Cain Velasquez on tap for Lesnar-Carwin winner later this year

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During Brock Lesnar's prolonged absence from competition, several contenders have entered the heady race for the shot at UFC heavyweight title.

On Saturday night, Shane Carwin's first-round TKO victory over former title holder, Frank Mir, sorted out the title picture for the time being.

Having won the interim championship, Carwin emerged as the next challenger for Lesnar's belt. Just below him in the title contention hierarchy is another fighter who recently earned a significant victory over a top-ranked heavyweight: Cain Velasquez.

UFC president Dana White announced that Velasquez's victory over former Pride heavyweight champion, Antonio Rodrigo Nogueira, positions him as the challenger to the Lesnar-Carwin winner later this year.

"Cain's waiting in the wings now," White said. "Cain's probably going to wait for the next shot. (Junior) Dos Santos will not. Dos Santos will fight again."

Velasquez has had a meteoric rise since entering UFC with 2-0 professional record. In UFC, he has reeled off six straight victories, including five stoppages. Junior Dos Santos, who stopped Gabriel Gonzaga on UFC on Versus event last week, has also emerged as a top contender with a 5-0 UFC record. Mir is a potential opponent for Dos Santos, though White stated that no decision has been made yet on whom either will face in their next bouts.


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