Former UFC heavyweight champ Cain Velasquez recently ruffled a few feathers in the MMA world when he said ‘things could get interesting’ if longtime teammate and training partner Daniel Cormier won the belt from current heavyweight champ Stipe Miocic in their champion vs. champion superfight at July’s UFC 226.
Many were quick to assume that meant Velasquez would possibly face Cormier for his former title, yet during an interview on today’s (Mon., January 29, 2018) The MMA Hour, Velasquez said it wasn’t necessarily what he meant by his reaction.
To him, it signified a decision to be made, one that may involve considering a move down to light heavyweight as Cormier once did to avoid fighting him:
“What did I mean by that?” Velasquez said. “Things could get interesting, man. He’s at heavyweight, I’m at heavyweight. What am I gonna drop down? I don’t know. Things could get interesting, yes. We don’t know how things are going to play out. I think it’s cool what he’s doing, he’s going up in weight, but s**t he’s fought there before at heavyweight so he’s gonna do it again.”
The former champion expounded on that potential, noting that he believed he could indeed make the weight if pushed to it. He won’t make any rash choices, and will remain focused on helping Cormier prepare for one of the biggest fights of his career – in addition to himself for his own rumored comeback:
“If I had to do it, I could do it,” Velasquez said. “I think it would be hard, but it’s just the will of the person. If I really want to do something, I could do it. Again, things could get interesting, so we’re just going off of that and we’re just going to play it by ear. First things first, helping him get ready, me get ready, and then getting that job done in July, both of us.”
Cormier recently detailed the conversation he had with Velasquez before accepting the fight with Miocic, as he had stated he wanted him to get the shot instead after Dana White teased Miocic vs. Cormier right after UFC 220.
Velasquez reiterated Cormier’s statement that he supported his decision, and added he was also trying to get a fight at UFC 226 so they could prepare on the same schedule:
“We talked about it and I’m all for it, I support Daniel 100 percent,” Velasquez said. “I feel like I just have to go back and prove myself. I have to get a fight and show people why everyone should fear me, so I have to go out there, I have to look impressive. I do plan on fighting again, I’ve never had talks of a retirement. Not yet. I still want to do this.
“He called me up, he told me that he had this opportunity. I was just like, ‘Yes, we can do it.’ We can get ready together, that’s the best for us. He’s fighting on that card in July, I’m going to try to get on that, hopefully. I think that would be perfect and enough time for me to get on that card and me and Daniel can train together and get ready together because when we do that, that’s when we are the best.
Velasquez closed by putting any speculation that he would fight Cormier to bed by saying he would not.
And even if they did, he said, it wouldn’t be quite as fun as it sounds:
“Would I ever fight (Cormier)? No, I wouldn’t,” Velasquez said. “I wouldn’t fight him. I think he feels the same way. We’re teammates, we’re friends, we’ve done a lot with each other. I think it would be easy, me and him, just because we spar so much, s**t, it would just be another day at the office.”