The UFC has recently confirmed that the upcoming fight between Frank Mir and Shane Carwin at UFC: 111 will determine the interim heavyweight champion. Does the announcement foreshadow upcoming news about heavyweight champion Brock Lesnar‘s current medical situation?
Many questions have been posed since Lesnar’s medical condition became public. Would he ever fight again? How long would the champion be out of action? How long would the organization wait for him? Would they strip him of his title? Would the UFC create an interim belt in anticipation of a lengthy absence?
At the UFC: 108 post-fight press conference president Dana White advised the media that he expected to have answers regarding Lesnar’s condition later this week.
With the confirmation of an interim heavyweight title coming on January 2, just hours before White’s statement, one might draw the conclusion that White is expecting a heavyweight division without Brock Lesnar for the foreseeable future.
To create an interim title, you would think the UFC would expect that title to be defended. In most cases championships are defended once or twice a year. UFC: 111 is scheduled to take place, March 27th 2010 in Newark, New Jersey. The soonest one could expect the interim title to be defended, would be July. While admittedly there has been rumors of a July return for the current champion, the creation of an interim title makes that scenario seem unlikely. If the UFC expected, the triumphant return of their heavyweight champion Brock Lesnar, they would not create the interim title. Would it really benefit the UFC to have in interim champion for 4 months?
July 11, 2009 marks the date of Lesnar’s last appearance in the octagon. Many pundits, including former heavyweight champion Frank Mir, have expressed the opinion that if the champion is unable to defend his belt and a 12 month period he should relinquish the title or the organization should strip him of that title. Mir as many remember was stripped of his heavyweight title after being involved in a serious motorcycle accident that rendered the heavyweight unable to compete.
While the MMA universe waits for definitive answers about the future of Lesnar’s young career recent actions taken by the UFC lead me to believe it may be a while before we see the UFC’s top draw do battle once more.