Photo of Shane del Rosario by Esther Lin via Strikeforce.
With Brock Lesnar dabbling in the land of make-believe, Shane Carwin out of the title picture and Alistair Overeem riding the pine, has Ultimate Fighting Championship (UFC) seen the end of the era of super heavyweights?
That may depend on how well current and former Strikeforce fighters like Daniel Cormier and Shane del Rosario do in their respective bouts this month en route to bigger and better things within the division.
"I think that as a heavyweight I definitely have an advantage that I'm one of the faster heavyweights. Because of my Muay Thai background I do have good footwork. At our gym unfortunately we don't have a lot of heavyweights but I think it's helped me out because I train with a lot of smaller guys so in a sense, I fight like a smaller guy. I can move around, I got speed, I got quickness and it's gonna do really well for me in the UFC against some of these bigger heavyweight guys."
Del Rosario was on the fast track to superstardom in the Strikeforce heavyweight division before fate intervened. Undefeated after 11 professional fights, he was slated to take on fellow undefeated ex-Olympic wrestler, the aforementioned Daniel Cormier, in June 2011 in a clash between two of combat sport's top heavyweight prospects.
It never happened.
On April 14, 2011, he was involved in a bad car accident -- another driver crossed the median and T-boned Del Rosario's car, causing serious damage to the former Muay Thai world champion's back, herniating multiple discs and putting his mixed martial arts (MMA) career on hold.
His last professional fight happened way back in Feb. 2011 when he submitted Lavar Johnson with a first round armbar at the "Fedor vs. Silva" event in an alternate match for Strikeforce's heavyweight grand prix, which now features none other than Cormier in the finals against Josh Barnett.
Is Del Rosario destined to collide with "DC" somewhere in the near future?
For more on his upcoming fight and UFC debut against Miocic, as well as a detailed account of his long road back to the sport, check out Del Rosario's complete video interview right here.