New reports indicate that Cain Velasquez is looking to make his Octagon return at UFC 200. As for his opponent, it seems the UFC is trying to book Travis Browne for a heavyweight match-up.
The last time Velasquez fought in front of the UFC crowd was on June 13 of last year for the UFC 188 event. In the match, he fought Interim Heavyweight title holder Fabricio Werdum but lost via submission through a guillotine choke, Bloody Elbow reported.
A rematch between the two was then scheduled for UFC Fight Night 82 last February but the two backed out due to injuries. Since then, Velasquez was not able to make a successful Octagon return due to recurring complications regarding his physical condition.
Werdum, on the other hand, has been scheduled to defend his title against Stipe Miocic at UFC 198, which will happen on May 14.
But, earlier this month, Velasquez's camp announced that the fighter is on his way to revering from a back surgery which removed the bone spurs affecting his static nerve. According to head coach Javier Mendez of AKA, Velasquez is expected to return to the gym this month to continue his training.
"My fans deserve to see me compete as close to 100% as possible," Velasquez said in a Facebook post. "I'm committed to giving them that. I'm not going to let my fans down, and I want to make sure I do the right things to ensure a long career."
Aside from ensuring his return, Velasquez also apologized to Werdum for not being able to face him in a rematch.
For his official return, Velasquez is expected to fight Browne. Although the fight card hasn't been confirmed or finalized yet, it would most probably turn out to be an interesting match-up given the two fighters' backgrounds.
For Velasquez, he would, of course, want to emerge as a victor to show the UFC that he is still a dangerous fighter despite coming back from a long break. As for Browne, his ranking in the UFC Heavyweight division has moved up to #6 after defeating Matt Mitrione in January of this year.
If he managers to dominate Velasquez, not only will his ranking improve but it will also get him one step closer to getting a title match against Werdum, according to Ecumenical News.