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Dana White: Frank Mir vs. Cain Velasquez 'Will Happen'

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Esther Lin, MMA Fighting
Esther Lin, MMA Fighting

Frank Mir may have been the odds-on favorite to replace Alistair Overeem opposite Junior dos Santos at UFC 146, but according to UFC President Dana White, the promotion has decided to look elsewhere to solve their heavyweight dilemma.

"Mir vs. Cain (Velasquez) will happen," White revealed via Twitter early this morning, referring to UFC 146's co-main event, a No. 1 contender's match between Mir and former champion Cain Velasquez.

Mir was the first to cast his hat into the ring upon the announcement of Overeem's failed drug test, releasing a press release via his management just hours after the UFC 146 title bout was thrown into jeopardy.

"I would be excited if given the opportunity to compete for the UFC's heavyweight title at UFC 146 if the reports released earlier today regarding Alistair Overeem failing his 'A' sample drug test are true," Mir stated.

"I have been fortunate to be able to fight in the UFC for more than a decade, and it is a dream of mine to become the first three-time heavyweight champion in the UFC. Being able to fight Junior Dos Santos would put me one step closer to that dream."

Despite Mir now being removed from the table, and Fedor Emelianenko officially busy in Russia, the UFC's options remain plentiful. A fan-driven campaign for Mark Hunt to receive the title shot has generated the most momentum, as fight fans have over-flooded the UFC's various social media outlets with calls for the Samoan via the #RallyForMarkHunt hashtag.

Additionally, Fabricio Werdum and both of Strikeforce's grand prix finalists -- Josh Barnett and Daniel Cormier -- have heard their names mentioned in the discussions. However Werdum is currently slated to fight Mike Russow inside his home country of Brazil at UFC 147, and Strikeforce officials would likely be hesitant to cancel a tournament finals a year in the making.

Nevertheless, one surprise name did arise on Friday afternoon. When asked by a fan if he would be open to fighting dos Santos, 41-year-old former Strikeforce light heavyweight champion Dan Henderson aptly responded, "For sure."

"Hendo" fought at heavyweight just once in his professional career, defeating Emelianenko via first-round TKO back in July of 2011. He tipped the scales at 207 pounds for the match-up. Henderson is currently scheduled to receive the next available title shot at middleweight or light heavyweight after edging Shogun Rua in UFC 139's legendary main event.