UFC heavyweight champion Cain Velasquez
As we look ahead to what should be a great fight between Mark Hunt and Fabricio Werdum at UFC 180, the champion Cain Velasquez once again watches the division unfold from the sidelines. After an injury lay off following the decimation of Junior Dos Santos in late 2013, CV completed his stint on TUF against Fabricio Werdum.
It wasn’t long before another spanner was thrown in the works, and Velasquez was injured and withdrawn from his defense against “Vai Cavalo”. Speaking during The MMA Hour, Cain Velasquez had the following to say about his knee injury:
“I’m fine, I’ve been through this before, I tried everything I could to make the fight, but I just couldn’t. I went for the surgery and it went well. I just want to get back as soon as possible. I’m just trying to get better every day, do what the doctors say. It sucks to not be fighting in Mexico. I felt like I was destined to fight (at UFC 180) so this is kind of devastating to me.”
“I made a promise to myself (after the first JDS fight) that if I had a big injury, then I just wouldn’t go through with the fight, so I just had to pull out (of UFC 180). My shoulder is great now, and has been for a long time, so it just sucks that as soon as one thing is better, another thing just pops up”
Undoubtedly Velasquez is disappointed to be unable to fight Werdum at UFC 180, but the promotion also takes a fair hit with the loss of their main event. Although the fight is still very exciting, there are obvious benefits of having the champion fight on home soil, especially as the UFC looks to expand in to South America. CV continued, talking about who he thinks will win at UFC 180:
“I think Werdum wins, Hunt has the knockout power, but that’s pretty much it. Werdum has the length, and wrestling or grappling, so if it goes to the ground then Werdum wins it there. For the stand up, if they stand and trade then Hunt has it, but I think that’s pretty much it. “
“I want to fight in Mexico sooner rather than later, I’m looking forward to being there this weekend, but I definitely want to be fighting there.”
Cain Velasquez will have a certain contender after UFC 180, but his return date is still unknown. Will the champion come back in as dominant form as when he left, or will the winner of Hunt vs Werdum take the belt?