The Ultimate Fighting Championship is headed to Mexico.
The only question is: when?
The answer is simple: as soon as UFC heavyweight champion Cain Velasquez is ready.
Following Velasquez’s most recent victory, over Junior dos Santos at UFC 166 in October, it appeared that the UFC was on course for the champ to next defend his belt this spring in Mexico.
That, however, was before Velasquez realized he had a shoulder injury that needed surgery accompanied by several months of rehabilitation.
Velasquez had successful shoulder surgery in December, but UFC president Dana White confirmed on Monday in a media luncheon with MMAWeekly.com that Velasquez isn’t expected to be able to even begin training again until at least April, the month that had been the original target for Velasquez vs. Werdum.
With Velasquez sidelined, Fabricio Werdum, the No. 1 heavyweight contender, will instead face Travis Browne at UFC on Fox 11 in April in what will likely be the night’s headlining bout. That bout will be in Florida, not Mexico.
White and the other UFC brass are reserving Mexico for Velasquez.
“Won't go (to Mexico) without him. As soon as he's ready, we'll do it. We're ready as soon as he's ready,” said White.
“We can go to Ireland without Conor McGregor, but going into Mexico without Cain would be silly.”