Much like Rashad Evans did for the better part of 2010, Junior dos Santos is confronted with playing the waiting game for his UFC title shot in 2011. MMA Fighting reported today that UFC heavyweight champion Cain Velasquez has been sidelined for 6-8 months with a shoulder injury.
Newly crowned champ Cain Velasquez will be out of action for six to eight months with an injured right shoulder, sources with knowledge of the situation told MMA Fighting.
UFC president Dana White subsequently confirmed the news to MMA Fighting following Wednesday’s UFC 125 press conference at the MGM Grand Hotel.
“Yep, it’s true,” White gloomily responded when asked if Velasquez would have to be shelved. He said the summer of 2011 would hopefully bring Velasquez’s return.
MMA Junkie followed up with Velasquez’s trainer Javier Mendez to get more details on the injury. He says Cain’s rotator cuff is 90% torn and will require surgery.
American Kickboxing Academy trainer Javier Mendez today told MMAjunkie.com (www.mmajunkie.com) that the champ injured his shoulder during a winning bid for Brock Lesnar’s title at UFC 121, though he declined to disclose it at the time because the severity of the injury was unknown after an initial MRI.
When a second MRI this past week revealed a badly torn rotator cuff which could bench Velasquez for a minimum of 4-6 months – if not longer – a defense in April became unrealistic.
Although disappointed, Velasquez is optimistic about his recovery and wants to undergo surgery as soon as possible, Mendez said. Velasquez’s rotator cuff is 90 percent torn and will need extensive physical therapy.
“They say the rehab on that type of injury is going to take anywhere from 4-6 months,” he said. “Then from there he’s got to get fight-ready.”
Major bummer. The question now is, will JDS wait for Cain to recover or risk taking a fight in the meantime to stay busy and earn a paycheck?
Update: Well it didn’t take long to get answer about JDS. Ed Soares says he’s not going to wait.
MMAWeekly.com was able to speak with Dos Santos’ manager Ed Soares on Wednesday as well, and according to him the top contender in the heavyweight division will not be waiting for Velasquez to return before fighting again.
“He is not going to wait 6 months,” Soares said in a text message to MMAWeekly.com.