UFC Heavyweight Travis Browne started a winning streak this past weekend at UFC FN 26, taking out highly regarded Alistair Overeem in the first round after sustaining a barrage of strikes that would have taken most men out. Browne moves to 6-1-1 in the UFC and has won 2 in a row since being stopped by Antonio ‘Bigfoot’ Silva in October of 2012. ‘Hapa’, as Browne is known, is heading into some tougher territory, as this win over Alistair Overeem puts him firmly on the radar in the UFC’s Heavyweight division.
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There are calls for Browne to take on fellow rising Heavyweight Stipe Miocic. Miocic is also heading upwards after a decisive win over Roy Nelson, and he also sports just one defeat on his record. As far as fights go, it would be an excellent fight, as both men are punchers who look to finish decisively, but the UFC might be better served by letting the two meet further on down the road. There is still a herd of heavyweights theoretically ranked above both men,and other matches that can be made.
Division champion Cain Velasquez is booked in a third bout against Junior Dos Santos, and either man could wind up with the title after they meet. A 4th match between the two is unlikely, and we will see either Josh Barnett or Daniel Cormier probably get the next title shot.
This scenario would leave Frank Mir coming off a loss to Barnett and Roy Nelson coming off a loss to Cormier.
Roy Nelson versus Travis Browne would be a chance for Browne to add another quality opponent and ring time to his resume. The UFC recently inked Nelson long term, but he is fading from contention and might as well cede his spot in at the top to Browne.
This would leave Mir to face Miocic, in a match that tests Miocic and would also signal the end of Mir’s relevance.
The winner of the upcoming Ben Rothwell-Brandon Vera match scheduled for 8/31 is also a possibility for Browne, as is a match with Mark Hunt, who is healing a leg injury and almost ready to return.
We may very well see Browne-Miocic next, but waiting for the match to be more meaningful and giving both fighters more fights to add experience would lead to a better match further down the road.