In May of this year, Croatian-American super athlete Stipe Miocic knocked out an over-aggressive Fabricio Werdum to win the UFC heavyweight title. Since then, the new champion has defended the title with a first-round knockout of heavyweight legend Alistair Overeem.
After this busy stretch of action, Miocic has elected to take some time off to recharge. While he enjoys this well-deserved bit of R&R, the heavyweight division’s top contenders are all working hard to stake their claim at the next crack at his title.
In all likelihood, that next title shot will go to the winner of UFC 207’s Cain Velasquez vs. Fabricio Werdum bout. Both men, after all, are former champions, and both have rebounded from their most recent losses with defeats of heavyweight fringe contender Travis Browne. Whoever emerges the victor of their Octagon-shaking scrap should get the next crack at heavyweight gold.
If Junior Dos Santos, another former champion, has anything to say about it, this will not be the case. Instead, Dos Santos Santos thinks he should be allowed to skip the line for the next heavyweight title shot.
The former champ’s logic is fairly sound. The reason he believes he deserves the next crack at Miocic is because he’s the last man to beat him. He earned a tooth-and-nail decision win over the current champ back in late 2014.
“The fight that makes the most sense now is a Miocic rematch,” Dos Santos told the Brazilian publication. “I was the last one to beat him, so nothing’s fairer than that. Besides, I defeated a guy who was very qualified in my last outing, Ben Rothwell. Everyone was saying he could get a title shot if he got past me. I fit perfectly in a title shot right now. It makes total sense. Velasquez could get a shot, sure, but he’s scheduled to fight Werdum, so it won’t happen now. My fight against Miocic was really tough. I think everyone would like to see it again.”
While Dos Santos certainly did look impressive in his recent walloping of Ben Rothwell, its hard to forget his most recent fight before that: a knockout loss to Alistair Overeem. This emphatic defeat makes him a bit of a tough sell as a heavyweight title challenger at the current juncture. That said, his status as a former champ and Miocic’s most recent foil could well earn him the next shot. Time will tell.
Who do you think deserves the next shot at the heavyweight division’s ultimate prize? Sound off, PENN Nation!