Former heavyweight champion Brock Lesnar will first face off with Junior Dos Santos during the 13th season of “The Ultimate Fighter,” as announced on Tuesday, and then in June they will meet in the main event of what is expected to be UFC 131.
The key component to the match-up is there will be no interim title. The winner will, however, face Cain Velasquez upon his return later this year following surgery on his injured shoulder.
“No there’s no interim title,” UFC president Dana White confirmed. “Obviously these two are going to coach, and then they’ll fight, and the winner of that fight will fight Cain Velasquez when he’s healthy.”
There was a lot of speculation that the UFC would do an interim title with Velasquez sidelined for much of 2011, but now he’ll hold on to his belt and wait for the top contender to emerge after June.
Filming for the 13th season of the reality show will begin on Jan. 24 or 25, according to White, which will lead to the season debut on Spike TV on March 30. The TUF 13 finale is expected to take place in early June, and then the pay-per-view main event between Lesnar and Dos Santos.
While nothing has been confirmed by the UFC, White guaranteed the fight would happen in June and it could land in Vancouver.
“It’ll be at the June pay-per-view. It will definitely 100 percent be in June. Yeah, you could end up getting that fight,” White responded when asked about the fight landing in Canada.
Dos Santos and Lesnar will head out to Las Vegas in short order to begin work on the season, which will feature an all welterweight class of hopefuls, before the two goliaths meet to determine the next challenger for the UFC heavyweight strap.