30 Jan Cain Velasquez Eyeing July UFC Return
Cain Velasquez just might be back in action sooner than we think.
Velasquez (14-2-0) hasn’t fought since a 2016 TKO victory over Travis Browne but there has been talk recently that he is close to making his return to the UFC.
This talk naturally led to speculation that Velasquez would return to a title shot against the current heavyweight king, Stipe Miocic. These rumours were shattered when the UFC announced its plans for a heavyweight, champion vs champion super fight at UFC 226 between Miocic and current light heavyweight champ Daniel Cormier.
Following this announcement, speculation turned toward the possibility of a clash between AKA teammates Cormier and Velasquez. Fuel was added to this fire last week when Velasquez tweeted that should Cormier win, ‘things could get interesting’. Many, myself included, took that as a hint that the close friends might meet in the octagon should Cormier be victorious.
Like always, I'm gonna be in the gym everyday to help my brother @dc_mma become the next heavyweight champ at #UFC226. Once he wins, things could get interesting. #AndNew #WeAreAKA #GonnaGetMyBeltBack
— Cain Velasquez (@cainmma) January 27, 2018
Velasquez appeared on The MMA Hour this Monday and offered some insight into what he meant by that.
“What did I mean by that? 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.”
Expanding on the subject of him potentially making a move to 205lbs, a thought which frankly should send shivers through the entire light heavyweight division, Velasquez added.
“If I had to do it, I could do it, 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.”
After almost two years without a fight, Velasquez seems to fully appreciate that he’s going to need time to get back into the swing of things.
“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.
“I think it’s a very good scenario, it’s perfect for Daniel, I think he can pull this off and s**t, I’m going to make it my priority to go out there and train with him so he does get that W. He will, he will get that W.”
Velasquez also cleared up any misunderstanding that he might be interested in facing off against his long time friend and team-mate.
“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.”
All of this, of course, depends on Cormier successfully toppling reigning champion Miocic when they meet, which is far from a given. UFC 226 is already stacked with two champion vs champion fights, not to mention the possibility of a third between flyweight champion Demetrious Johnson and bantamweight champ TJ Dillashaw. Add to that the prospect of Velasquez making his return and you have the makings of the biggest card the UFC has ever seen.
Who would you like to see Velasquez face on his return?