Dana White Says Mir vs. Cain Will Happen; Where Does UFC Go From Here?

April 7, 2012
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Cain Velasquez and Frank MirBy now, everyone in the MMA world knows that Alistair Overeem tested positive for elevated levels of testosterone at last week’s surprise drug test following the UFC 146 kickoff press conference in Las Vegas.

After initially blowing his top when he found out about it, UFC president Dana White hasn’t had much to say yet about what is going to happen to the planned UFC 146 heavyweight title fight between champion Junior dos Santos and Overeem.

Most fans and pundits assumed that Plan B would be to slot Frank Mir in again dos Santos if Overeem is unable to pull off the miracle upset against the Nevada State Athletic Commission and clear his name. No one in mixed martial arts has overcome a positive drug test result in Nevada in the past, so it is unlikely that Overeem would become the first.

Mir, on the surface at least, appears the most logical candidate. He’s already been training to fight Cain Velasquez on the same card, so the timing is right. He is a former UFC heavyweight champion and interim champion. And although he failed to capture another interim belt when he faced Shane Carwin two years ago, Mir has since won three consecutive bouts, knocking out Mirko “Cro Cop” Filipovic, decisioning Ultimate Fighter winner Roy Nelson, and technically submitting Antonio Rodrigo Nogueira by breaking his arm.

Mir’s scheduled opponent, Cain Velasquez, could be another option. But having lost the belt to dos Santos in his last fight, losing by a quick first-round knockout, a rematch wouldn’t seem to be appropriate just yet.

White on Saturday took to Twitter apparently dousing any speculation about either Mir or Velasquez, however.

In response to a fan stating that he really wanted the Mir vs. Velasquez fight to remain intact, White tweeted, “Mir vs Cain will happen,” which leads everyone to wonder what the promotion’s next move will be should Overeem, as expected, be forced out of the fight with dos Santos.

The entire UFC 146 five-bout main card on pay-per-view is slated with heavyweights, so there are a number of other bouts to pull a participant from, although most don’t make a lot of sense to challenge for the title.

Roy Nelson and Antonio Silva are both coming off of losses, while Shane Del Rosario, Gabriel Gonzaga, and Stefan Struve haven’t really put together title-worthy runs yet either.

Mark Hunt has won three consecutive fights – besting Cheick Kongo, Ben Rothwell, and Chris Tuchscherer – but those names, especially on the heels of correcting a six-fight losing streak, don’t typically equate to championship challenger. Hunt has, however, found a growing legion of supporters on the Internet calling for him to be the man to step into the title fight.

For those wondering, Fedor Emelianenko is not an option. White has emphatically refuted any talk of wanting to sign the former heavyweight kingpin to any fight, let alone a title fight. Besides, M-1 Global recently announced Fedor will next fight in Russia on June 21.

There is the slight possibility, although unlikely, that White could pull Josh Barnett or Daniel Cormier from the Strikeforce Heavyweight Grand Prix final to face dos Santos, but considering Zuffa’s turbulent dealings with Showtime over the Strikeforce brand, this isn’t much of a legitimate option either.

Showtime wants the heavyweight tournament to come to a conclusion, plus they want the winner to fight at least once more on the network prior to completely dissolving the Strikeforce heavyweight division.

The UFC, of course, could put JDS on ice if Overeem is out. They could slot Frank Mir vs. Cain Velasquez in as the UFC 146 main event and let those two continue with the No. 1 contender’s bout that they’re already slated for. The winner then would face dos Santos somewhere down the road, maybe even as soon as UFC 152 in Toronto in September if healthy.

Of course, UFC matchmaker Joe Silva has climbed out of deep holes before, but Overeem has put him in a seemingly bottomless pit this time. Can he tap the magic once again?

What other options could there be?

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  • Iamrozylo

    Probably gonna pay Brock an undeserving, ridiculous amount of money to come back for one more beat down.

  • high off your ass rozylo. I think a decent choice would be Febricio Werdum. He is coming off a win over Big Country in his first fight back in the UFC since his humiliating loss to JDS. I think the marketing for that fight can be done to hype this fight as a ultimate chance at redemption for Fabricio. Yes, he did loose to Alistair before he beat Roy Nelson but Alistair is a juicer and has been since he loss to Chuck back in Pride(seriously, compare him from then to now and tell me he aint a juicer).

