by Damon Martin – MMAWeekly.com
As soon as UFC 116 was over, Brock Lesnar knew that Cain Velasquez would be the next guy in line to take a shot at his heavyweight title, presumably sometime later this year. After that match-up, the winner of Junior Dos Santos vs. Roy Nelson will become the next top contender, receiving a shot at whoever holds the title at that point.
The fight between Dos Santos and Nelson takes place at UFC 117 in Oakland, Calif. UFC president Dana White says the fight has title implications on the line.
“You’re going to see Cain and Brock fight, then coming up Dos Santos is going to fight ‘Big Country,’ and then the winner of that fight will get the next shot,” he said following the fights on Saturday night.
Dos Santos is on one of the most impressive streaks in the UFC’s heavyweight division since making his debut nearly two years ago. His first fight out of the gate was a first-round knockout of Fabricio Werdum. He then went on to pick up wins over Mirko “Cro Cop” Filipovic and Gabriel Gonzaga.
While content to take things slow and easy, Dos Santos and his management team feel the Brazilian is now ready to make that next step towards title contention.
“He’s young. He’s 26 years old. There’s no rush for him to get that belt,” said Dos Santos’ manager Ed Soares when speaking with MMAWeekly Radio recently. “Would I like him to fight for the belt? Would we take the opportunity? With a smile on our face, we’d take the opportunity. Do we think he’s ready? I think he’s ready.”
Roy Nelson has been aching for a title shot ever since winning the tenth season of “The Ultimate Fighter” reality show. The Las Vegas fighter has asked the UFC for the quickest route to the title shot. After knocking out Stefan Struve in his last fight, he earned the bout with Dos Santos.
If Nelson gets past Dos Santos, he gets his wish.
The fight between Nelson and Dos Santos will be on the main card for the UFC 117 pay-per-view headed up by middleweight champion Anderson Silva defending his belt against Chael Sonnen.