3 Reasons We Want to See Cain Velasquez vs. Daniel Cormier
They certainly didn't break new ground by doing so, but in April 2012, Jon Jones and Rashad Evans illustrated that friendships can easily fold when a UFC belt is up for grabs.
Even though Jones vs. Evans didn't seem like a barn-burner on paper, the bitterness that existed between the former friends and confidants made UFC 145 a must-buy pay-per-view event.
With the feud between "Bones" and "Suga" put to rest, another tantalizing high-profile showdown between a pair of buddies could soon arise in the UFC's heavyweight division.
If longtime friends Cain Velasquez and Daniel Cormier continue on similar career trajectories, then—like it or not—the American Kickboxing Academy teammates may soon cross each other's paths in the Octagon.
Here are three reasons fans and pundits yearn to watch UFC heavyweight champ Velasquez lock horns with former Strikeforce heavyweight champ Cormier.
Undoubtedly the two best wrestlers in the heavyweight division, and perhaps two of the best functional wrestlers in the business, Velasquez and Cormier each bring superb amateur accolades to the table.
A two-time Pac-10 champ and a two-time NCAA Division I All-American wrestler at Arizona State University, Velasquez placed fourth in the NCAA championships in 2006 and fifth in 2005.
Three years after losing to legend Cael Sanderson in the NCAA Division I finals, Cormier—Velasquez's wrestling coach at AKA—placed fourth in the 2004 Summer Olympic Games (freestyle wrestling) in Athens.
Cormier garnered team captain honors for the 2008 Summer Olympic Games in Beijing, only to pull out of the competition due to kidney failure.
Each fighter has fought 12 times, with Cormier amassing 12 takedowns and surrendering none, and Velasquez racking up 33 floorings and allowing just two.
If the fight ever came to fruition, the duo may look to nullify each other's strengths and engage in a striking battle.
However, watching Velasquez and Cormier wrestle it out in the Octagon would surely be more aesthetically pleasing than watching the two put on a strikefest.
The Best of the Best
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Plenty of questions surrounding the top tiers of the UFC's heavyweight division will get answered at UFC 160 on May 25.
Velasquez's nemesis, top-ranked Junior dos Santos, will face surging New Zealander Mark Hunt in the night's co-main event. Velasquez will then entertain a rematch with Antonio Silva in the big show.
In their first meeting last May, Velasquez utterly shellacked "Bigfoot" en route to a bloody first-round TKO win at UFC 146.
If Velasquez—deemed a 6.5-to-1 favorite (-650) by Bovada.com for UFC 160—can do as expected and best Silva again, then a future matchup with either "Cigano," Hunt or Cormier should fit him just fine.
But at the UFC 159 post-fight press conference, UFC president Dana White speculated that the fifth-ranked Roy Nelson could face either Hunt or Cormier in his next bout.
There's no telling what the future may hold for the UFC's big boys, especially considering the fact that Cormier's considering a drop to 205 to avoid fighting Velasquez.
However, if Hunt and Velasquez each win, then Nelson will have a suitor in Hunt and Velasquez may have his huckleberry in Cormier.
Friendships Make for Drama in the Octagon
Photo credit: Sherdog.com
Visceral emotions ran rampant before, during and after Jones and Evans scrapped it out at UFC 145.
One-time training partners who vowed to never fight each other, Evans left the camp he once shared with Jones at Jackson's MMA in Albuquerque, New Mexico to help launch his own team, the Blackzillians, in Boca Raton, Florida.
Roughly a year later, Jones ended a nasty media feud with Evans and outclassed the former light heavyweight champ for an emotional unanimous decision win.
Granted, no ill will has spawned between Cormier and Velasquez, even in the midst of their extraordinary success stories. Both men still claim allegiance to AKA and both men still remain adamant that their friendship will prevent them from squaring off.
But remember, Jones and Evans each made similar statements before Suga announced his departure from Jackson's MMA following UFC 128. Just 13 months later, the two were trying to decapitate one another in the Octagon.