    That is my opinion, bring the hate comments fuckers.

    • i dont see a rematch btwn. JDS and Werdum being very marketable…at least now now…the only logical choice is either Mir or Cain…i dont buy the BS from DW…as it stands now, he claims Mir v. Cain fight is on…of course he does…as of now, Overeem cant be suspended because he wasnt licensed to fight in the 1st place…we wont know that final outcome of this mess until Overeem goes before the NSAC on April 24th…if Overeem somehow pulls a miracle excuse out of his ass he may still be able to get licensed, however unlikely that scenario is…in the event he doesnt get licensed for the fight, DW will pull either Mir or Cain from the fight and pair one of them up vs. JDS…100% guarenteed…DW stating the Mir v. Cain fight is still on is just a formality until Reem meets w/ the NSAC…

      • Cptmats

        This tells me JDS and Overiod will be pulled from the card and Mir vs Cain will become the main event. The winner will still face the winner of JDS Overiod which will be rebook at another venue where the athletic comission is a little more laxed, Like texas or maybe Canada !

      • MaritalArtist

        I agree with the Mir vs Cain being a formality until April 24. However, I don’t think Werdum or Hunt is out of the question. In fact, Hunt is a better choice, IMO, since he appears to be getting better with every fight. He’s really turning it around (not to take anything from Fabricio).

        But the problem is, who is most deserving. The answer is Mir, followed by Cain.

        So in that regard, Dana should probably stick Mir in there to get his ass knocked out, and put Hunt up against Cain for a #1 contender fight. And the loser would fight the winner of the #2 contender fight. God knows, there are plenty of contender fights at UFC 146!!

        I will tune in regardless of who it will be (I usually do), but something needs to be said regarding the marketability of the fight. That’s where, if money were the only issue, then they should really pay Brock a cool 1.5M and have him come back to (probably) get KTFO’d by JDS. Would he even have time to train? But he probably already signed something with WWE.

  • MMADork

    Why not Werdum? Granted, he’s on a one-win streak and hasn’t earned it, but he hasn’t had anything recent that can be considered embarrassing and has fought better talent, making him a better choice than other guys that are available. Of course, Werdum might already be scheduled to fight. I didn’t check.

  • johnnylopes

    Honestly Frank MIR is the only one deservin ofthe fight, if anything Mark Hunt is agood fit… 3 fight win streak against good guys, obvious his previous 6 fights are not worthy but fuck it why screw everything else up, give the fans what they want, JDS KO’s him or he KO’s JDS doesnt matter cause everyone wins

  • Could give the shot to Mir and have Antonio Silva slide up a spot and fight Cain. Then find someone for Nelson to fight.

    I think they’ll end up pulling JDS from the card and have him fight the winner of Mir – Velasquez in a few months.

    • MaritalArtist

      They just might do that, but I hope they don’t. I want to see JDS defend his belt soon!

  • Maine2Alaska

    Why not Werdum? Because that sounds amazingly boring. Im not trying to be a smart ass, but i really feel that would be such a shitty fight. Dos Santos has been on a tear. He looks unstoppable.. why put him in with someone he cracked harder than ever with one punch and put him down?
    I think HUNT would be the most exciting. Ko’ed Kongo, Ko’ed Tuchserer, Defeted Rothwell. He has an Iron chin.. and face. As stated earlier in this forum.. It would be a win win situation for the UFC. I would also love to see Mir vs Cain. Would be a shame to break that up.

    • rsnowbass

      I agree that Hunt is the best option and would be the most exciting. That dude can take some punishment and keep moving forward.

      On the flipside, If Hunt were to miraculously pull this one off (This is MMA, anything can happen) I’m sure Dana would hate to have a UFC Champ with abosolute ZERO personality and marketability…

      My .02


      • MaritalArtist

        Not sure I agree. I like the way Hunt carries himself. He appears to be a class act, much like Cain.

        • Cptmats

          I Agree about Hunt, he is a class act, Nothing like Cain that guys is a racist douche bag !

  • Lesner, lesner, lesner, stop talking about bringing back lesner, he is under WWE contract and Vince McMahon will never let him leave.

