The UFC heavyweight division was thrown into turmoil last weekend when Alistair Overeem suffered a strike-based stoppage to Antonio Silva, snapping an impressive winning streak and eliminating the Dutchman as a top contender. While Silva might normally be the “go to” option, such a scenario is tricky due to the fact he was mashed into goo by champion Cain Velasquez last May.
Velasquez was recently asked for his thoughts on a possible pairing with Silva, as well as with former title-holder Junior dos Santos and unbeaten teammate Daniel Cormier, telling Fuel TV he was essentially open to any opponent the UFC offered him but not necessarily interested in tilts with any member of the aforementioned trio.
Regarding Silva, the 11-1 Velasquez at least admitted he was impressed by the Brazilian’s beatdown of Overeem but didn’t seem overly enthusiastic about a rematch so soon.
“I thought Overeem would win the fight but if it went into the second or third round I was kind of giving it to ‘Bigfoot’. It definitely surprised me. We haven’t seen Overeem be in a fight like that in awhile, so definitely surprising,” explained Velasquez.
Another adversary Velasquez wants to see with his hand raised again before being considered for a crack at his belt is Dos Santos who he beat in December to become divisional king.
“I think he needs to win one more fight like I did,” said Velasquez.
However, it appears there is no number of victories Cormier can compile to draw Velasquez’s interest, keeping things simple on that front by stating, “I would not fight him. He’s my coach, teammate, friend.”
Other options Velasquez wasn’t asked about include Fabricio Werdum and Josh Barnett, though obstacles remain for both in terms of being booked against the polished pugilist. With no immediate answer in front of him, the 30-year old champ simply said he’s happy to wait for now and isn’t looking at a return to the ring until some point in the summer.
The full interview with Velasquez can be seen below:
PHOTO CREDIT – UFC