Cain Velasquez will remain on the shelf for the foreseeable future with an injury to his left hand that has hindered his progress.
UFC Tonight reported the news on Twitter:
Cain Velasquez is still not cleared to punch with his left hand and he refuses to rush back into the Octagon.— UFC Tonight (@UFCTonight) April 23, 2014
The injury to his left hand could not only keep him out for the next few months but also result in Velasquez sitting out the remainder of the year. While his shoulder has healed enough to return to training, his hand injury is the issue, as Ariel Helwani reported on UFC Tonight.
Helwani said, via Cage Potato:
I spoke to his wrestling coach and he told me that Cain's doctor cleared him to use his right hand in training two weeks ago, but he's not sure if Cain's ready to use the left hand yet. He's not sure if he'll be ready by November. He said he won't rush into the fight that's targeted for then. He won't fight until he's 100 percent. There's talk of Cain coaching The Ultimate Fighter Latin America, and the UFC has approached him about it, and they could film it in May in Las Vegas. It would be a likely scenario that he'd coach against Werdum now.
The last part of that report is likely another huge reason for Velasquez not rushing back into training for his next fight. With a potential deal to coach The Ultimate Fighter in Latin America, the 31-year-old has time to recover and stay around the sport.
An emerging UFC fan favorite who holds a 13-1 record in MMA, Velasquez is currently riding a four-match winning streak with a chance to break out. But with the injury hampering him, returning to the Octagon when a fighter is not at full health could break a career.
With that opportunity opening up, it makes sense for him to step away from the sport and make sure he's fully recovered. In a sport where injuries can cost a fighter his or her career, making the smart decision isn't always the most popular one.