UFC heavyweight champion Cain Velasquez had one MRI on his left shoulder and is going to get another in order to determine if he needs surgery.
A Spanish-language web site reported Wednesday that Velasquez would defend his belt in the main event of UFC 172 in Mexico City on either April 19 or April 26 against Fabricio Werdum. UFC president Dana White said today that is not true and that Velasquez’s injury will delay any foray into Mexico.
Mexico has long been seen as a prime market for the UFC. Boxing matches in Mexico do extraordinarily well on television and White has long believed mixed martial arts would become popular there as soon as a television deal was announced. The UFC announced a deal with Televisa in July, and there has been much speculation about when the first card would be in Mexico.
Milenio.com reported that it would be in April, but White disputed that.
“We haven’t offered anyone a fight for that card and Cain is injured right now and might need surgery,” White said. “Obviously, we’re not going to Mexico without Cain Velasquez.”
Cook said that Velasquez injured his shoulder during his title defense with Junior dos Santos at UFC 165 on Oct. 19 in Houston.
“He’s had one MRI already, but we’re going to get another one that is hopefully of better quality,” Cook said. “He hurt it during the fight, but we’re not exactly sure when or how it happened. Right now, we’re waiting to get this other MRI before we know what we have to do, whether there’s a need for minor surgery or just rehab.”
Cook said he wouldn’t know whether Velasquez could be ready for an April show until after the champion is examined by doctors. He said he hopes to have that completed by sometime next week.
Javier Mendez, Velasquez’s trainer, said Velasquez first mentioned the injury to him after the fight ended. Mendez said that he doesn’t think it is major and that it is not out of the question that Velasquez could be ready to fight in April if the UFC wanted him to do so.
“It was one of those things where it had no impact on him in the fight, but after it’s over and the adrenaline isn’t going as much, you go, ‘Uh oh, I may have done something,’ ” Mendez said. “He never said a thing about it during the fight, but I was with him after just before we went to the press conference and he told me he thought he hurt his shoulder.
“Hopefully, it’s just something that will need rehab. I don’t think it’s major, but then Cain has such an amazingly high threshold for pain, you don’t know for sure. We just need to get it checked out properly and then we can proceed.”