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Cain Velasquez out for six months, discusses injury at UFC 125 Q&A

Velasquez said he wouldn’t mind UFC holding interim heavyweight-title fight

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Jae C. Hong / AP

Cain Velasquez celebrates after defeating Brock Lesnar in UFC 121 in Anaheim, Calif., on Saturday. Velasquez won by TKO in the first round.

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UFC Heavyweight Champion Cain Velasquez on Friday confirmed reports that he suffered a shoulder injury in October's title fight against Brock Lesnar.

Velasquez spoke publicly about the injury for the first time as part of a fan question-and-answer session at the MGM Garden Arena before the UFC 125 weigh-in. He said he would undergo surgery and be out for six months to repair a torn rotator cuff.

"Everyone wants to see me fight and I want to go out there and please you guys, but it's part of the territory," Velasquez said. "People get hurt all the time and get surgery. This isn't my first surgery, so I've got to do what my doctor says to get it right."

Velasquez said the delay in disclosing the injury came because he hoped rehabbing it for six weeks would solve the problem. But another MRI after the rehab period confirmed Velasquez needed surgery.

His next opponent, top heavyweight contender Junior Dos Santos, reportedly is not happy with the news. Santos told Portuguese Web site Portal Vale Tudo that he didn't want to wait the extra few months to fight Velasquez.

"I'm really outraged," Dos Santos told Portal Vale Tudo. "How does a person leave a fight with Brock Lesnar in perfect physical condition and then get hurt without being in training?"

Velasquez said it wasn't until a few hours after the Lesnar fight at UFC 121 that he started to feel discomfort in his shoulder.

He said he understand why Dos Santos was upset, but felt he handled the injury correctly.

""I tried to keep it under wraps and told people I was fine when I wasn't," Velasquez said. "I wanted to try the rehab and get healthy that way. I thought I was doing the right thing."

If Velasquez is sidelined longer than six months, UFC could decide to hold a fight to crown an interim heavyweight champion.

That's the route it chose when Brock Lesnar suffered from mononucleosis in 2009 after defending his heavyweight belt against Frank Mir at UFC 100. Shane Carwin defeated Frank Mir to win the interim belt, but lost to Lesnar when he was healthy enough to return to the octagon.

Velasquez said he wouldn't protest the UFC handling his situation similarly.

"They need to keep fighting," Velasquez said. "They have to. They can't wait around half-a-year for a fight because there are fights all the time."

Case Keefer can be reached at 948-2790 or [email protected]. Follow Case on Twitter at twitter.com/casekeefer.

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