The past few years have seen their fair share of ups and downs for former UFC Heavyweight champion Cain Velasquez, to put it lightly. After missing all of 2014 and most of 2015 battling the injuries that have plagued his run as one of the most gifted heavyweights to ever step foot in the octagon, the NJCAA national champion was booked in the main event of the UFC’s inaugural trip to Mexico — a country where he has served as a brand ambassador for the sport since basically his UFC debut — at UFC 188 last year only to be absolutely dominated by Fabricio Werdum before being submitted in the third round.
Even when Velasquez was granted an immediate, inexplicable rematch with Werdum at UFC 196, he was unable to seize the opportunity when yet another injury forced him out of the bout just two weeks before the event. In his absence, Stipe Miocic was called up to take on Werdum at UFC 198 and proceeded to knock out the Brazilian in just under 3 minutes, ushering in a new reign of the heavyweight division while Velasquez was forced to watch from the sidelines.
But with a dominant victory over Travis Browne at UFC 200 now under his belt, it looks like the finally maybe healthy Velasquez is ready to once again assert himself as the division’s kingpin. Speaking with training partner and light heavyweight champion Daniel Cormier on last night’s UFC Tonight, the former champ laid out his plans for the future and called out two opponents specifically.
“[Miocic] looked good, he moves around very well,” said Velasquez. “He’s hard to put away. He’s out there for the grind. If Stipe doesn’t want a break, I want him. If he wants to fight in 2017, I’d like to fight Werdum in December. This is personal.”
The good news? It looks like he’s already been granted his wish! According to MMAJunkie, a bout between the two former champs has already been offered to both parties for UFC 207 on December 30th. Though the fight has yet to be made official, it is expected that both Werdum (who has also stated his desire to face Velasquez in December) and Velasquez will sign the agreement in the coming days.
Of course, when/if the bout agreement is actually signed, who knows how long it’ll be before it’s cancelled due to injury. My guess is the weekend of UFC 207, when Cain will go down with a back injury after slipping in the sauna.