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Morning Report: Cain Velasquez: Jon Jones would be a great challenge but I think I can beat him

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The last time Cain Velasquez stepped in the cage was July 2016 when he destroyed Travis Browne at UFC 200. Since then, Velasquez has been sidelined with numerous injuries, to the point that fans questioned if he would ever return. But on Sunday, the former two-time UFC heavyweight champion will return to the UFC after his 30-month absence, and he comes back to a very different heavyweight division.

While Velasquez has been out, his teammate Daniel Cormier has cemented his legacy in MMA, becoming only the second double champion in UFC history when he won the heavyweight belt by knocking out Stipe Miocic in one round at UFC 226. Cormier then became the first man to ever defend UFC belts in multiple weight classes when he submitted Derrick Lewis at UFC 230 just a few months later.

Cormier does not have much time left in the sport though. “DC” has previously said that he intended to retire by March but just this week announced he would put off that timeline as he recovers from some lingering injuries. And when Cormier finally does step away, Velasquez is ready to take on anyone to reclaim the heavyweight title.

“[I will fight] anyone,” Velasquez told TMZ Sports recently. “That’s why I’m in this sport: to fight the best guys, to be the best out there. To me, go out there and perform and win and take on the best guys.”

Among those guys considered to be the best in the sport is Jon Jones. Jones, Cormier’s longtime rival, is the only man to have ever beaten the heavyweight champion in MMA. And while at this point, it seems unlikely Jones and Cormier will ever square off again, Velasquez believes he can avenge his teammate’s loss to “Bones”.

“I think I could,” Velasquez said. “I think I’m good enough. Jon Jones is an amazing athlete. I’ve watched him in all his fights, I know what he’s capable of. Again, every guy poses a great challenge and I think he does as well but I think I can beat him.”

First Velasquez has to worry about this weekend though as the former heavyweight champion takes on third-ranked Francis Ngannou in the main event of UFC Phoenix.


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VIDEO STEW

Remember how good Cain used to be?

UFC 235 promo.

KSW is just the best.

Bet you didn’t realize Cheick Kongo has the most fights in Bellator heavyweight history.


LISTEN UP

Eurobash. Interviews with DAve Green, Fabian Edwards, and Tom Aspinall.

Mookie and Crookie. Debating the whether Cain Velasques should have gotten Ngannou.


SOCIAL MEDIA BOUILLABAISSE

Call out.

Savage.

Henry with maximum cringe.

This is true. He’s also lost four of his last five.

I hope you’re there to fight for money. Belts don’t pay bills.

See, they get it.

Beef.


FIGHT ANNOUNCEMENTS

Tyrell Fortune (5-0) vs. Ryan Pokryfky (6-5); Bellator 216, Feb. 16.


TODAY IN MMA HISTORY

2008: Carlos Condit successfully defended his welterweight title with a first round guillotine choke of Carlo Prater at WEC: New Mexico. In the co-main event, Jamie Varner won the lightweight title by stopping Rob McCullough with strikes in the third round and elsewhere on the card, Miguel Torres claimed the bantamweight crown by submitting Chase Beebe with a guillotine choke in the first round.


FINAL THOUGHTS

Thanks for reading and see y’all tomorrow.


EXIT POLL

Poll

Who ya got?

This poll is closed.

  • 37%
    Velasquez
    (733 votes)
  • 26%
    Jones
    (526 votes)
  • 36%
    Is this sea-level Cain we’re talking about or altitude Cain?
    (721 votes)
1980 votes total Vote Now

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