Look ahead into the future, if you would, my readers.
Play the scenario of UFC 116′s Heavyweight Title war, Brock Lesnar vs. Shane Carwin, in your head. It doesn’t matter if you see the actual fight ending in the first round or the fifth round.
Just let your mind cool down, as you normally would tend to let it do, and visualize the fight going down the way you honestly see it going down.
Then, once you’ve finished letting that scenario of UFC 116 play through you mind, play the scenario of the recently announced UFC 117 battle between Junior Dos Santos and Roy Nelson.
When you’re done, answer me this: Did you see Lesnar beating Carwin? Did you see Nelson beating Dos Santos?
If you saw Lesnar retaining the belt and Nelson beating Dos Santos, don’t worry about it, you’re probably not the only one.
If you saw Lesnar losing the belt to Shane Carwin and Junior Dos Santos beating “Big Country,” you still shouldn’t worry. You’re definitely not the only one there.
I think Nelson could shock the UFC fans worldwide for sure , but I’ll back Dos Santos.
I’ll also back Carwin handing Lesnar his second pro loss and taking his title.
See, I do respect Lesnar. I’ll admit I’m a fan of Lesnar, and a win over Frank Mir is a win over Frank Mir, no matter how you want to slice it. I just happen to think Carwin has what it takes to maintain his streak of finishing fights before the end of round one by beating Brock Lesnar by a shocking TKO combination of strikes in round one.
Same with Dos Santos. Gabriel Gonzaga isn’t a potential threat to the title like he was when he earned his shot at Randy Couture , but the win Dos Santos had over “Napao” recently is seen as one of the biggest wins in the career of “Cigano.”
So wrap your mind around this…
What if Carwin winds up defending against Dos Santos?
Of course, everyone has probably heard that Cain Velasquez’s knockout of Antonio Minotauro Noguiera has put him at the front of the line to get the next crack at the belt, but consider for a second what would happen if Cain either didn’t go for the shot right away, had some unfathomable injury, or lost to Carwin.
From where I’m spectating, Junior Dos Santos has to be next in line for a shot at the belt after Cain Velasquez, but again, let’s say either Cain didn’t wind up contending for the belt right away, or he did contend immediately for the belt, and Carwin snapped Velasquez’s streak.
Imagine Junior Dos Santos vs. Shane Carwin.
What you have here are two guys known more for their knockouts than anything else.
Here, you have Junior Dos Santos, a man whose nickname means “gypsy,” and the word “gypsy” would feel inappropriate in Mixed Martial Arts if Dos Santos wasn’t a bit of a traveller—if he wasn’t willing to be a fighter’s fighter, a man willing to take on no heavyweight in the UFC that didn’t rank among the best and most promising heavyweights.
Dos Santos, despite losing a rematch to one of his victims by submission, has won three of his twelve career fights by some form of submission, and the other eight wins on his record were by some devestating form of knockout.
In the minds of a silent but strong multitude—a multitude that in no way includes Dos Santos himself, the Brazilian-bred Black House phenom is a “PRIDE killer.”
Across from him is Shane Carwin, a part-time engineer who almost had his nickname reflect the part-time profession, though if you view “engineer” in strictly MMA terms, Shane is one of the true engineers of today’s fight scene.
Just ask the 12 guys that Carwin has finished.
On top of that, name one opponent of either man that has left their fight with either man in the judges’ hands.
Now, the failure to recall a UFC win for either man by way of a tapout-by-submission-hold should make the notion that neither man can choke out an opponent a purely blasphemous belief.
Of the five opponents who have seen the loss column by way of submission after a fight with Carwin, four of those men have been caught in either a rear naked choke or a guillotine choke.
Of the three men who have lost to Dos Santos by submission, only one has tapped out to Dos Santos, and that way was by a guillotine choke.
This fight comes downs to the question of who can knock the other man out first, despite both men having belts in Brazilian Jiu-Jitsu—Junior’s a brown belt under Minotauro and Carwin’s a purple belt under Nate Marquardt.
Both men are solid stand-up fighters, though, and their boxing is some of the deadliest that you’ll see in MMA.
To get it to the ground by a takedown, Carwin’s likely to have the advantage with his wrestling, but to do so might mean putting himself in a position where he’d risk not finishing Junior before the end of round one, if Carwin even finished him.
For every bit of explosiveness that Carwin brings, Dos Santos can bring it just the same.
The ways one man could finish the other are an endless sort, but I will say that if they do fight, whether Carwin beats Lesnar on Independence Day weekend or not, this fight will be explosive.
The really amazing thing about both men is that they have meteorically risen to the top of the UFC Heavyweight division, much to the surprise of many. Where Dos Santos should have probably lost, he has won, and where Carwin’s perfect record should have snapped, it extended further.
If Carwin can beat Lesnar, there’s a chance that somewhere along the way, Dos Santos can go one on one with him, pending his performance over Roy Nelson as well as the more-than-likely bout between Carwin and Velasquez.
Either way, this fight has to be considered a dream fight if there ever was one in the heavyweight division.
Two talented fighters, two bright futures, and one belt.
This has all the makings for the most explosive heavyweight war in all of MMA…if Carwin can beat Lesnar at UFC 116.
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