    So forget about bringing back Lesner it will never happen.

    • DrkDisciple

      I agree 100% further more when is the last time the ufc gave a fighter on a losing streak a title shot?

  • bdono554

    Randy! Randy! Randy! Not actually serious but it’s more believable than Brock.

  • smill0313

    Shelving jds for a few months may be the most logical thing to do, but a fight card without a championship on the line is not ppv worthy and should be free, I don’t care if the main event is still 5 rounds or not. That leaves frank mir who in my opinion was going to get stopped by velasquez. Eff overeem for this.

  • jessemalloy

    I would rather see Cain/Mir over the JDS fight anyway, so if they made the number one contenders fight the main event, I wouldn’t cry to anyone. Not that I’m not pumped for JDS to fight, but I see Cain/Mir being a show stealer.

  • julianmoran

    The card is stalked anyway. Take JDS out, and get him the Mir/Velaskes or Cormier/Barnett winner next, depending on who is injured/healthy.

    As of now, Nelson/Silva winner, Fedor, Hunt, Werdum all need to beat another big name before being in title contention.

  • ultimatebrosky

    Jon Jones if he beats rashad and has no injuries xD

    that would make the card interesting as hell again…

    • Anthony

      you know as ridicoulus as it sounds, id buy Bones vs JDS–talk about a super fight!!!!!!!

      • ultimatebrosky

        bones has to cut to get down to 205…what’s he walk around at 220? he says he’s wrestlin heavyweights to train for Evans…he’ll be in fighting shape by that time…I know its a lil out there but hey fans would love to see it…. and I think Jones would actually match up to jds very well…bones has taken a big fight to save a card b4… and come on its way better than throwing hunt, werdum or mir at jds… maybe if ppl bug Dana enough about bones like they did with fedor n hunt it could happen :P… is pay for a superfight like that…. only if overeem can’t compete though 🙂

        • MaritalArtist

          Ultimate Brosky, I think that’s the best idea I’ve heard yet! Even if he loses to Evans, stick him in there if he’s not seriously injured. It’s not like JDS has to cut from 280 or some shit like Brock did. They wouln’t be that far off in weight, and it might sell almost as many PPVs as Sonnen-Silva II. GREAT IDEA, IMO.

  • LongDongSilver

    Not to be a prick but Dan Henderson is being considered for this fight now, I guess waiting for a title shot means any division. He’s less likely to get KO’d than Mir or Werdum too.

  • bbtakayama


    He will do better than Brown Pride did.

    I think his credentials are just as good as Mir’s right now. Mir beat Cro Cop, Nelson and Big Nog. Mir has been knocked out five times…

    This fight would have a good old school pride feel to it. Good entertainment for sure.

  • bbtakayama

    or Josh Barnett, only lost to three people in 36 fights, and on a nice streak…

    • Cptmats

      Good point but i think Comier would be the best choice. His wrestling is prob the best in mma along with GSP and his boxing is pretty dam good too ! I think Barnett will be an easy fight for Cormier.

  • D-rail

    Mir would get KTFO and everyone knows this. They probably move Cain vs Mir to the main event. The only logical choice would be Hunt, a k1 striker that is willing to bang and give the fans a stand up war. Other than that, they will probably pull JDS from the card.

  • Towers66

    So much for a championship fight on this card. 🙁

  • They aren’t moving Mir to the title fight? I think Dana White is the one that needs a drug test. This card isnt good enough without a championship fight on it, and it now looks like there wont be one.

  • Anthony

    Man, theres gotta be a way to grease the athletic commision and let the Reem fight–even if its considered a “non title fight” like in the WWE….lol–Seriously, I really had my heart set on JDS vs Overeem–this whole thing sucks–biggest let down in the UFC’s history

    • MaritalArtist

      Long shot, but I would like to see that too. Maybe strike a deal with the commission where JDS gets half of Overeem’s purse (or 2/3), and it’s a non-title, and afterwards Overeem gets suspended for 6 months and signs something that if he ever is tested for anything over 6.00:1 he’s out permanently. Wouldn’t that be something if JDS would bet a juiced-up Overeem? You can be certain that, if offered, that JDS would accept!

