I think a lot comes down to timing and match ups...
There's no clear cut number 1... It's an odd situation made by the fact that the clear number 1 contender JDS is not a viable title shot in the foreseeable future.
I think Werdum is next in line.... Then Barnett if he gets past Browne.
Browne... I think he is on a level with Hunt... If Browne beats Barnett... Then I think Hunt vs Browne for the shot would be fair...
The winner of Mir vs Overeem will go on to a similar level to Hunt and Browne.
JDS is the interesting one... What do you do with him... You can't use him as a gatekeeper as no one would get a title shot...
Werdum could be a match up for him... As Werdum has been very public about wanting to fight JDS again... But would he want to risk losing his title shot by fighting JDS.
Maybe if they promise Werdum that if he loses he still gets a number 1 contender fight against the winner of Barnett/Browne or Hunt or Overeem/Mir.
It's probably a positive that Cain is out until the end of the year... It gives time to find out who the clear contender is after Werdum.