by Damon Martin – MMAWeekly.com
It was a monumental night for Cain Velasquez at UFC 110. He knocked out Antonio Rodrigo Nogueira to place himself on the perch as a title contender, and a shot could come as soon as later this year.
With Shane Carwin and Frank Mir set to do battle in a five-round interim title fight next month at UFC 111, UFC president Dana White reiterated the winner of that bout would be the next top challenger, but confirmed Velasquez is ready for his shot as well.
“The heavyweight division is more exciting than it’s been in years. It just keeps getting better and better,” White said. “Obviously it’s great that Brock Lesnar is back now so we’ll see what happens with Frank Mir and (Shane) Carwin. See who wins that and if the guys come out unscathed, they’ll fight for the title, if not then Cain Velasquez will get that slot.”
White went on to praise Velasquez for his performance over a fighter he called possibly the greatest heavyweight of all time in Nogueira.
“Cain Velasquez went out and absolutely finished him, and looked completely dominant,” White commented. “In my opinion, better than he’s ever looked. The kid gets better every time he fights.”
While always remaining humble, Velasquez did speak up about his place as a top contender in the heavyweight division.
“I think so,” Velasquez answered when asked if he thought he deserved a title shot. “Whatever the UFC says, I’m going to be ready for it.”
The world’s attention will now turn to the March 27 fight between Carwin and former champion Mir. If the winner of that bout can’t go during the summer then Velasquez will get called up to face Lesnar.