Winner of Couture/Nogueira likely getting shot in December

Barring any freak injuries, the winner of the August Randy Couture vs. Antonio Rodrigo Nogueira fight will face the winner of the UFC 100 Frank Mir/Brock Lesnar fight at The Ultimate 2009 in December.

Internally, the company believes that any possible match coming out of the two fights would sell better to the public than a show headlined by Shane Carwin or Cain Velasquez challenging for the belt. A Lesnar/Couture rematch would do huge numbers, even bigger than the first fight, and a Mir/Nogeuira fight would likely serve as a good secondary main event underneath another title fight. And then there’s the potential of first-time matches between Lesnar and Nogueira and Mir and Couture.

Carwin and Velasquez will likely be in the mix in 2010, but it’s too early to put them in the title picture at this point. They’re certainly nearing the point of readiness as far as fighting skills go (and some would argue they’re already there), but in terms of being a main event, championship-level draw, both men have a long way to go.

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