After seeing Cain Velasquez romp through Brock Lesnar, one has the urge to say something like, "Welcome to the Velasquez era."
Clearly we haven't learned our lesson.
Nevertheless, as I survey the heavyweight division, inside and outside of the UFC, I don't see a single guy who I would favor over Velasquez.
Let's take a closer look at how.
Inside the UFC
Junior Dos Santos probably has the better hands at this point, but is probably going to get wrestled and pounded on by Velasquez.
Shane Carwin has the knockout power, but if Velasquez fights smart, Carwin won't be able to keep up with Velasquez's cardio for longer than five minutes.
Outside of those two, there isn't even really any other threat worth mentioning. I mean, Frank Mir is still alive, I suppose, but I don't see any way Mir is going to do any better against Velasquez than he did against Lesnar or Carwin.
Of course, I can't forget Jon Jones, but at this point, Jones isn't ready for a guy like Velasquez, and although the fight looks intriguing, I'd still favor Velasquez unless we see Jones make some big improvements in his striking.
Any Other Challengers Worldwide?
The three biggest names outside of the UFC are Fedor Emelianenko, Alistair Overeem and Fabricio Werdum, and Velasquez should be heavily favored over all of them.
Emelianenko is a well-rounded fighter, but even if he can hang with Velasquez on the feet, I really don't think he can keep himself off his back against Velasquez, who isn't going to fall into a kimura like Mark Hunt or Kevin Randleman.
The same thing goes for Overeem. Overeem should have a big technical advantage on the feet, but I highly doubt he can keep the fight there against a much better wrestler in Velasquez. Off his back, Overeem is a far lesser threat than Emelianenko, and isn't going to be able to withstand the kind of ground-and-pound Velasquez is capable of.
Werdum is the opposite of Emelianenko and Overeem. In order to win, Werdum needs to get the fight to the ground, which will be almost impossible against Velasquez. Unless Velsaquez made the same mistake Fedor did, Velasquez will beat Werdum up on the feet endlessly.
Outside of these three guys, there are a few notable wrestlers such as Daniel Cormier, and Cole Konrad. Although these two guys can easily wrestle with Velasquez, it's not like either is going to totally dominate Velasquez in the wrestling department, and Velasquez is far better than either on the feet.
As long as Velasquez stays motivated, we could be in for a long reign of the new champ.
Welcome to the Velasquez era. :)