UFC President Dana White confirmed at the UFC 131 pre-fight press conference on Thursday that UFC heavyweight champion Cain Velasquez will face the winner of tonight’s Shane Carwin – Junior dos Santos fight. According to White, Velasquez should be able to return in “four to five months,” provided that the Dos Santos – Carwin winner would be able to fight that soon.
Velasquez is currently recovering after undergoing shoulder surgery to mend an injury he suffered in winning the belt from Brock Lesnar at UFC 121 last October. The American Kickboxing Academy-trained heavyweight partially tore his right rotator cuff in the bout.
Velasquez was scheduled to take on number one contender Junior dos Santos for his first title defense, but was forced out of the bout due to the injury. dos Santos was then scheduled to face fellow The Ultimate Fighter 13 coach Brock Lesnar this Saturday at UFC 131, however Lesnar was forced to pull out of the fight due to a recent flare-up of diverticulitis.
Carwin, who was already scheduled to face UFC newcomer Jon Olav Einemo at the event, was pulled from his original fight to replace Lesnar against dos Santos.
UFC 131: Dos Santos vs. Carwin takes place tonight from the Rogers Arena in Vancouver, British Columbia. Don’t forget to check back here later this afternoon for our live, ongoing coverage of the event.