If Cain Velasquez Can’t Recover On Time, UFC 180 Interim Champ Could Become Permanent

November 13, 2014
Comments off

UFC heavyweight champion Cain Velasquez may be out of Saturday’s UFC 180 main event in Mexico City, but he hasn’t lost his belt, at least, not yet.

Velasquez had been expected to return to the Octagon on Saturday after having sat on the sidelines for more than a year while recovering from shoulder surgery. Unfortunately, an sprained medial collateral ligament and torn meniscus in his right knee forced Velasquez out of his title defense against Fabricio Werdum, and in stepped Mark Hunt.

SEE ALSO: Cain Velasquez Injured; Fabricio Werdum vs. Mark Hunt for Interim Belt

Cain Velasquez UFC 155 backstage passWerdum and Hunt will now fight on Saturday for the interim version of the UFC heavyweight championship.

Velasquez, meanwhile, is expected to be fully healthy and ready to return by March of 2015, according to UFC president Dana White. If he suffers another setback and can’t fight by March or somewhere thereabouts, it could mean the end of his title reign.

“We’re headed in that direction now,” White told UFC.com on Thursday. “This next fight in Mexico is for the interim title. So if Cain couldn’t compete again, the winner of this fight would be seen as the champion.”

It’s not that White wants Velasquez to lose his belt. He’s a popular fighter, and his Mexican heritage, the UFC is counting on Velasquez’s popularity to help make inroads with the Hispanic market. But after the bantamweight championship was in limbo for more than two years while Dominick Cruz suffered setback after setback, the UFC is now much more hesitant to wait it out if one if its champions can’t get back in the cage.

Follow MMAWeekly.com on FacebookTwitter and Instagram.

  • solo

    This is the toughest sport to be in! I cannot imagine what these fighters are going through inside their preparation. Unfortunately, all the hard training they’re doing is destroying their body and this is the biggest price to pay.
    It would be horrible for this to happend, cause Cain is the real Champ. Without him, the belt would probably go from one place to another.

    I wish Cain all the best in his recovery.

    • Marvin Antonio Bradford

      Without Cain, Junior Dos Santos have set the record for heavyweight title defenses by now.

      • Guest

        technically without cain, brock lesnar would’ve set a new record for title defences.

        • GuestWithoutPrivilege

          Nope, JDS would have ruined Brock before his diverticulitis. Remember the TUF they coached? Yeah, they would have fought after that, and JDS would have beat Brock, like he did Carwin. So, technically Brock wouldn’t have set a new record for title defenses.

          • Guest

            Had Brock not lost to Cain, he wouldn’t have coached TUF so that fight wouldn’t have happened.

  • shakejunt

    hw is cursed… or hw fighters are just more injury prone because they’re genetic freaks. crazy to think that 2 defenses is the record.

    • Guest

      It’s not the first time the heavyweight & interim heavyweight belts have been defended seperately. Same thing happened between 2007 & 2008

  • michaelchimique

    guess that means JDS vs Velasquez 4.
    I see Junior getting a shot at the belt becoming champ and then Velasquez returns

    • solo

      For Juniors well being i hope that doesnt happen.

      • Guest

        It’s inevitable, they’re leaps and bounds ahead of the rest of the division.

  • TheCerealKiller


    Yes, the winner is the permanent champ!

    • Guest

      Learn to read. The winner at ufc 180 is only permanent champ if Cain doesn’t recover by March. If Cain is ready to fight then, the interim champ remains the secondary champion until both titles are unified.

      • Darin

        Learn to comprehend. He’s making fun of the notion that someone will become a “permanent” champion. There is no such thing.

        • TheCerealKiller

          People are dense sometimes.

      • The Milkman

        You’re stupid just like your dad

        • Guest

          My dad is dead u f**king d**khead.

          • The Milkman

            So he’s dead and stupid

          • Big digger

            F you milkman for offending dead people

  • Guest101

    For being “The Termininator”, Cain sure does malfunction quite a lot.

  • dandogood

    It’s not like you get paid between fights as the champion in the UFC. So who cares about interim champs just fight and win and get paid. amazing how trivial this crap seems. Want money then fight as belts do not matter anyway.

    • Guest

      Certain fighters get paid depending how much merch ufc can make off their image and name value alone.

      • dandogood

        good point

  • dandogood

    If champions cannot fight then they are not champions just injured fighters hanging on for the next payday. The UFC hires these fighters and does not adopt them. Fight and get paid sit and lose out. The UFC is a business not an orphanage and a charity home.

  • The Milkman

    The fact that Mark Hunt went from unwanted Losing record pride fighter to being a punch away from being champion is amazing and doesn’t get old.

    • Guest

      If someone with Hunt’s record can get a title shot, then it should be ok to give Pat Barry one too. Just call him out from retirement!

      • The Milkman

        Your dad’s stupid

      • Seth

        It’s Heavyweight division. Its champion’s last 5 fights are against 2 guys. I think we can let that slip, since division sucks.

      • Cinder

        This is by far the dumbest comment ever. A record like hunt shouldn’t matter.. if anything when hunt was in pride he fought half ass.. and he wasn’t up to his full potential like he is now. He fought PRIME fedor, barnett, cro cop, wanderlei, dos santos, overeem who have you fought “Guest” Most likely you are an internet warrior! Respect the fighters man.. they do something we fans can’t ever do.

        What so special and impressive about mark hunt is.. he is sort of your average joe kind of guy. Look like one to! So as a huge fan of him since pride… its pretty cool to see him achieve this far.

        As in term of competition level the heavyweight division always been questionable. The level of fighters always changes and the belt rarely stay in one place nowadays.

  • Hugh Shakeshaft

    I like Dana’s decision here.

  • Seth

    It shouldn’t be for IC to begin with :/ Come on…IC is just stupid sticker, trying to make someone more relevant than he really is :/