With current UFC heavyweight champion Cain Velasquez out injured with a torn rotator cuff, the division is currently in a state of flux at this moment in time.
According to Yahoo! Sport’s Kevin Iole in an interview on PROMMARadio yesterday reports that Velasquez will be out for 6-8 months may be underestimating the scale of the problem.
“That’s a bad injury that Cain has, a really bad injury,” Iole says. “He’s obviously a phenomenal athlete and in better shape than most people so I think he’ll come back from it quicker, but you’re talking at least six months of rehab before you can even really get into training for a fight, and you know, another two months after that [to train for a fight].
“I think that’s really optimistic to say that he’ll be able to fight and be himself in eight months. I think that’s the absolute earliest it can be. And I think it’s actually going to be, before he gets nto the cage again, I think it’s going to be a year.”
With that in mind Iole appears convinced that current No.1 contender Junior Dos Santos will be given an interim title fight.
“Yes, they have not announced it yet, but that is going to happen,” Iole confirmed to the host Larry Pepe.
Despite his confirmation it’s not 100% clear if Iole is merely speculating here, or is going on concrete information passed down from Zuffa HQ.
If it is true it’s news that will be welcomed by the Brazilian who’s made it clear that after seven victories in the UFC he’s earned the right to fight for the belt, even if that means the interim title.
The question then is who he may face. The two most likely options would appear to be former champion Brock Lesnar and former interim champion Shane Carwin.
There is still precious little info on what Lesnar intends to do next, but we do know that Carwin is currently targeting a return to action in June at UFC 131 following an injury layoff. Timing wise that sounds just about right for an interim title match-up.