But not necessarily in that order.
After making it look easy against his first seven opponents, Velasquez scored a "Knockout of the Night" against mixed martial arts legend and former Pride Heavyweight Champion Antonio Rodrigo Nogueira, securing himself an October 2010 title bout opposite then-division champion Brock Lesnar at UFC 121 in Anaheim.
Four minutes and twelve seconds later, the pasty-faced ex-WWE star was officially dethroned.
Patient pugilist Junior dos Santos was expected to get the first crack at "Brown Pride's" belt; however, injuries suffered in the Lesnar bout failed to heal on their own, leaving the newly-minted champion with no other alternative but to undergo invasive shoulder surgery.
And that would have kept "Cigano" out of action for over a year.
Well, a Brazilian's gotta get paid, so out went his claim to the division's number one contender spot (by choice) in order to cash in on a big ticket payday against Lesnar, who will face Dos Santos at UFC 131 on June 11 following their respective coaching gigs on The Ultimate Fighter (TUF) 13.
And you can be sure it's a bout that Velasquez will be watching very carefully, as he's expected to face the winner in his return bout in early fall.
But will he be ready?
According to his recent conversation with Heavy MMA he's already back in the gym:
"Yeah, I’m back in the gym. I’m limited in what I can do. I can’t punch with my right hand yet. The doctor wants me to take two months to strengthen my right hand ... I can run, I can do footwork. There’s a lot of stuff I can do. In those two months, I can get my body ready for one-hundred percent training ... I’m excited (about getting married). I think I found the perfect woman to build a great family. It’s going to be a happy day for us."
Happy days are here again. But for how long? Will this surgery make him a better fighter -- or worse?
Who will be UFC heavyweight champion one year from now?