(VidProps: MMA Fighting)
Heavyweight contender Cain Velasquez brings a lot of excitement to his fights from bell to bell. In an interview setting? Not so much. Velasquez is a great guy but let’s face it, it’s almost impossible to get him to say anything interesting. Just ask Ariel Helwani, who does about all he can to pry something, anything good out of Velasquez in this video.
In the wake of UFC President Dana White reconfirming this week that Velasquez has got dibs on the winner of Shane Carwin vs. Brock Lesnar, Helwani asks Velasquez who he’d rather fight. Either guy, Velasquez says. Who does he think will win on Saturday, Helwani asks. Depends, Velasquez says. Would the businessman in him rather chase the bigger payday of a fight with Lesnar than Carwin? No, he just wants to fight the best, Velasquez contends. What will we see from him in his next fight? He just wants to get better in all aspects of MMA.
So yeah, pretty much sticking to the script.
The whole thing is a study in what football coaches everywhere call being “vanilla” with the media, which is exactly what you want to do right now if you’re Cain Velasquez. Don’t say anything that might make Big DW start thinking about jumping someone else in line. The closest Velasquez comes to expressing an opinion or making a declarative statement in this interview is when he says if the winner of tonight’s fight comes out of UFC 116 without any lingering injuries he hopes his heavyweight title shot will come “pretty quick.”
And that hope frankly seems in vain. Even if Velasquez is able to challenge for the belt as early as, say, October, it will still amount to an eight month layoff for the fighter who last fought at UFC 110 in February. In that appearance, he defeated Antonio Rodrigo Nogueira by TKO in just two minutes, 20 seconds. Prior to that, he bested Ben Rothwell in under a minute, so his sentiments about getting back in the cage ASAP are duly noted.
With Velasquez already tapped as the next contender for the crown and Junior dos Santos waiting in the wings after that – provided he beats Roy Nelson in August – whoever emerges from this weekend with the UFC heavyweight title will have no shortage of tough fights on the docket.