All of that is in our latest UFC Twitter mailbag, which starts below.
beewsee: Do you believe Shane Carwin is as big an underdog as seemingly everyone else does? I think he has a great shot of winning.
I haven't seen any odds listed for this fight, yet, but I assume Lesnar will be a heavy favorite over Carwin, who has only had one televised UFC fight and is not well known among the general public. But I don't view him as a huge underdog. An underdog, yes -- there's no question that Lesnar deserves to be the favorite. But you can't deny that Carwin is the biggest, strongest, hardest-punching opponent Lesnar has faced so far, and that means he has a real chance of beating Lesnar. The toughest test Lesnar could face in all of MMA would be against Fedor Emelianenko, but once the UFC's negotiations with Fedor fell through, I think the UFC gave Lesnar the next-biggest challenge when it matched him up with Carwin.
MMAvalor: Ask Vera if he thinks the "I'll be a champ in two weight classes" should be kept to himself tell he wins one first belt?
I asked Vera about his aspirations to simultaneously hold both titles, and he says that lofty goal is what motivates him. On the one hand, I admire people who set big goals for themselves. But on the other hand, I agree with you: It makes him sound a little silly when he hasn't even won one title yet -- or even been the No. 1 contender for one title yet.
Also, realistically, I can't see Vera ever winning the UFC heavyweight title. He does have a win over Frank Mir on his record, but I just don't think he'll ever be big and strong enough to beat the Lesnars and Carwins of the world. If he works hard, the light heavyweight belt is an attainable goal. The heavyweight belt is not.
PJHarrison: Randy only has 1 fight left on his contract after UFC 102 right?
That's right. When Couture returned to the UFC last year, he had three fights on his deal. The first was his loss to Lesnar, the second will be next Saturday's fight with Nogueira, and then there's one more. I initially thought that one more might be a rematch with Lesnar for the heavyweight title, but the news that Carwin is getting the next crack at Lesnar means Couture would almost certainly need to win at least one more fight after Nogueira before he'd be challenging for the heavyweight belt.
So what is Couture's future? If he beats Nogueira, I'd love to see him get Anderson Silva next. That would be a fascinating fight. If he loses to Nogueira, I think we'd more likely see him fight in sort of an "old timers" division, against an opponent like the Tito Ortiz-Mark Coleman winner.
But the biggest question is what happens after that third and final fight. You'd better believe that as long as Fedor is fighting with Strikeforce, the UFC will do everything in its power to prevent Couture from becoming a free agent and leaving the UFC to get the shot at Fedor he wants. So I wouldn't be surprised if we see another round of tough contract negotiations between the UFC and Couture. I just know I'm looking forward to seeing him fight twice before then.
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