By the time the Octagon door closes at “UFC on FOX,” it will have been nearly 13 months since Cain Velasquez defeated Brock Lesnar to capture the UFC heavyweight title at UFC 121.
A surgically-repaired rotator cuff has kept the first Mexican heavyweight champion in combat sports history on the shelf. Now fully healed, Velasquez is ready to end his extended layoff and defend his crown. However, he admits he’ll have some pre-game jitters entering the November 12th scrap.
“There’s always butterflies, but it’s not going to be more than usual,” Velasquez said during this week’s conference call. “When you kind of get in the grind of training and everything else, that kind of gets your mind ready for what’s ahead. That makes me feel ready. That’s natural for me to be a little nervous.”
To exacerbate the issue, Velasquez’s first title defense will be the UFC’s premiere on primetime television. Although an unprecedented amount of eyes will be on him, the 29-year-old claims his ability to concentrate solely on Junior dos Santos helps alleviate the pressure.
“I’m excited and it is a great honor to have this fight chosen by the UFC to be the first one on FOX,” Velasquez expressed. “But I am not focused on the event, the hype or the [expected large TV audience]. Like any other fight, I am focused on my opponent and not much else.”
UFC president Dana White believes the company will be putting its best foot forward by showcasing the world’s top two heavyweights.
“I can guarantee you that if this fight goes 30 seconds or 30 minutes, this is going to be a fight right here,” stated White. “Both of these guys always come to fight.”
“UFC on FOX ” takes place November 12th inside the Honda Center in Anaheim, California. Every preliminary bout will be shown on Facebook, with the Velasquez vs. dos Santos bout airing on FOX at 6PM PT/9PM ET.