It didn’t take long for Cain Velasquez to win the UFC heavyweight title before talk of his next challenger came up just moments after his victory at UFC 155.
Velasquez dominated Junior Dos Santos en route to a one-sided unanimous decision victory to reclaim the title he lost just over a year ago.
Now with the gold back around his waist, Velasquez will look to make a successful title defense in his next trip to the Octagon, but there’s one name that won’t be waiting to greet him.
Velasquez’s teammate and wrestling coach Daniel Cormier, who will soon transition to the UFC following his final fight with Strikeforce on Jan 12, could be viewed very easily as the No. 1 contender in the heavyweight division.
Win wins over Josh Barnett and Antonio “Bigfoot” Silva on his record, Cormier is already ranked as a top 3 heavyweight, but when he debuts in the UFC in 2013, it definitely won’t be against his friend and teammate Cain Velasquez.
“I wouldn’t,” Velasquez told Fuel TV when asked if there’s any chance he’d face Cormier. “This is my friend, this is my teammate, this is my coach. You want to see us fight, go to AKA three days a week, we’re going to fight for free.”
Cormier echoed those sentiments and added that while there’s still plenty of competition for him to face at heavyweight without fighting Velasquez, he may ultimately make the move down to 205lbs to make it easier on everyone.
“We spar three days a week, we work hard. Cain Velasquez is going to force me to do something I never wanted to do for a while and that’s maybe cut some weight. They’ve got a lot guys for me to fight. I’m happy my man is the champion,” Cormier stated.
For his part, UFC President Dana White is okay if Velasquez and Cormier don’t fight because he knows they are already discussing it as a team, and they will figure it out before it ever becomes an actual issue.
“Cormier’s a guy who can come in and do anything. A win over Josh Barnett means something, so we’ll see,” White said about Cormier at the UFC 155 post fight press conference.
So with Cormier out of the potential heavyweight title picture in the UFC at least while Velasquez is champion, that leaves the top contender spot most likely landing in the lap of Alistair Overeem should he win in his next fight against Antonio “Bigfoot” Silva at UFC 156.
Following that fight then White could see Junior Dos Santos earn a trilogy fight with Velasquez to settle the score once and for all.
“Probably the winner of that fight (between Alistair Overeem and Antonio Silva) will fight Cain next,” said White. “After that fight happens, the fight that probably makes the most sense would be the rematch with Junior Dos Santos. We’ll see how long it takes him to heal.”
While Overeem would be a likely candidate with a win, it would be hard to believe Silva would get the same chance considering he just lost to Velasquez in March. Either way, the heavyweight division is still looking for the top contender as Cain Velasquez relishes his victory at UFC 155.