UFC 131: Lesnar Out Due To Illness, Carwin Steps Up Against Dos Santos
Brock Lesnar withdrew from his bout with Junior Dos Santos at UFC 131 this afternoon, citing the cause as a flare up in his diverticulitis. After coaching against each other on the current season of the Ultimate Fighter, the winner of this bout would face champion Cain Velasquez in the fall for the UFC Heavyweight gold.
Lesnar has suffered from the career threatening illness after retaining the belt against Frank Mir in July 2009 and was laid off until UFC 116 against Shane Carwin. In the return match against Carwin, Lesnar was saved by referee Josh Rosenthal who could have stopped the fight in the first round, making Carwin undefeated and UFC champion; however - since it was a title fight, Rosenthal gave Lesnar time to work out of the position, the fight went into the second round where Lesnar secured the submission victory.
A devastating knockout loss to Velasquez in October 2010 had many wondering what Lesnar would do in the aftermath. He went silent for months and popped on the scene earlier this year announced as a coach for The Ultimate Fighter. Facing off against Dos Santos on the show and later in a scheduled top contender match, it also seemed as Lesnar was getting the easy way to a title shot. Now with the resurfacing injury and illness, we are left to wonder when and how will Lesnar come back into the octagon.
Dos Santos will remain on the card with his new opponent Carwin. Carwin is coming back from injuries and is fighting after almost a year off and his first career loss. Carwin poses more of a threat to Dos Santos as a strong wrestler like Lesnar but with KO power. Both men will meet in the center of the octagon and I do not see this title decider getting past the first round. Watching closely without a doubt will be Velazquez along with: Lesnar, Mir and Nelson.
As exciting as the heavyweight division has been in years past, it seems to be tainted with injuries when the stars begin to climb toward the top or even become champion. An interesting mix would be to give the winner of Mir/ Nelson to loser of Carwin/ Dos Santos. All of the fighters mentioned have the ability to get the belt around the waist, but who will be able to keep it?