The UFC Heavyweight Champion, Stipe Miocic, will face off against a familiar foe in Junior Dos Santos at UFC 211 in the American Airlines Center in Dallas, Texas. The decision to place Dos Santos in a title match when there are three other contenders that are ranked higher has sparked up a bit of controversy. Let’s discuss why “Cigano” was picked for the matchup over his competition. Alistair Overeem is ranked right above JDS and had recently failed in his opprtunity (although he was close) to capture the illustrious title. Overeem is set to face Mark Hunt at UFC 209 which would undoubtedly keep him from challenging for the title a second time for the time being. In additon to that, a fighter getting a rematch just after failing to secure the title does not make a whole lot of sense for a main event fight.
Not even Chael Sonnen got an immediate rematch against Anderson Silva after almost handing “The Spider” his first loss in the UFC. Ranked number two on the heavyweight contenders list is Cain Velasquez who was set to face the number one ranked contender but had to withdraw due to injury. Velasquez’s leg injury may be too much for the former heavyweight champion to compete right now which is why he was not considered for the fight. Plus, the guy ranked above him is much more deserving of a title shot. Fabricio Werdum is the number one contender for the UFC Heavyweight Championship. He lost the belt to Miocic back at UFC 198 in Brazil. After the loss Werdum would go on to win his next bout against Travis Browne at UFC 203 in Cleveland, Ohio. A lot of times the UFC would give an immediate rematch to champions that lost their belts (such as Ronda Rousey). But more often than not, the UFC would have the former champion work his way to a rematch. This is evident by the fact that fighters like Jon Jones and Rafael Dos Anjos, who were dominant in their divisions, did not get immediate rematches. Werdum did go on to claim the number one contender spot and seemed like the most likely canidate to face Miocic in Dallas. However, the UFC loves to find the best matchup they can and would ignor the rankings for the biggest draw and most interesting fights. Most recently this happened when Cody Garbrandt skipped several ranked bantamweights to dethrone Dominick Cruz and claim the UFC Bantamweight Championship.
Although it was ridiculous to see that occur, the fight was amazing and Cruz got the toughest fight of his life. The UFC probably thinks that this is the more exciting fight and would give a fresh matchup and challenge for the champion. The heavyweights usually put on a huge show and they say that everything is bigger in Texas. Dallas should get a treat when these two meet. Hopefully Dos Santos vs Miocic can bring us that same magic that Cruz vs Garbrandt brought. If it does then there will be no complaints from the MMA community (maybe).