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Cain Velasquez Discusses Injury Layoff, Approves Of Interim Title

UFC heavyweight champion Cain Velasquez recently announced that he will be unable to defend his title for at least the next six to eight months, as he has a torn rotator cuff which will require surgery. Velasquez participated in a Q&A session today as part of the lead-in to UFC 125: Resolution where he discussed the injury and explained why he doesn’t mind if the UFC puts on an interim title fight during his absence. (Props to MMAJunkie for the transcription)

The American Kickboxing Academy product earned the belt by defeating Lesnar this past October by first round TKO. Despite the brevity of the fight–it ended in the first round–and Velasquez’s complete domination of the bout, he still suffered the torn rotator cuff. He explained why it wasn’t until recently that he he knew surgery would be necessary.

“[The injury] happened in the Brock fight,” Velasquez said. “After the fight, I felt fine. Later that night, my body starting cooling down, and my shoulder was jacked up. I knew something wasn’t right. I saw the doctor and got an MRI, and he said I had a torn rotator cuff. They said, ‘We’ll try to do rehab first. We’ll rehab it for six weeks and see how it’s going.’ I did that, and finally when the six weeks was up, we had another MRI. The muscle was still torn, so that said, ‘We’ve got to have surgery. The rehab didn’t help it.’ We tried to do it without surgery so I could get back as quickly as possible, but that didn’t work, so we’ll do the other stuff. … I thought I was doing the right thing by trying to get the rehab done and get healthy that way and go ahead with training. I thought I was doing a good thing.”

Number one heavyweight contender Junior dos Santos recently expressed his extreme disappointment in Velasquez’s layoff and requested an interim title bout during his absence. Velasquez told fans at the Q&A that he won’t be upset if the UFC decides to put on an interim title fight while he recovers from surgery, since it is fairly standard practice.

“The same thing happened when Brock [Lesnar] was injured,” said Velasquez. “They fought for an interim (belt). [The UFC] has to keep the fights going. You can’t can’t wait around half a year for fights. They fight all the time. It doesn’t offend me at all.”

Velasquez explained that he is quite understandably disappointed, but that he is looking forward to coming back at full strength.

“It sucks,” Velasquez said. “I definitely want to be as active as I can. I want to fight for the fans and everybody that wants to see me fight. I want to please you guys. It’s hard, but it’s part of the territory. People get hurt all the time. These things happen. You have to get surgery. This isn’t my first surgery, so you’ve just got to do it, do what the doctors say and get back as soon as possible. [My doctor] said with this injury and getting surgery on it and everything else, the recovery will probably be around six months. It’s a while, but hopefully I can come back 100 percent. It is what it is. I need surgery, and that’s it. … When I’m ready, I’ll come back, and I’ll fight.”