• UFC 146

Velasquez to pip '205-pounder' Cormier to UFC title shot

ESPN staff
May 27, 2012

Cain Velasquez looks set to beat American Kickboxing Academy colleague Daniel Cormier to the next shot at the UFC heavyweight title, after president Dana White said Velasquez "deserves the next fight".

Velasquez crushed Antonio Silva at UFC 146, marking a successful return to action after he lost his belt to champion Junior Dos Santos. Could one win be enough to earn him a rematch with the champ? White believes so.

"Cain went undefeated for a long time, lost to Junior," White said. "[Dos Santos] defends the title and [Velasquez] wins, so we like that fight.

"Cain deserves the next fight."

Cormier created headlines with his equally dominant win over Josh Barnett to become Strikeforce Heavyweight Grand Prix champion. He has to complete one more fight on his Strikeforce contract before he comes to the UFC, but even when he is ready White would prefer Cormier to operate at a different weight.

"Yes, he will end up coming over to the UFC. The thing is I'd love to see the guy go down to 205lbs," White said. "I think he's a small heavyweight over here.

"Listen, I respect Josh Barnett, he did work Barnett. Barnett fights like once a year, I'm not taking anything away from Barnett, but it's a whole other ball game over here.

"I'm not telling him [Cormier], if the guy wants to stay at heavyweight, I'm not going to tell him where to go, but I think it would be a good move for him to go to 205."

Asked if he would get a heavyweight title shot when he comes across to the UFC, White replied: "If he comes over and wants to fight for the heavyweight championship, yes."

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