UFC 130 fight card: Frank Mir vs Roy Nelson winner could earn the next heavyweight title shot

Photo via SBnation.com

While several of the best heavyweights in the world battle it out in another Zuffa-owned promotion at the Strikeforce Heavyweight Grand Prix Tournament to determine who is the best, Ultimate Fighting Championship (UFC) has two "big" fights planned that it hopes will do the same.

One of them, Frank Mir vs. Roy Nelson, takes place tonight (May 28, 2011) at UFC 130: "Rampage vs. Hamill" from the MGM Grand Garden Arena in Las Vegas, Nevada.

The other, Junior dos Santos vs. Shane Carwin, which takes place in a few weeks at UFC 131, will serve as a number one contender eliminator bout, the winner of which will earn the right to challenge the recovering division champion, Cain Velasquez, later this year.

Or maybe not, if the injury bug keeps biting, making the co main event tonight perhaps a little more significant than "just another bump up the ladder" for the eventual winner.

In fact, it could mean a title shot.

It wouldn't be the first time for Mir, a two-time heavyweight champion who has also competed in an eliminator bout, and lost, to Carwin back in March 2010.

He's fresh of a vicious knockout of Mirko Cro Cop at UFC 119; however, the stoppage, which happened with one minute remaining in the third round, was the only highlight in an otherwise horrible fight.

Nelson, meanwhile, is looking to rebound from a decision loss to dos Santos, during which he was completely outclassed and bludgeoned for 15 minutes. He's got great wins over Brendan Schaub and Stefan Struve, both finishes, but his work-to-date is far from title worthy.

Nonetheless, it's the current state of affairs in the UFC heavyweight division. The only other meaningful heavyweight fight out there right now is Antonio Rodrigo Nogueira taking on Schaub at UFC 134 later this year.

Ideally, the winner of the fight tonight between Mir and Nelson would battle the winner of the fight between Nogueira and Schaub to determine the next division contender.

However, as we all know, the the best laid heavyweight plans of Dana White and Joe Silva often go astray, giving the winner of the UFC 130 co main event this evening an outside chance on a possible title shot.

Unless, Alistair Overeem and the heavy hitters over in Strikeforce have something to say about it.

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