UFC Heavyweight Champion Cain Velasquez Targeting November Return in Mexico

March 17, 2014
22 Comments

Cain Velasquez UFC World TourUFC heavyweight champion Cain Velasquez is still on the sidelines, but a target for his return is coming more clearly into focus by the day.

Following Velasquez’s most recent victory, over Junior dos Santos at UFC 166 in October, it appeared that the UFC was on course for the champ to next defend his belt this spring in Mexico. That, however, was before Velasquez realized he had a shoulder injury that needed surgery accompanied by several months of rehabilitation.

Velasquez had successful shoulder surgery in December, but with several months of recovery and rehabilitation following the operation, the champ is currently still working to get healthy enough to return to training, let alone fighting.

He is now seeing the light at the end of the tunnel.

“I’m towards the end of my rehab right now, more so trying to get that strength back. Still can’t train yet, but hopefully the doctor will clear me soon,” Velasquez told a group of reporters in Dallas on Friday.

A rough target right for his return is somewhere around November with the likelihood that he would defend his belt against the winner of the upcoming fight between Fabricio Werdum and Travis Browne.

With Velasquez sidelined, Werdum, the No. 1 heavyweight contender, will face Browne at UFC on Fox 11 in April.

“I think November sounds good. I think with rehab and everything else that would give me time to get ready,” Velasquez added.

“No predictions yet (on who will win between Werdum and Browne),” he said. “I’m kind of favoring Browne a little bit more, but we’ll see what happens.”

Regardless of the timeframe and the opponent, UFC president Dana White has said the company is waiting for Velasquez, whose father is from Mexico, to make its debut south of the U.S. border.

“Won’t go (to Mexico) without him,” said White. “As soon as he’s ready, we’ll do it. We’re ready as soon as he’s ready. We can go to Ireland without Conor McGregor, but going into Mexico without Cain would be silly.”

And that’s just fine by Velasquez. He’s steadfastly working to regain his health, in no small part because he wants to be the UFC’s opening salvo into Mexico.

“It’s one of my dreams to fight there,” said Velasquez. “I’m gonna do everything in my power to make that happen.”

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  • snapdad

    in my opinion, cain is the perfect example of a true mixed martial artist

    • toom

      hes the champ i see least likely to lose his title most of the other heavyweights are trash

      • shakejunt

        that’s statistically unlikely, but i’m not disagreeing. just observing that hw title has been defended max 2 times.

        • toom

          I just consider him to be the furthest above everyone else in his division but with the heavyweights anything can happen

          • shakejunt

            yeah i hear ya, there is a large gap between him and the rest of the division. my pick for least likely to lose their title would be barao at this point, but like you said that’s only because hw is hw.

      • Truthcore

        agreed. there’s only 2 legitimate guys who’d have any realistic chance of beating Cain in the entire division.

        One is Daniel Cormier: but he’s good pals w/ Cain and has decided to drop to LHW

        The other is Josh Barnett: but he’s getting old, and may need another win or two to get the shot so may take some time, which isn’t on his side.

        Dos Santos doesn’t count, as we’ve already seen them fight 3 times, and unlikely to see a 4th anytime soon considering the way the last 2 times went.

  • Timothy Malone

    So this means that those of you who believe champions should have to defend their belt within a year think that Velasquez should be stripped of his title.

  • Mihael Hajdin

    Cant wait, Cain vs Verdum or Browne will be a WAR!!!

  • victor capa

    cant wait, cain vs verdum or browne will be a war !!!

    • shakejunt

      browne, maybe. werdum, not a chance. the latter looks a lot like the bigfoot fights, cain on top smashing a guy hopelessly fishing for subs.

      • Supaman

        idk about hopeless. Werdum is not the same as Bigfoot. Honestly, Cain would be a bit foolish to take it to the ground. Cain would have his best advantage standing and should keep the fight there, since his wrestling would keep Werdum from using his BJJ.

        Werdum is the best BJJ in the Heavyweight Division, period.

        • shakejunt

          not saying he’s not dangerous as much as i don’t feel like he’ll be able to get it down into any favorable position.

  • Mike Oxafloppin

    This is the only time I’ll be rooting for Travis Browne’s illegal 12 to 6 elbows

    • JDMMA

      His elbows were sideways …never illegal you MORON !!!

    • CodyShu

      Ya more like 9 to 3 lol

  • JDMMA

    Add Pettis vs Melendez as a co-main event to this

  • Frank Hogan

    Cain will kill browne, Cain has the strenght of Lesner, punching mower of tyson he will kill him

    • Supaman

      well, Cain standing w/ Browne would give Browne’s best chance to win. Cain would easily win though w/ his wrestling.

      Werdum’s standup has improved, but Cain would win there w/ his boxing, b/c Werdum wouldn’t be able to get Cain down to use his BJJ.

      essentially, neither one of those guys are well-rounded enough to win.

      the most intriguing challenger would be Cain’s buddy Daniel Cormier, who’s decided to move down to LHW. Cormier may be the one guy in the HW w/ a wrestling advantage on Cain and has the KO power to match.

      while Overeem has the ability to KO Cain standing, his takedown defense and stamina is worse than Dos Santos, so Cain should have that one in the bag as well.

      the ONLY legit threat, IMO, would be Josh Barnett. He has the experience, size, and most well-rounded guy to take on Cain. He’s dangerous on the ground and feet, w/ excellent catch wrestling. Of the top HWs, Barnett is the only one w/ an actual chance but he’s gettin old so it’d have to happen quick. (yes Cain would still be favored, but Barnett would be only one w/ actual chance)

      Alistair v Dos Santos right now is the HW fight to see though. I don’t think Alistair is scared, but actually had an injury. He wants the fight, but wants to be healthy for it to show he can beat Dos Santos. I think Dos Santos should win, but Overeem’s standup is actually a bit better and more complete, but Dos Santos has a better chin.

      • CodyShu

        All good points, but I think you forgot a tiny little detail on Overeem fighting Velasquez. Overeem has a nasty clinch and guillotine that would make Cain think twice about pinning him against the cage like he did with JDS. Overeem would’nt mind going to the ground with Cain either cuz he’s good with submissions and might be able to just muscle him off. Same goes with Browne; he’s knocked out two guys now when pinned against the cage with those crazy elbows to the temple. Either of those guys would be a tough match up for Cain I think because they possess such variety, unlike JDS.

  • Joe Dog

    Ring rust is the only chance for either Browne or Werdum.

    • Joe Dog

      Very unlikely.

  • TigOlBitties

    So how long has this a-hole held the belt without fighting? Absurd marketing nonsense from Dana White who mistakenly thinks the Mexican fans won’t follow the UFC without one of their “own” holding a belt.