No fighter has more to gain with a great showing at UFC 96 than Shane Carwin. In fact, UFC President Dana White says Carwin could earn a heavyweight title fight if he beats Gabriel Gonzaga on Saturday night.
In the above video from Thursday's press conference, White is asked whether Carwin, who has built up a 10-0 record against mediocre opponents, might be in the mix for the next shot at the Brock Lesnar-Frank Mir winner if he beats Gonzaga.
"I think there's a lot of talented guys up and coming in the heavyweight division right now," White answered. "It's almost like our 205-pound division, and I never thought I'd say that. It's exciting. There's a lot of different things that we can do in the heavyweight division. If he beats Gabe Gonzaga, that's huge. He's undefeated. Yeah, definitely."
I think the Carwin-Gonzaga winner would have to win at least one more fight after UFC 96 (most likely against Cheick Kongo) before he could be considered a title contender. But it's amazing that Carwin, who has never even been part of the live televised portion of a UFC show, is already in the discussion.
Thanks to our friend Steve Cofield at CageWriter.com for the video.
We'll have a UFC 96 live blog Saturday night here at FanHouse.