After Stipe Miocic (pictured) viciously put Andrei Arlovski down at UFC 195, UFC president Dana White promised Miocic next crack at the heavyweight crown.
As we all know full well, White’s promises should always be taken with a gallon of salt. Just ask Miesha Tate (and many others).
But as it currently stands, according to White, Miocic’s disposal of Arlovski has him in the front of the line to meet the victor of February’s rematch between champion Fabricio Werdum and Cain Velasquez at UFC 196. However, in this what-have-you-done-for-me-most-recently sport, Miocic’s top contender moniker is quite fickle.
White’s promises after a fun night of fights should always be followed by the dreaded “unless.”
What if Velasquez returns the favor and beats Werdum to reclaim his throne in similar fashion as Werdum did to capture the belt in their initial encounter? Wouldn’t it only be fair for Werdum to get a trilogy?
What if Werdum vs. Velasquez II is a thrilling instant classic that ends controversially in Velasquez’s favor? Why wouldn’t White want to arrange a rubber match?
Miocic put himself in this position with skill, but he’ll need some luck in order to hold White to his word. Best-case scenario for Miocic is that Werdum retains his title in non-controversial fashion, or Velasquez utterly destroys Werdum for multiple rounds to prove the outcome of their first encounter only occurred because he wasn’t prepared to perform in Mexico City’s altitude. Then, he and Werdum/Velasquez winner stay healthy until a late-spring/early-summer collision.
Velasquez not getting stung by the injury bug has been a pipe dream the past five years.
The first piece to this puzzle will be determined next month at UFC 196. All Miocic can do at this point is watch, and hope Lady Luck is on his side.