Cain Velasquez

USA

Out
Injury Knee
Est. Return 8/17/2019
Maximum medical suspension
HeavyweightUFC
Out
February 20, 2019
Velasquez (knee) has been suspended 180 days pending medical clearance by the Arizona State Boxing and Mixed Martial Arts Commission, MMAFighting.com reports.
ANALYSIS
The return of Velasquez in front of his home crowd did not go as expected, as he was dropped by a tight uppercut and his knee gave out from under him shortly afterwards. While he was walking around in the cage afterwards and able to give an interview, much of that can be attributed to adrenaline. It's unclear if he suffered a torn ACL, which was originally suspected by the broadcast team, but the former heavyweight champion could once again be looking at extended time on the shelf.
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Suffers yet another setback
HeavyweightUFC
Out
February 17, 2019
Velasquez lost to Francis Ngannou via TKO (strikes) at 0:26 of Round 1 at UFC on ESPN 1 on Sunday in Phoenix.
ANALYSIS
This is a tough result for Velasquez. He closed the distance and looked for a takedown early. As he changed levels, his knee clearly gave out on him. Ngannou sensed the opening and went to work with his striking. Velasquez was clearly hurt, and the referee was forced to stop the fight. This is only Velasquez's second fight since 2015, and he may be facing another extensive injury layoff. It is hard to imagine what he will look like when he next returns to the cage.
Returns against The Predator
HeavyweightUFC
Out
December 22, 2018
Velasquez will headline a UFC Fight Night event in Phoenix against Francis Ngannou on Feb. 17, Brett Okamoto of ESPN reports.
ANALYSIS
Velasquez was once considered one of the greatest heavyweights on the planet, but multiple back injuries derailed the prime years of his career. The former champion has avenged every loss he has ever recorded with the exception of Fabricio Werdum, but his last official fight was all the way back at UFC 200 in 2016. Velasquez will now make his return against one of the most dangerous young fighters in the division in Ngannou. While Ngannou came up short in his title chance and dropped a lackluster decision to Derrick Lewis after that, he was able to return to form in November with a quick, first-round knockout of Curtis Blaydes. Velasquez won't have any time to shake off ring rust in this one, as one touch from Ngannou has the potential to put any man to sleep. His best bet as far as game plan goes is to use his once-elite cardio to take Ngannou into deep waters, and put his wrestling to work from there. That's how former champion Stipe Miocic overcame physical disadvantages to beat Ngannou, and while Ngannou will likely enter as the betting favorite, Velasquez certainly has a shot if he executes a similar strategy.
Eyeing July return
HeavyweightUFC
Out
February 7, 2018
Velasquez (back), who continues to train with teammate Daniel Cormier, is hopeful to be added to the UFC 226 card July 7 in Las Vegas, MMAFighting.com reports.
ANALYSIS
Velasquez has been on the shelf for 18 months, having last competed at UFC 200 in July of 2016. The American Kickboxing Academy product was once regarded as one of the best heavyweights on the planet, but his troubled injury history has paved the way for Stipe Miocic to take the title of "Baddest Man on the Planet." Miocic will be fighting Daniel Cormier at the July 7 event, and if Cormier is able to pull off a victory, it would put Velasquez in a tough spot. Velasquez and Cormier are teammates at AKA, and have both stated in the past that they would not fight each other. Velasquez stated in a recent interview that he would be open to fighting at light heavyweight, but would prefer his return to be in the division he is most comfortable in.
Resumes training, according to teammate
HeavyweightUFC
Out
December 11, 2017
Velasquez's training partner, Daniel Cormier, revealed Monday on The MMA Hour with Ariel Helwani that he has resumed training despite dealing with a back injury.
ANALYSIS
Velasquez doesn't have any concrete plans for a fight just yet, but seeing that he's back to training is certainly a positive sign. Though Francis Ngannou and Stipe Miocic are currently set to fight in February, the winner of the matchup would be an excellent fight for Cain, unless he decides to book a "tune-up fight" first. Velasquez, a former heavyweight champion, has not stepped into the Octagon since a UFC 200 victory over Travis Brown in July 2016.
Taking time to heal
HeavyweightUFC
Out
October 1, 2017
Velasquez told Ariel Helwani of The MMA Hour in an interview at UFC 215 that he is taking time to heal and be with family, MMAFighting.com reports.
ANALYSIS
Velsaquez has been out of action since smashing Travis Browne at UFC 200 in July 2016. A lingering back injury inspired Velasquez to get surgery and he has been recovering ever since. With a baby on the way, Cain has been spending plenty of time with family while he heads toward a complete recovery. A date for his return to the Octagon isn't set but Cain states that he misses competing and is looking to possibly see action in 2018. There has been no talk between Velasquez and UFC brass of a rematch with Fabricio Werdum yet.