If you’ve been hoping to hear that Cain Velasquez is going to fight before the year is up, say, against a certain heavyweight champ named Stipe Miocic, well, it doesn’t sound like that’s going to happen.
Velasquez hasn’t fought now since last July, when he quickly stormed through Travis Browne at UFC 200. The former heavyweight champ was booked to fight Fabricio Werdum at UFC 207 last December, but the Nevada Commission pulled Velasquez from the card, due to a back injury he was dealing with.
Well, with 2017 coming to a close, there’s been buzz lately about when Velasquez might return. Especially since the UFC is still filling out its year end cards. Velasquez is in Edmonton this week for UFC 215, and while discussing when he might be ready to make his return, he said this (quote via MMA Junkie):
“When I come back I want to make sure I’m 100 percent healthy,” Velasquez said. “I owe it to the fans, and I owe it to me. I can’t mess around anymore. I have to be ready. … I’m about 80 percent. I would say sometime next year I’ll be ready to fight.”
So, based off that comment, it certainly doesn’t sound like we’re going to see Velasquez fight this year. Further, it should quell any talk about him fighting Miocic anytime soon. It should also be noted that the heavyweight champ’s management has said they’re waiting on a new deal, so, Miocic could also finish the year without competing regardless.
Velasquez was also asked for his thoughts on Miocic’s current reign, and the AKA fighter had this to say:
“The way that he’s gone out there and won (is) definitely impressive,” Velasquez said. “He looks great out there. Good for him.”
Yup. Miocic has definitely been dominant since he secured the title last year, by taking out Werdum. The big question is whether the UFC would tap Velasquez for a title fight, when he’s ready to return. Ordinarily, you would think no, since Velasquez has fought just twice since 2013. But Miocic has already defeated all top five ranked heavyweights except Velasquez and Francis Ngannou…