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Shane Carwin Says Alistair Overeem Is Close to Signing With the UFC

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UFC heavyweight Shane Carwin has been out of action since his loss to Junior dos Santos at UFC 131, but he is a regular poster on The Underground. Today, he had something very interesting to say in regards to another top heavyweight, former Strikeforce heavyweight champion Alistair Overeem. Here's what he said:

I had a chance to speak with him (Overeem) at the Magic Convention in Las Vegas (no we were not the big and tall models) and he said that he and Dana were close to a deal and he would likely be in the UFC before 2012. I think he would make a great addition to the roster.

When I decided that I was going to try for the UFC the HWT division was not nearly as stacked as it is today. The up and coming guys have tons of talent and heart and the top of the division is full of super talented guys. I am excited about all of the potential fights. I have gone to war with many of these guys in my mind and I can't wait for an opportunity to hit and be ht by them.

He then asks people who he should fight next. He doesn't make any particular challenge towards Overeem or say he'd like to fight him, like Frank Mir recently did in an interview with MiddleEasy. Carwin stated recently that he probably wouldn't return until early 2012 anyway, so Overeem would have to wait a bit to face Carwin. That being said, who would be Alistair Overeem's first opponent if he signed with the UFC? It's a short list:

Shane Carwin - It seems like the most natural matchup to me, barring an immediate title shot. Carwin's wrestling could give Overeem trouble, and Carwin has shown a very good chin and a lot of heart. While I would definitely favor Overeem if forced to choose between them, I think Carwin would put up a better fight than the next four candidates.

Brock Lesnar - Dana White says he'll be back in early 2012, so it's a possibility if Overeem wants to wait. Rumors have been circulating that Lesnar wants to fight Frank Mir again for his comeback fight though, and Brock generally gets what he wants (even if Mir's not all that into it).

Frank Mir - Same situation as above. If Mir's booked against Lesnar, that takes him off the table. If not, he still doesn't seem like the most viable candidate for Overeem's first fight though. Mir has been crushed by power strikers in Lesnar and Carwin already, and I'm not sure it's a fight the fans would clamor for.

Antonio Rodrigo Nogueira - Big Nog resurrected his career with the win over Brendan Schaub at UFC 134, but I really hope they don't book this. I like Nogueira. I don't want to see him get knocked out in devastating fashion.

Brendan Schaub - I really can't see the UFC giving Schaub that fight coming off a brutal loss to Nogueira.

Loser/Winner of Cain Velasquez vs. Junior dos Santos - If Overeem is looking to fight this year, then that is likely out the window due to the Cain/JDS fight not going down until November. If he's willing to wait, it's more likely (in my opinion) that Overeem fights the winner in a straight title shot. Dan Henderson was given two title shots straight away after coming over from Pride as a dual champion, and Nick Diaz is getting one straight away as well. Jake Shields didn't, but he is nowhere near as popular as Alistair Overeem. Even though Overeem was stripped of the Strikeforce heavyweight belt, the champion vs. champion storyline would be pretty huge.

Obviously this is all speculation until Dana White gets Overeem's name on a contract, but it seems like there are few options for him anyway. I do have one question though - why the heck were Alistair Overeem and Shane Carwin at a magic convention?

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