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Herring out of UFC 99; Cro Cop logical replacement is reporting that Heath Herring will not be able to fight in Germany due to an unnamed illness. I’m guessing syphyillis. Why? Look at him. A guy that dyes his hair bright colors and walks around in a leather trenchcoat is practically screaming “I have syphillis!”

The point of this fight in the first place was to see if Cain Velasquez was a legitimate contender or just a talented prospect capable of beating cans and cans alone. There’s an easy way to solve this: put Cro Cop in Herring’s place. Velasquez will still have the opportunity to prove himself against a tough-as-nails veteran. At the same time, Cro Cop will have the ability to put himself back in the heavyweight title hunt with one victory. After all, nobody was going to be declaring that the old Cro Cop had returned if he came in and knocked out Al Turk. If he shows up and destroys Velasquez then that’s an entirely different story.

If Wanderlei and Cro Cop both win, not only will it be fucking awesome, but the PRIDE nuthuggers will miraculously return from the dead and begin posting on Sherdog. I can’t wait.

This is just another reason the heavyweight division has been getting even more interesting as of late. The Brock Lesnar vs. Frank Mir fight at UFC 100 will be nothing short of awesome. Randy and Nog are set to duke it out in August. Shane Carwin, Cheick Kongo, and Junior dos Santos are still waiting for their next opponents. And that’s just the UFC.

Andrei Arlovski and Brett Rogers are fighting each other at the next Strikeforce show with the winner likely meeting Alistair Overeem for the organization’s belt. Fedor and Barnett might still fight in Affliction, depending on who you talk to. Guys like Fabricio Werdum, Jeff Monson, and Ben Rothwell are still floating around somewhere. Oh, and let’s not forget the Tim Sylvia vs. Ray Mercer exhibition boxing bout that will shake the foundations of the MMA world as we know it. Shit. 2009 is going to be the year the heavyweight division made its comeback.