Former UFC Heavyweight Champion Junior dos Santos appeared on MMA Junkie radio recently, and was already trying to drum up support for an immediate rematch for the title against Cain Velasquez:
“I think the fans would love to see this rematch right now. I would love to have this rematch right now. I don’t know if it’s possible or if Cain Velasquez is going to accept it, but I would love it.”
In many circumstances, a fighter who has been as dominant as dos Santos would be worthy of an immediate rematch after losing a title. However, after the beating JDS received from Velasquez at UFC 155, I think he has about as much of a chance to get that immediate rematch as I have to get that car. Which, assuming I don’t somehow end up on the Price is Right and win one playing Plinko, is pretty close to zero.
Even Dana White has tended to agree that dos Santos has some work to do before he gets another shot at the belt. It makes perfect sense. Not only would selling an immediate rematch be difficult in light of the 25-minute beating suffered by the former champion, but the UFC has a ready-made contender waiting in the wings in The Reem. Assuming the Reem takes care of business against Bigfoot Silva next month, an Overeem-Velasquez fight carries a lot more intrigue than capping off the trilogy without dos Santos having to take any other fights.
The issue, however, is what does dos Santos have to do? The UFC is in a tricky spot, as JDS already defeated many of the other contenders in the UFC heavyweight division on his way to the title. For instance, I think there would be little interest in seeing him rematch someone like Roy Nelson, Shane Carwin, or Frank Mir, three of the normal stand-bys in situations like this. A rematch with a non-fat Fabricio Werdum would make sense, but Werdum is already tied up in TUF Brazil, which will culminate in a fight against JDS’s mentor Big Nog.
Perhaps, then, we could look to Strikeforce to find a possible opponent? Seeing that there are really only two “name” heavyweights left in the promotion, we wouldn’t even have to look very long. Assuming that both win at Strikeforce: Going Out of Business in a couple weeks, I think either Josh Barnett or Daniel Cormier would provide a great fight for dos Santos. Barnett is a big-name veteran, and a fight with Cormier would likely be a title eliminator. Plus, both fights would be great challenges for JDS and very exciting in general.
Of course, as with everything Strikeforce, there are a couple of potential hang-ups. First, either Barnett or Cormier would need to win at Strikeforce. Even though not too many people are likely to be watching the event, a Barnett-JDS fight would be a tougher sell if Barnett just lost to something called Nandor Guelmino. In addition, Dana White would have to be willing to let bygones be bygones and un-ban Barnett from the octagon. On the other hand, it has been strongly suggested that Cormier will drop to 205 to avoid having to fight teammate Velasquez and, if that is in the cards, it would make little sense for anyone if he was matched up first against dos Santos.
So what’s going to happen? I don’t know. But I do know that if Dana White relents and somehow gives Junior dos Santos his immediate rematch for the title, I will instantly begin stuffing ballot boxes for that “New Car Giveaway” at the mall. Then again, if Bigfoot Silva upsets Overeem, the chances of the trilogy being completed ASAP go up at least 99%. Unfortunately, the odds of me getting that car would likely still remain 0.