UFC heavyweight champion Cain Velasquez has been out of action since he initially won the title last October, having injured his rotator cuff in the process of knocking out then-champ Brock Lesnar inside of one round.
Despite his long layoff, Velasquez will have no easy test in his first fight back. He’ll be making his first title defense against the surging Junior dos Santos this November and not only is he preparing to go five rounds, he’s expecting to.
“I think his hand speed makes him tough. I’m expecting this fight to go five rounds, go back and forth and be a close fight. That’s what I have in my head going into this fight, to keep my body ready and my mind ready,” Velasquez told fans today in a live chat hosted by MMAFighting.com.
“There’s no question I can go five rounds. I do it regularly in practice, going five rounds with multiple sparring partners. Those are the toughest fights I have, in the gym. It won’t be a factor when I go into the fight.”
Velasquez has been getting himself ready for dos Santos’ vaunted boxing skills with the help of the top flight heavyweights at American Kickboxing Academy.
“Daniel Cormier has helped me a lot as a sparring partner and I’m helping him as he prepares to fight Bigfoot Silva,” he said. “Mike Kyle is also one of my main sparring partners. He has really fast hands, good stand-up and good boxing. Mark Ellis is a really good wrestler and a young guy we have. Mark Ellis is fighting on ProElite in Hawaii Saturday.”
Velasquez will return to action in his backyard, as his UFC 139 main event bout against dos Santos will take place at the HP Pavilion in San Jose, California this November 19.