There was a big to-do following Cain Velasquez's less-than-stellar performance in a heavyweight title unification headliner opposite Fabricio Werdum at the UFC 188 pay-per-view (PPV) last June, for which he made zero excuses.
The All-American wrestler from Arizona State University, who's known for his ordinarily excellent cardio, was dispatched with ease by "Vai Cavalo" inside Mexico City Arena.
Interestingly enough, it's a fellow Brazilian and ex-adversary of Velasquez, Junior dos Santos, who believes the former wins back his 265-pound belt in a future rematch.
"I think Werdum did well in his last fight, but in my opinion he did not fight the same Velasquez I fought. Velasquez was exhausted in the first round. That was a complete surprise for me. He was exhausted in the first round. That's unbelievable for someone like him, who fought 10 rounds against me. In the fifth round he was hopping like a kid, so that was odd. If Velasquez shows up in his usual shape. I think he beats Werdum. But if Werdum keeps the belt and I win my fight. I could be next. It could happen."
Dos Santos, 31, has a grudge match to sort out with one-time Strikeforce heavyweight titleholder Alistair Overeem at UFC on FOX 17 on Sat., Dec. 19, 2015. He also has a succinct argument here, having notched stoppages over Velasquez and Werdum during his tenure in ZUFFA.
It sounds like Velasquez has already begun taking the necessary steps toward reclaiming his title.
Another tussle between highly-ranked heavyweight competitors, Andrei Arlovski and Stipe Miocic, goes down two weeks later at UFC 195 on Sat., Jan. 2, 2016, further clouding the title picture.