UFC heavyweight champion Cain Velasquez is nearing his first title defense in what could be one of the biggest bouts in the history of the sport. On November 12, Velasquez will meet No. 1 contender Junior dos Santos on FOX.
UFC on FOX: Velasquez vs. Dos Santos will be the first event put on by the television giant since signing the UFC to a seven-year TV deal earlier this year. The hour-long special will take place from Anaheim, California’s Honda Center.
Velasquez, however, showed he always has a pulse on what is happening in MMA during a recent interview with the Toronto Sun. The former Arizona State University wrestling standout was asked to make his predictions for Saturday’s UFC 137: Penn vs. Diaz card while still deep in his own training camp for dos Santos.
Two of the bouts Velasquez picked could determine future opponents, as heavyweights Matt Mitrione and Cheick Kong, along with Roy Nelson and Mirko “CroCop” Filipovic, meet in Las Vegas.
“It’s going to be a really good stand-up fight. Both guys hit really hard, but I think Mitrione has gotten much better. Though he’s unproven, I pick Mitrione,” Velasquez said. “If this was the old ‘CroCop,’ (I’d choose) ‘CroCop.’ But from what we’ve seen from him lately, (I’ll go with) Nelson.”
As for the main event, a welterweight showdown between former Strikeforce champion Nick Diaz and ex-UFC champ BJ Penn, Velasquez is still undecided.
“I think it’s a good fight. I haven’t been able to pick a winner with that yet,” Velasquez said. “I think it will be a good fight, though.”