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Does an Interim Title Fight foreshadow a Lesnar diagnosis?

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.

  • Jak says:

    It’s a big blow to any organization to lose a champion and a well known commodity.

    Sucks if it happens. Was looking forward both to seeing him win big and lose big. All would have been fun to watch.

  • Cogito Ergo Sum says:

    An interm championship makes no sense imo. An interm belt should only be created in the event that a champion is sidelined for a limited amount of time. Since we do not know exactly if Lesnar will be better until around July, its my suggestion that Mir and Carwin fight a normal three round war, while Cain and Nog do the same. The winners of those two fights should meet and depending on if Brock is getting healthier or not, it should be for an interm or the actual title. Anything else is just a huge waste of time, the only reason we would want to have a interm belt earlier would be to have five rounds, but most of these fighters don’t fight past the second round excluding Nog.

  • Makington says:

    I actually haven’t looked at the situation like this until you just pointed it out now. Dana obviously knows every little thing about Brock, and has known everything he could know. It just wouldn’t make sense for him to set up the interim title if he announces later in the week Brock is getting better and will fight in a few months.

    Right now Dana knows more than we do, and he’s no fool. He wouldn’t want to create another interim HW belt after he finally tied up all the loose ends with the last one.

    This article really make Brock’s health seem more pessimistic than I thought unfortunately.

  • Niv says:

    I’m of the impresion as well that Brock must be finished if they’re doing another interim belt.

    Why bother with it really? I would rather have the UFC come out and announce whether Lesnar is done or not and make a fight for the actual title if he’s gone.

    If there’s a possibility that he’ll come back in a year then just get on with a group of HW fights that will decide who’s first in line when he returns. If he’s gone then get on with it and find a champ.

    As much as I am not a Brock fan nor do I believe he’s a very good fighter even, it’s sad that a young guy may have his career taken away by a disease. Just as sad (as a mma fan) the prospect of not seeing some potential huge fights in the future bugs me as well. I was truly hoping I’d see Fedor show the world why he’s the best, but that just doesn’t seem possible in a dream anymore.

  • fanoftna33 says:

    After reading this I am left with the feeling that Brock will be back in the next 12-18 monthe long enough for the interim title holder to have made one defense the it sets up the unification fight pretty well.

  • baldguy80 says:

    Maybe Dana’s just doing his job as the UFC’s “President of Promotion”… The guy’s a fantastic spin-doctor and he’s already lined up the fights that decide who’s on top of the heap, even if a title isn’t on the line. He’s just making us more giddy with excitement.

    (Lesnar better not be out for an extended period, ’cause I wanna see the new and improved Mir get another crack at him!)

  • Carvaggio says:

    yeah, it’s pretty much an excuse for a five rounder & to hype the “unification bout”. It will suck though if Mir beats Carwin and we have to put up with Mir talking a ton of shit (“i’m gonna take his arm home with me”) until he gets pounded into the canvas again. (curse you frank mir for making me take brock’s side)

  • king mah mah says:

    Don’t count Brock out yet! They’re probably just doing this because they know it’s going to be months to maybe a years time before Brock can fight again. Like I said before, even after he heals, he still needs quite a bit of time to start working out and get back to 100%. I’m sure nobody wants to rush that process.

    I never really liked Brock, but I sure as shit hope he comes back to fight another day. Stay positive until you actually HEAR bad news.

  • MCM says:

    I too think Brock is out for at least a year (staying positive), and I applaud Dana and the UFC for making an interim title. Most fans (I’m not one) want to see the titles defended as much as possible. Just look at how many people complain about about the cards with no title defenses on them. And by making an interim title, the fans get to see the belt on the line and Dana doesn’t have to strip anyone of their rightfully earned titles.

    I think if Dana knew Brock was never gonna compete again or was out for several years, he would strip him of the title the same way they did Mir. Like someone else said, by doing the interim title looks like Brock will be back at some reasonable time.

