Roy Nelson scored another nice win this weekend, and now a few folks are throwing around the term title shot attached to his name. I enjoy watching Roy, and he is a quality fighter who has never backed away from facing the best Heavyweights in the business... but I generally think of him as a UFC gate keeper, not a title contender. When I look at the division there are really no exciting prospects working their way through the ranks.
Travis Browne could make some noise, but hasn't been able to break through to become an real contender for the belt.
Stefan Struve has never showed the leap in improvement that many have expected. The amount of brutal fights that he has been in (JDS, Beuntello, Nelson, Hunt) will probably catch up with him before old age.
Stipe Miocic is coming off his first loss, but could still crack the top 10 at some point.
Todd Duffee could make some noise, but hasn't been the most active fighter prior to, or since he returned to the UFC.
What UFC needs and should be hoping for is a group like the 2008 group of prospects that infused a lot of life into the division, and set the stage for a great period of HWs.
April 2008 - Cain Velasquez (2-0 MMA) debuts against Brad Morris
May 2008 - Shane Carwin (8-0 MMA) debuts against Christian Wellisch
Oct 2008 - Junior Dos Santos (6-1 MMA) debuts against Fabricio Werdum
Dec 2008 - Pat Barry (3-0 MMA) debuts against Dan Evensen
Four of these men have held the UFC HW or Interim HW title, and Barry has been a divisional main stay in some pretty exciting fights.
There is no fighter out there with the hype of Lesnar, but is there someone with the ability? Is there a group like these guys who could come onto the scene over the next year and blast the old guard of guys like Mir, Nog, Nelson, Hunt, Carwin, Bigfoot, Gonzaga, Rothwell, Kongo and Overeem out of the way?
Steve Mocco the former Olympic Wrestler, and 2 x NCAA D1 national Champ made his debut several months ago. He could fast track to UFC with a few more nice wins... but what other prospects are out there. The lack of talent that I've seen not just coming into UFC, but also Bellator tells me that there just isn't much out there.