  • matty

    It looks like dos santos will go back on the shelf. This sucks he will have to wait until late summer to fight winner of Mir Cain fight. UFC needs to fire Overeem ASAP!

  • Rence54

    This is a longshot, but Reem “could” go to the comission, claim that as he’s not currently licensed, what he does in his own time is between him and his doctor, demand a test right there and upon passing apply for his license. if he passes they dont have much ground to deny it do they?

  • Im glad Dana White is letting this fight happen so my boy Cain can show the world that Mir is the most overrated heavyweight fighter. Mir got lucky vs Big Nog

    • MaritalArtist

      Yeah, Mir got pretty lucky; he even half-assed sort of admitted it (he didn’t need to, we all knew).
      So long as you’re a top-10 heavyweight and don’t go rolling around with Mir, you should be able to win.

  • check out my video on youtube called “funny frank mir” and you will see for youselfs how overrated Mir is

  • dgs

    The real problem is, who does the man fight now? I have seen some suggestions, but none of them make sense right now. There is not a single UFC heavyweight worthy of a fight with Dos Santos. Mir has a weak chin, and I think Cain is going to pound him out, forget about the beating he would take from Dos Santos. Cain just got KO’d by Junior, so he doesn’t deserve an immediate rematch, Roy got schooled for three rounds by Junior so he doesn’t either. Carwin, nope, Junior already beat the stuffing out of him too.

    I say bring in Sergei Kharitonov, that would be a standup war!

    • Kharitonov would be a slugfest for sure. Barnett would be a good match up as well, but DW would have to swallow his tongue – he once said Barnett would never fight in the UFC. After a positive drug test, which sent Affliction fighting into oblivion.

      • XIRandomHeroIX

        Dana also said that Nick Diaz would never be back in the UFC because of his actions outside the cage but as soon as they bought out strikeforce Diaz got himself a title shot and ****ed it up because of his actions outside of the ring

  • ultimatebrosky

    Jon bones Jones 🙂 ….if he gets past Evans w/out injuries

    • MaritalArtist

      Time to BTFU (bulk the….), Johnny!

  • Fabricio would be a good move but maybe not financially for the ucf. I think this could mean mir vs velazquez would be the main event for the interim belt and for the unification bout to be contested down the road. but what happens to dos santos? He would have to wait 4 more months to fight? So with all this in mind maybe overeems apeal could be the factor why he gets the fight because he doesn’t have to submit it till closer to the fight so it will take the commision a couple of days after the fight for the results and this could be the ufcs loophole to keep the card intact and then release overeem. My over the top option being dan henderson which is next in line for a championship fight in either the middleweight or light heavyweight championship and both belts are going to be disputed soon so he would have to wait maybe 6 months depending on injuries to the champions and He’s fought heavyweights before, in pride and last year beating fedor. Just another option for Joe Silva : )

  • aintitthetruth

    I will buy the event if Mark Hunt fights for the title.

  • adam1848

    I would hardly be interested in seeing Mark Hunt fight for the belt if it was free on FOX. Noting against the guy as a person, but he is a complete can and has no future in the UFC beyond a few more gatekeeper roles. Big Foot Silva is the best option I have heard suggested so far, unless Bones wanted to give the ultimate F-You to Suga and take over the heavyweight division (which he probably could do) and not even fight Rashad. Not getting to fight Jones would be even more painful for Rashad than getting his ass kicked by him. Plus Rashad v Hendo for the LHW strap is a more interesting fight anyway. The only chance Rashad has against Bones is to squeak out a lay and pray decision like he did against Davis, whereas against Hendo the fight could go any way. Bones V dos Santos, Cain, Mir, Kongo…really any HW fight is more interesting to me than seeing him man handle Suga or Hendo. I like Hendo too much to want to see him fight Bones or JDS. Suga or Spider are both great match ups for him.

    • ultimatebrosky

      I like the way u think Mr 😉

    • Cptmats

      Mark Hunt is a Can ? You need to wake up man ! Mark Hunt would be a tougher fight than Overiod ! He is one of the most elite strikers on the planet.

      You can’t call a K-1 world champion a can if you know anything at all about fighting.

