There must be something in the water up there at American Kickboxing Academy. Cain Velasquez is currently rehabbing his surgically repaired shoulder at the Northern California gym, and it appears the UFC heavyweight champ will soon have some company on the sidelines.
Welterweight contender Jon Fitch revealed Tuesday his impending shoulder surgery will keep him out for four to six months.
“I’m going to have to get the labrum worked on, and I also have a tear of one of the rotator cuff muscles that’s going to need to be repaired, too,” Fitch told MMAJunkie. “It’s really depressing. My most favorite thing in the world to do every day with my life, I don’t get to do now for a few months.”
Before getting stung by the injury bug, Fitch was slated to headline UFC 132 opposite BJ Penn. Although Fitch was willing to give it the old college try, the 33-year-old wasn’t able to practice at the level required for his rematch with Penn.
“It’s functional, I can move around and do stuff with it,” Fitch stated. “I could probably even fight with it. But going through a camp and going through six-hour days of workouts, eventually it’s going to break down.
“I don’t think I would get through a full fight camp without it breaking down completely.”
Shortly after Fitch’s shoulder issues surfaced, it was revealed Penn suffered an undisclosed injury and would also be pulled from the July 2nd card. After battling to a highly controversial draw at UFC 127, Fitch believes keeping their top contender bout on the Octagon’s immediate agenda is the wisest choice.
“It’s the best fight for each of us,” Fitch said. “I think it would be dumb for either of us to take a fight with anybody else but each other before we settle it. Either me or BJ would love to just fight the winner of Jake [Shields] and [welterweight champ Georges St-Pierre].
“There’s a lot of options. I hope it works out favorably for me, but I can’t ask the world to stop turning just because I have an injury.”
The report did not confirm when Fitch will go under the knife, but sooner rather than later would make the most sense. Velasquez is expected back by late 2011, but it appears his teammate may have to kiss the year goodbye.