Former UFC heavyweight champion Cain Velasquez feels as if he is the No. 1 contender to the belt. UFC heavyweight champion Junior dos Santos agrees – for the most part – but wants to face Alistair Overeem next.
Well, Velasquez isn’t about to just let Overeem pass him by and sit on the sidelines. While appearing on The MMA Hour with Ariel Helwani Monday, Velasquez discussed his desire to face dos Santos next.
“For Junior, I have the most respect for him, as well, as a person and as a fighter. I think he represents the sport very well,” Velasquez said. “But as a champion, if you have a No. 1 contender, then you don’t normally get to choose who you fight.”
Velasquez dropped the title to dos Santos last year, but rebounded to defeat Antonio Silva earlier this year. UFC president Dana White made mention at the time that Velasquez would face “Cigano” next, but no date has ever been made official.
“You just have to fight the No. 1 contender. Then that’s it,” Velasquez said. “That’s just how I feel about it. As a champion, you just fight whoever is next in line; you don’t get to pick and choose who you fight.”
Overeem has called out dos Santos in several interviews since being pulled from a planned title fight with him due to a failed drug test. “The Reem” is eligible to seek his fight license again in December, while JDS is set to compete a few days after that time.