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What's Next for Brock Lesnar, Cain Velasquez, and the UFC's Heavyweight Division?

LOS ANGELES CA - OCTOBER 20:  UFC Heavyweight champion Cain Velasquez (Photo by Josh Hedges/Zuffa LLC/Zuffa LLC via Getty Images)
LOS ANGELES CA - OCTOBER 20: UFC Heavyweight champion Cain Velasquez (Photo by Josh Hedges/Zuffa LLC/Zuffa LLC via Getty Images)
Zuffa LLC via Getty Images

New champion Cain Velasquez has no time to rest on his laurels. The UFC heavyweight kingpin, fresh off of a career defining win over Brock Lesnar and currently making the media rounds, knows exactly what's next for him. After taking some much deserved time with his family, Velasquez will do battle with fearsome Brazilian striker Junior dos Santos.

Velasquez will have to create a strategy from scratch - dos Santos is like the Bizarro Lesnar. Instead of dealing with a stronger and better wrestler, Velasquez will be face to face with a fearsome knockout artist. It's something that hasn't escaped the American Kickboxing Academy product:

"[Dos Santos] probably has the best stand-up in the heavyweight division. Plus, he has good takedown defense. He’ll definitely be a tough challenge for me."

Less certain? What's next for former champion Brock Lesnar. The former WWE star was part of a bizarre publicity stunt with The Undertaker that saw the legendary wrestler try to setup a Wrestlemania showdown. Lesnar and Taker would be a huge coup for the WWE and it's a match wrestling reporter Dave Meltzer says WWE owner Vince McMahon is very interested in:

Regarding the Undertaker-Brock Lesnar thing from last night, WWE has made Lesnar an offer to face Undertaker at WrestleMania. I don't expect anything to come of it, but nobody can read Lesnar's mind. It's smart business for Vince if he can pull it off. It was kept secret from many, if not most or all of creative. Obviously it was the talk of things backstage in Minneapolis today and everyone was asking everyone if they knew what was up.

UFC President Dana White told TMZ that it isn't going to happen:

Brock Lesnar is still under contract with the UFC ... he is not going to wrestle in the WWE. He cannot wrestle, box or fight anywhere else.

So what will be next for Lesnar? Sources tell me he will take several weeks before making any decisions. The UFC will likely offer him a rubber match with Frank Mir. While many expect that to be a big money fight, it's possible that high profile losses by both men has caused the fight to lose some luster.

If Lesnar wants to go another direction, possibly a rematch with Shane Carwin, another fighter has his sights set on Mir. Brendan Schaub won the biggest fight of his career Saturday night. Now he's looking to propel himself right into the the mix - and he's looking to use Mir as a stepping stone:

"I'd love to match up with Frank Mir. He's one of the stars in the division, and I think I would give him a lot of problems."

"It's in (UFC president) Dana White and (UFC matchmaker) Joe Silva's hands, but I think that would be a good fight for me," he said.

Despite constant complaining from a subset of MMA fans, the future remains promising for the heavyweight division in MMA. But it's a future that will need to be carefully crafted by UFC matchmaker Joe Silva. Getting the most value from veterans like Mir, while also building future stars like Schaub, is no easy task. It will be most interesting to see how Silva navigates these bumpy waters as the Velasquez/dos Santos/Carwin/Lesnar quartet battle for the title.


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