Assuming the Frank Mir vs Shane Carwin winner is healthy enough to face Brock Lesnar this summer, it’s a no-brainer to pit Cain Velasquez against Junior dos Santos to determine the next number one contender, right? Well, according to the man calling the shots it isn’t.
“Dos Santos got himself in the mix the other day,” White said. “If you question whether he should be or not, he showed you the other night that he should be. The great thing is, a guy asked me out there, ‘Are you going to do Cain Velasquez against dos Santos now?’ The way I see it is, and the way my luck has gone lately, with injuries and stuff, I think you keep these guys in line.”
“You’ve got Mir and Carwin fighting, whoever comes out, if the winner doesn’t have any cuts or break his hand or anything like that, he goes right out and fights Brock Lesnar this summer,” White said. “Then you’ve got Cain Velasquez waiting in the wings for the next fight. Then you’ve got dos Santos ready for the next one. I like having those guys in line and we’ll have a lot of good fights — title fights that people actually care about.”
“[JDS] can fight again. It’s not like we’re going to put him on the bench and say, ‘Oh, we’ll hold you here.’ But you don’t have him fight Cain Velasquez. If he loses along the way to somebody else, he definitely wasn’t ready for Lesnar or whoever the champion is.”
So much for putting on the best possible fights. Outside of Lesnar, Mir and Carwin, Velasquez and JDS are the two top performing heavyweights in the UFC at the moment, and to be honest, you could arguably put both those guys ahead of Mir and Carwin based on their recent performances. I get the business aspect of it and lining up title contenders, but it’s a sport too and when you have the opportunity to pit two top guys against each other to find out who deserves to move up the ladder, you should. With the world’s top fighters divided among 3-4 different promotions, that’s not always possible. Do it when you can.