  • egad81 says:

    If you cant defend with 6 months (3+ PPVs) then it makes good business sense to have an interim belt just for your PPV numbers.

    Mir vs Carwin is a good match because you have the #1 contender vs the former champ.

    Do you really want a champ like Overeem in Strikeforce that has not defended in FOREVER? Makes the division weak to not have an active Champion

  • justjohn says:

    An interim title makes me think that Brock will recover, but it will take time. I can see it building up to a big grudge re-match between Mir and Lesnar for the title if Mir beats Carwin. I hope Brock recovers…the heavyweight division was boring until he came along…seems like he jumpstarted the division again. I’ll go out on a limb and say I think its the second-most stacked weight class after light heavyweight…Mir, Cain, Lesnar, Carwin, Nog and Junior…all exciting fighters who could make a run for the title. Even the second tier has some good fighters like Cro Cop (I keep hoping to see the old Cro Cop come back) and up and comers like Struve. Used to be watching the big guys was like watching paint dry or flies f*ck…damn boring, but not anymore.

  • MMA-LOGIC says:

    Thing is that interim doesn’t even mean No.1 contender. Just ask Nog, Lesnar got a shot at the title before he did and Lesnar was 2-1 at he time, 1-1 in the UFC and Nog was interim title holder. I don’t like it because it is meaningless. You are not the champ, you are not no.1 contender…so what does it mean? I think they should have a clause that you must defend your title within 7 mnths if healthy etc and 12 mnths full stop, before you are stripped of your title. Sure have a fight where the winner is no.1 contender but don’t have a fake title that is meaningless.

  • MMA-LOGIC says:

    I hope Brock comes back …and fights for Strikeforce! Just kidding. I do hope he comes back and is healthy and fit.

  • JohnnyRev says:

    Dana is just doing his job. He can make more money off a interim belt than no belt at all ….plain and simple…. he is lining up 3 big HW fights before the end of the year its all well thought out past 1 or 2 fights …..this is making chicken salad out of chick S_ _ _ !

  • buzzcramp says:

    JohnnyRev: Dana is just doing his job. He can make more money off a interim belt than no belt at all ….plain and simple…. he is lining up 3 big HW fights before the end of the year its all well thought out past 1 or 2 fights …..this is making chicken salad out of chick S_ _ _ !

    Yep, totally agree. And then they also have the always popular ” true champ vs. interim champ” battle to promote. They can’t lose.

  • and besides….Carwin Vs. Mir will be short no matter who wins it. im takin Nog to take Cain to school and either TKO or sub him in the first….we might have an interim title fight or two before we see Big Brock back. Just think Mir Vs. Nog two is better than Mir Vs. Lesnar 3. Nog Vs. Carwin, Cain Vs. Mir, Cain Vs. Carwin….etc. and JDS is in there too, we could see some great fights before Brock makes it back and a belt adds more interest to it. Not to me….titles are cool, but Im about quality fights.

  • Rece Rock says:

    It’s strictly business… gotta keep the train rolling along.

  • Kuch says:

    Brock’s health situation is still probably very sketchy. I’d bet the doctors aren’t even speculating on how long before he’s fully recovered. If that is in fact the situation, then it makes sense for the UFC to do this. There are deserving fighters out there and the UFC can’t just keep shuffling the title of #1 contender around until Brock gets healthy (if he gets healthy). Crowning an interim champ also gives them a title to keep the challengers focused on and allows them to contractually secure that title holder to their promotion. It’s smarter to do it this way than to string everyone along and then try and cram together an interim championship match in the 11th hour.

  • jasonah says:

    Well, Who knows what Dana What really knows. For all we know, there could possibly a good chance that Brock will not return to fighting any time soon, or at all.As not a very big Brock fan, it still sucks not if he was not able to compete in the U.F.C. There would always be a” what if “factor. Could he have really done this or That. If he still is able to compete it would most likely be like 6 months before he Fight again. I have heard he has lost alot of weight from being ill.From a guy that cuts weight to make 265, to a guy that weighs under 265 is alot .


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