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Dana White Puts Brakes on Interim Title Talk for UFC Lightweight and Heavyweight Divisions

Posted on by MMAWeekly.com Staff

01-Cain Velasquez UFC 155-6955-478x270Interim titles have been used throughout the years in the UFC. Company president Dana White has awarded interim titles in the past when his champions have sat on the sidelines with injuries, but he’s not about to do that with his current stable of hurt champions.

White on Saturday said that interim titles will not be up for grabs while lightweight champ Anthony Pettis and heavyweight king Cain Velasquez nurse back to health after each has had surgery. The reasoning, White said, lies within knowing exactly when Velasquez and Pettis are expected to return.

“We know when Cain is coming back. We know when Pettis is coming back,” White told reporters when asked if there was a timeline for implementing interim crowns. “We do those when we don’t know when somebody is coming back or we don’t know what’s going on.”

Velasquez injured his shoulder in his recent title defense at UFC 166 against Junior dos Santos. For a time, there was doubt that the heavyweight champ would need to undergo surgery. After further consultation, Velasquez decided to follow through with the procedure and he will be out until mid-2014 at the very least.

Pettis injured his knee and was forced out of a scheduled title defense against Josh Thomson, which was supposed to happen at UFC on Fox 9 on Saturday. He, too, will be out until midway through 2014.

Both Velasquez and Pettis had successful surgeries this week, the fighters revealed via their Instagram pages.

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  • JDMMA

    UFC should set 12 months limit and then strip the Champ off the title.

    • DamianCross

      I thought they just DID…

    • james j

      Agreed. 12 mos or get back n line and earn a title shot.

  • robc

    Werdum needs to get off his ass and fight someone else while he waits. By the time Cain comes back, Werdum will have been waiting nearly a year. How do you remain relevant in any sport by sitting and waiting a year to compete? It’s not like he has even a remote chance of beating Cain. Doesn’t the guy need to earn a living? Not to mention at 36 he’s getting up there in age.

  • Nick Diaz

    course not. dominick had the belt on hold since i was born

  • cubatech

    Werdum podria peliar con dos santos antes de pasar a cain si le gana a dos santos merece pelear por el titulo . Dos santos podria ser la barrera para los que quieran el.titulo de cain. …

  • damma

    Since his return Werdum hasn’t beaten anyone who is in the current top 10 . I think he still needs to prove that he is the top contender

    • deepgrim

      prob is it could end up getting hard to find cain a fight. any number 1 contender should have to go through jds first, and im not sure if anyone else in the division can do that. they can sell the verdum fight on the fact that if the fight hits the floor verdums bjj could be good enough to get the job done- personally doubt it

  • bajafox

    Cain being out a while isn’t a bad thing for the HW division. There is no clear #1 contender right now anyway, in a few months it could sort itself out

    • ♞ Castle Black ♞

      Good point