I have sat back and watched with some befuddlement over the recent JDS/Overeem/Cain soap opera that has unfolded. Josh Nason made some very salient points in his article today about the situation. Cain was announced as the next contender on national TV, FUEL albeit, by the UFC president, Dana White. End of story. Alistair Overeem is an unlicensed fighter who does not have a chance to get licensed till the end of this year. Furthermore, he broke the rules costing the company tons of money and disappointing the MMA community of fans and professionals alike. He is not in the picture right now. Who is in the picture if JDS defeats Cain is Daniel Cormier and with a win over Frank Mir he clearly deserves a shot at the UFC belt.
Daniel Cormier is a fascinating fighter on so many levels. There are few high level wrestlers who adapt and consistently improve their overall MMA game as Daniel has and those that do often become champions. He also defies the modern epitome of the elite MMA heavyweight. He's short, he lacks reach, he doesn't have a chiseled physique. If you ran into him on the street you probably wouldn't think this guy has a legit shot of being dubbed "the baddest man on the planet" but if you ask Josh Barnett or Antonio Silva they will set you straight. With a win over Mir he will have defeated three top 10 heavyweights consecutively. That gets just about anyone in the division a shot at the title and Daniel should be no different.
I understand JDS' anger and frustration with The Reem's taunts and his desire to just get it over with and shut his mouth decisively. I want to see that too, and let me add that one of the things I loved about the PRIDE era was they typically gave the fans the fights they wanted to see, regardless of extenuating circumstances. That did make PRIDE fun. But those days are over. The UFC has built their brand by having the best fight the best. There was a good amount of us who wanted to see Mark Hunt face JDS when Overeem blew up the event, it would have been fun. But, Mir was the next guy in line and this is a sport not a show, at least that is what is evolving into as it gains more attention. Aside from being a thrill of a fight there was little reason to give Hunt the shot over Mir, similarly there is little reason to give an unlicensed Overeem a shot before DC or Cain. An amazing return bout for The Reem would be the loser of the JDS/Cain bout. But if there are injuries let The Reem face Silva or Hunt or Barnett or even dare I say Werdum when and if he gets licensed. Give Cain his already announced title fight this fall and if Cormier is successful immediately do what's right and make him the number one contender.