Sorry, Junior dos Santos, but it looks like you’re on the outside looking in. On Thursday, UFC president Dana White revealed either Andrei Arlovski (pictured) or Stipe Miocic will get first crack at freshly-minted heavyweight champion Fabricio Werdum.
The rumor mill had suggested the UFC had already handed the spot to Arlovski, but White said that wasn’t a certainty just yet.
“I know there’s reports out there that Arlovski has it but that’s not true,” White said during a Q&A chat on Periscope. “It’s either going to be Stipe or Arlovksi.”
At 36, Arlovski has made an improbable career turnaround. The former UFC heavyweight champ has rattled off five straight victories, with three of those wins coming via some form of knockout.
Miocic, meanwhile, has won four of his last five fights. The Croatian’s loss during his current run came in a controversial unanimous decision to dos Santos.
Speaking of dos Santos, the former champ has been campaigning for first dibs at Werdum’s title. White admitted the current third-ranked heavyweight should be Werdum’s first test, but he’s currently sidelined with an undisclosed injury.
“Dos Santos should get that fight, I agree,” White stated. “Dos Santos should get that fight, but he’s hurt and he can’t take it.”
White didn’t say when the UFC would announce who or when Werdum would make his first title defense against, but it should come sooner than later considering they are unwilling to wait for a healthy dos Santos.