    • MaritalArtist

      I like your ideas. I don’t think Bones will pull out of the Evans fight. He has already made it very clear that Evans is the only thing that has gotten inside his head, and he needs to have this fight for his own personal/emotional/etc. reasons. He ain’t pulling out. However, what’s to stop him for fighting both of them if he isn’t seriously injured?

      That said, I also think Evans is a better striker than Jones, and that fight is not as lopsided as people think. Evans has lost one MMA fight in his entire life. Machida caught him. And he could very well have caught Jones too (either a little harder, or one more time before he was choked out), but it just so happened he didn’t. I’m not saying Evans is the favorite. He’s just not the +350 underdog that Vegas is saying he is. My 2 cents’.

      • adam1848

        Although I don’t think Evans is a better striker than Jones, I think he may be a more powerful striker, meaning if this fight ends in a KO, it could quite possibly be Rashad’s hand raised. If it ends in submission, it will definitely be Jones’ W, and a decision I guess could go either way. I don’t think we’ve seen Jones on his back much, and Rashad could put him there. But if Rashad stands in front of Jones I assume he’ll get beat down like Shogun and Rampage and (somewhat) Machida.

  • maddawgmar

    You idiots need to stop talking about Hunt, this guy is a joke who beat joke fighters. An 8-7 MMA record is not title worthy, it isn’t even title mentionable. If we win three or four more fine, but against tougher competition.

    This fight needs to be scratched or Mir replace Overeem, and the have Werdum step in to fight Cain.

    • Cptmats

      Mark Hunt is a k-1 world champion, and you call him a joke ? I think its pretty clear who the Idiot is here !

  • longtime fan

    In this order of who i think it would be: dan henderson, mark hunt, bones jones, werdum, and lastly barnett. And i think all of those except werdum would pull off the win. Really tho ive been saying for awhile now that if mark hunt was able to get a shot at jds without going through any ground fighters then he would beat him. Mark hunt has the best overall stand up game in the ufc. An explosive combination of hands, feet, and chin, he would put jds down.

    • shakejunt

      just because his fights don’t make it to the ground doesn’t mean you can disregard jds’ brown belt

  • RubeKegal

    JDS vs GSP for the best fighter with 3 initials!!!!!

  • adam1848

    “Mark hunt has the best overall stand up game in the ufc.”

    That one is priceless.

    • MaritalArtist

      Well, that’s pretty much what being a K-1 champ means.

    • Cptmats

      Mark Hunt is one of the most elite strikers on the planet dude, Thats what being a K-1 world champ means !

    • adam1848

      yeah, except he hasn’t won anything serious since 2003, he got koed by a body kick in 2008 in his “comeback,” and this is not K-1, this is MMA, and he hasn’t beaten anyone good in MMA in 7 years!

      look, I like Hunt, he’s a good guy who has done a lot for the sport, and maybe I shouldn’t be so disrespectful to him, but to call the guy the best striker in the UFC is absurd. I’m not even going to get into that. Hunt is cool, sorry to offend… I’m out. Rather talk about something else.

  • D-rail

    Whoever said that Big Foot is the best replacement for Overeem is a classic moron. We all want to see a stand up war, and frankly Mark Hunt fits the bill for that reason only. It’s a shame that people want to see the lamb (MIR) get sacrificed for the sake of entertainment. If Mark was such a bad replacement choice, then why is there a HUGE legion of people supporting that fight??

  • z999

    With Mark Hunt as a replacement the fight would at least be entertaining, and Mark is very close to the end of his career. Best to utilize the man now that he has a fine win streak rolling and the fans are behind him.

    No other fight is possible or makes sense.

  • Anthony

    You know, the more I think about this, the more I realize this could be the end for Overeem. The guys hooks are being physically superior to everyone he fights, and literally smashing them with a combonation of muy tai striking and overpowering strength . How can he ever come back to a fight looking like he usually does( a ripped 265lbs )and not have everyone all over him about the steroid issue.(the fans rode him before about his “suspected” usage, now that its confirmed, it will be 100 times worse.) He has to either go back down to 205lbs,or taper down his cycle and fight at 230-240lbs(a middle of the road heavy wt) . Any way you look at it, the mans at a serious career crossroads. Thats not even taking into consideration if Dana decides to fire his ass, and throw him out of the UFC. The Reem is screwed–no pun intended