May 26, 2012; Las Vegas, NV, USA; Cain Velasquez before his fight against Antonio Silva (not pictured) at the MGM Grand Garden event center. Mandatory Credit: Ron Chenoy-US PRESSWIRE
It was widely believed that former Ultimate Fighting Championship (UFC) Heavyweight champion Cain Velasquez would get his chance to get his belt back against the man who took it from him back at UFC on Fox 1, current champion Junior dos Santos, in a rematch that was set for later this Fall.
However, UFC officials have yet to nail down a date for the much-anticipated rematch and former number one contender, Alistair Overeem -- who was set to take on "Cigano" at UFC 146 this past Memorial Day Weekend -- has expressed his interest in going toe-to-toe with the champion, sooner rather than later.
To complicate things further, "JDS" recently stated that even though he respects Cain as a worthy challenger, he wants to face "The Reem" next, not Velasquez.
Now with all three heavyweights looking to fight each other to prove they are truly the best in the world, UFC officials truly have their work cut out for them, pondering who gets to fight for the title next.
For his part, Velasquez believes he is the true number on contender, though he understands that the recent back-and-forth between "The Reem" and "Cigano" is the reason the powerful Brazilian is opting to face the Dutch striker first instead of him.
He appeared on "The MMA Hour" today (Aug. 6, 2012) to give his take on the matter:
"I'm in line next for a title. 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. But as a champion, if you have a number one contender, then you don't normally get to choose who you fight. You just have to fight the number one contender. Then that's it. That 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. I don't think you as champion should choose who you fight. [Junior]'s not ducking me. He's a great competitor. He's a great fighter. I just think Overeem and him had some words spoken back and forth to each other and he wants to fight him. He really wants to fight him first, wants to beat him. But you gotta get through me first."
Velasquez feels he simply wants what was promised to him and says he has earned the title shot, but will not resort to trash talking to get it:
"I see that. That's just the way I am. I'm definitely going to go out there and show a good fight. But as far as the trash talking beforehand, that's just not my style. I know fans want to see that, but like I said before whoever is next in line, you have to fight him. You being the champion need to fight the guy next in line, not pick and choose who you fight. With whatever he's (Overeem) is going through, I don't really care. I just know what I've done to get here. Whatever I was promised, I was promised. That's just how I see it. I definitely want that fight with Junior, so I'm going to do everything in my power to try to get that fight happening. We'll just see how it plays out, I guess. We'll just have to talk to Dana a little bit here and there and see where he stands. The only thing you can do is try to get this fight going. That's what I want. I want this fight."
Velasquez mentioned that his management team is scheduled to meet with UFC President Dana White later this week, a meeting that could potentially end the mystery as to who exactly will face dos Santos next ... and when.
The good news is, regardless of who fights who and when, all three will more-than-likely- face each other sometime down the road inside the Octagon.
In the meantime, let's hear who you feel is the rightful number one contender to face Junior dos Santos. Is it the former champion Velasquez or the former Strikeforce and DREAM heavyweight kingpin, Alistair Overeem?