Following Cain Velasquez’s stoppage win over Junior dos Santos at UFC 166 in October, it was announced that he would face Fabricio Werdum next, and the consensus seemed to be the fight would go down sometime in early 2014. Now that the heavyweight champ has undergone shoulder surgery, however, and could be out for quite some time, no one knows for certain when Velasquez will fight again.
So where does this leave Werdum? Who has not fought since June, when he took out the legendary Antonio Rodrigo Nogueira with a second round, armbar? Will he take a fight in the interim? Or wait on the sidelines for Velasquez to return? Well, here is what the 36 year-old fighter recently told MMA Fighting.com:
“They told me it’s my decision,” Werdum said. “I had a meeting with Dana White and my team, the UFC said it’s up to me, if I want to wait or fight again. I’m still thinking about it, but I believe I’m going to wait for this opportunity to fight for the title. I’m the next in line. But it’s not 100 percent yet.”
“I’ll make my final decision next week,” he added. “It’s an once-in-a-lifetime opportunity, something that I’ve been waiting for a long time. My biggest dream is to fight for the UFC title. I accomplished all my other dreams, becoming a world champion in jiu-jitsu and ADCC, and I still want the world title in MMA.”
Werdum also noted that Velasquez will probably be out until late summer, which would mean “Vai Cavalo” would go over a year without fighting. It’s a tough decision to make, no question. If he fights, and is defeated, then he loses arguably the biggest opportunity of his life.
But what if Velasquez’s return is delayed? Or another issues arises? That’s a long time to go without fighting. Hopefully Velasquez’s recovery goes well and the champion is ready to return earlier than expected.