What is next for UFC heavyweight champion Cain Velasquez? That is the big question for the UFC's biggest division. After Antonio "Bigfoot" Silva spectacularly knocked out Alistair Overeem last weekend, the complexion of the division was vastly altered. Beforehand, Overeem seemed a near lock to challenge Velasquez for the title. Now? It's the wild west, a gold rush with no real direction for prospectors.
With Overeem off the table, Junior dos Santos has one less obstacle in his way of lobbying for a trilogy fight, but UFC president Dana White seemed to suggest dos Santos will need to win at least a fight or two before being plugged into a top contender slot. Meanwhile, other top fivers like Daniel Cormier and Fabricio Werdum are locked into matches that don't take place until late April and June, respectively, and further, Cormier has said he refuses to fight his teammate Velasquez.
Put it all together and you mostly have a jumbled mess, which is probably why White opened up to the possibility of plugging "Bigfoot" into a title match with Velasquez.
Keep in mind it was only eight months ago when Velasquez bloodied up Silva en route to a first-round TKO, not quite long enough for that memory to fade from the minds of most.
On Wednesday, Silva's manager Alex Davis told MMA Fighting that he would prefer not to head right into the rematch, but that the camp was open to anything.
"Personally, I'd rather have him get some other fights before he fights Cain," Davis said via email. "But it's up to the UFC, if they want him to go for the title, we cannot say no, either. But all is up in the air at the moment."
In the hours after his win, Silva himself said he'd be excited for the chance to fight Velasquez, calling the prospect of it "a pleasure."
Davis, though, is not so sure it's the right move, though he concedes that Silva -- who he affectionately calls "Junior" -- and the UFC will ultimately have the final call.
"Junior does not pick opponents," he said. "That has been his attitude forever. Personally, I like [Josh] Barnett, I like [Stefan] Struve. I think that Junior can beat any heavyweight in the world on a good day. If it's a rematch with Cain that's on the horizon, we are game also. The first fight with Cain, Junior made a small mistake in the beginning with that kick, I think [if it] was not for that, would have been a different fight altogether, so we are open to whatever the UFC wants for him."