maybe the deal didn’t come together quick enough to make it happen. Cain and Junior thought they were going to fight in October. So pushing it back a month wasn’t a big deal to either fighter.
Setting up the year end brawl with Overeem and Lesnar December 30th will be sure to ring the new year in just right for UFC when they match up in Las Vegas. Welcome back to the UFC Heavyweight division. Better come strong because if a super fight with Georges St-Pierre and Anderson Silva happens in 2012 then the momentum could be stolen right back!
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