UFC heavyweight champion Cain Velasquez joined title challenger Antonio Silva, former champion Junior Dos Santos, and heavyweight underdog Mark Hunt in speaking to the media about next week’s UFC 160 card. UFC 160 emanates live from Las Vegas and airs on pay-per-view with preliminary bouts on FX and Facebook.

Velasquez fought Silva in a UFC 146 co-headliner in an attempt to cement his claim towards a title rematch with then-champion Dos Santos. Many in the MMA world know how that matchup ended for Silva, but UFC 146 happened last year. This year, Silva presents something different from what Velasquez faced, and while others don’t see it, Velasquez feels motivated by the difference between the Silva he defeated and the Silva that wants his title.

“I’m fine with rematches,”  Velasquez said. “As far as motivation, I’m motivated to do this. A rematch, it is what it is. You have to look at it as a whole new fight with whole new strategies involved.”

After defeating Silva, Velasquez went on to take his title back from Dos Santos in one of the sport’s most dominating performances. Without question, Velasquez earned his title back, but Dos Santos, never one to make excuses, uses the loss to reinvent himself and come back stronger.

“The first week was very tough, but Cain was better than me,” Dos Santos said, “he fought better than me, he did a better job and he deserved to win. Once you see that, you realize that’s what this sport is all about. Cain was the better fighter that day and it was easy for me to accept that this is just part of the sport.”

While Dos Santos accepted his defeat to Velasquez, he did have question about if he’d fight again, though not for the reasons one would expect. Dos Santos felt determined to reclaim his title after UFC 155, and when arch-nemesis Alistair Overeem lost in an upset to Silva at UFC 156, the stars seemed to align in order to bring that fight to fruition.

However, Overeem suffered an injury that forced him from the card, and eventually, Hunt replaced Overeem. All seemed like smooth sailing for the fight with Hunt, but when a recent visa issue threatened to prevent Hunt from fulfilling his UFC 160 fight week obligations, Dos Santos feared that he would not get to fight.

“I’ve trained a lot and invested a lot into this training camp to make sure I’m prepared and I’m sure Mark is in the same boat. Neither one of us wants to be without a fight next week. That being said, I’m expecting to fight.”

Hunt and UFC officials have worked to resolve the issue and Hunt expects to make his presence felt in Las Vegas. More so than the chance to fight, Hunt wants the opportunity that comes with a victory over Dos Santos. As it stands, Dos Santos gets the rematch with Velasquez, or the shot at Silva, with a win over Hunt. However, if Hunt gets the win, “Super Samoan” hopes it puts him across the cage from the champ, whomever it may be.

“It should put me up,” Hunt said, “If I can beat Junior, I should be in the number one spot. That’s the reason why I wanted it. He’s a former world champion so it’ll be a great match for me. We’ll see how it goes.”

Obviously, one would be a fool to overlook “Bigfoot”, who tore through Travis Browne before defeating Overeem. Despite the impressive performances, few expect Silva to make a bout out of the rematch. However, ask Silva himself, and he loves it that way.

“I get to go out there and show them wrong. There’s no superheroes in this sport. Nobody’s invincible. I’ve put in a lot of hard work the last nine weeks and I’m very confident I’ll have my hand raised next Saturday night.”

Photo: UFC heavyweight champion Cain Velasquez

About The Author

Dale De Souza
Staff Writer

Dale De Souza is a 22-year-old kid straight out of Texas, who grew up around Professional Wrestling but embraced the beauty of Mixed Martial Arts and Combat Sports at a young age. Dale is a Featured Columnist at Bleacher Report MMA, a writer at The MMA Corner.