This past weekend (November 15, 2014), Fabricio Werdum secured the interim UFC heavyweight championship at UFC 180 in Mexico City, Mexico, by stopping decorated kickboxer Mark Hunt in the second round.
Werdum was originally supposed to battle current champion Cain Velasquez for the belt, but the champ had to pull out due to knee injury and was replaced by Hunt.
After winning the interim title bout, it’s clear that Werdum will have to eventually battle Velasquez to name the true heavyweight champ, and it looks as if he will get to do so back in Mexico as originally planned.
UFC president Dana White confirmed tentative plans for this bout to take place in June during the “The Time Is Now” press conference which took place yesterday (November 17, 2014). During the event, the promotion laid out its full 2015 event schedule and White claimed that they will be heading back to Mexico in June.
As of now, the only 2015 pay-per-view (PPV) event scheduled for June is slated for June 13, 2015, but the location of Mexico has not been confirmed by UFC officials despite White’s statement.
Velasquez may be one of the very best fighters in the world, but unfortunately he hasn’t been able to show off his skillset as much as he would like due to a series of injuries. The last time we saw him fight was at UFC 166 in October 2013 when he dismantled Junior dos Santos for the second time.
It was also recently reported that if Velasquez can’t heal up by next March, his title may be stripped, but the champ has previously said that a spring 2015 return is what he is planning for. When asked what would happen if the AKA product wasn’t ready by the June date, White didn’t seem too concerned:
“Cain’s going to make it,” White promised.
This would be a huge event for the UFC if the champ is ready, pitting the two best “big men” on the planet up against each other to solidify just whom is truly champ. It’s looking like Velasquez vs. Werdum is a foregone conclusion at this point; whether the fight takes place in Mexico or not remains to be seen.