The heavyweight division hasn’t been the same without current champ, Cain Velasquez who has been out with a succession of knee injuries. The AKA heavyweight is undoubtedly one of the most exciting mixed martial artists on the planet.
Not only is Velasquez an intimidating prospect in the cage, he’s also an ideal role model for the younger generation looking to get practice a martial art to look up to. But his injury proneness has been a constant problem of late. During his latest spell on the sidelines, Brazilian Fabrizio Werdum won the interim title during the Mexican-American’s down time.
However, Velasquez is due to return to the octagon on June 13, where he will headline the UFC 188 card in Mexico City. The stacked card will also feature Kelvin Gastelum and Gilberto Melendez – both of whom are of Mexican descendant. Also on the card is an interesting matchup between young bantamweight prospect Henry Cejudo and veteran Chico Camus.
But all eyes will be on the ‘Baddest Man on the Planet’ to solidify his position at the top of the UFC’s heavyweight division. Velasquez will be looking to impose his cardio and wrestling on Werdum, and continue the momentum that AKA have been experiencing of late. Just this past weekend Daniel Cormier defeated Anthony Johnson for the vacant light-heavyweight belt, and Luke Rockhold handily defeated Brazilian legend, Lyoto Machida inside two rounds.
Aside from last weekend’s one-round slugfest between Andrei Arlovski and Travis Browne at UFC 187, the heavyweight division has missed that spark that Velasquez brings to the cage. So, we await Velasquez’s return with bated breath. And with Brock Lesnar ruling out any sort of return to the heavyweight ranks, this is about as good as it gets for MMA fans in the heavyweight division. Let’s be honest, the division would be potentially the weakest in the organization if it weren’t for the AKA fighter.
Whoever prevails, they are likely to meet the promising wrestling-base of Stipe Miocic after his dismantling of Mark Hunt in Australia. At present, many sports books have Velasquez as a clear favorite, with online sports book Betfair who offering odds on sports such as soccer, basketball and ice hockey as well as MMA. Currently the reputable site has the Mexican-America favorite for the bout at 2/11, which seems realistic seeing that Velasquez has only been beaten once in his entire career to date.