UFC heavyweight champion Cain Velasquez could defend his belt as soon as Nov. 19 at the HP Pavilion in San Jose, Calif. The L.A. Times on Thursday reported that UFC chairman Lorenzo Fertitta confirmed the company is targeting that date for Velasquez’s defense against Junior dos Santos.
MMAWeekly.com sources close to the situation confirmed that an October date was out for Velasquez’s return, but that he would be ready for a date in either November or December. That rules him out for the UFC 136 fight card on Oct. 8 in Houston, the date that most rumors had originally pointed to.
Velasquez (9-0) hasn’t fought since decimating former champion Brock Lesnar at UFC 121 in October. He suffered a torn rotator cuff in his right shoulder in the fight. He had surgery to repair the injury, and reported has recovered well from the operation.
Number one contender Junior dos Santos (13-1) decided not to wait for Velasquez to heal, instead opting for a coaching stint on the thirteenth season of “The Ultimate Fighter.” He was then going to fight fellow coach Brock Lesnar at UFC 131, but Lesnar had to back out due to another bout with diverticulitis.
The Brazilian instead fought late replacement Shane Carwin. He won a unanimous decision, putting dos Santos back into the title fight upon Valesquez’s return.
The Nov. 19 event would likely be dubbed UFC 138. Welterweight champion Georges St-Pierre defends his belt against Nick Diaz at UFC 137 on Oct. 29 in Las Vegas.