With Thursday's crushing news that Lesnar is out of his fight with Junior Dos Santos at UFC 131 with a resurgence of his diverticulitis, some good news for Velasquez that came out again flew under the radar.
According to a report from Heavy.com, Velasquez has been cleared to return to the gym in a limited capacity, and he's slowly beginning his comeback in hopes of a fall return, now against the winner of Dos Santos and Shane Carwin from next month's event in Vancouver.
"Yeah, I'm back in the gym. I'm limited in what I can do. I can't punch with my right hand yet,? Velasquez said. ?The doctor wants me to take two months to strengthen my right hand.?
Though he can't use that hand during the next two months, he says there's plenty of other things he can do to get himself closer to fighting shape during that time.
"I can run, I can do footwork. There's a lot of stuff I can do," he said. "In those two months, I can get my body ready for one-hundred percent training."
His return is tentatively slated for UFC 136 in October, expected to be the UFC's return to Houston, Texas for the first time since 2007.
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Penick's Analysis: That's great news for Velasquez that he's back in the gym and getting himself back in shape. The year-long layoff is going to be a concern coming into his return fight, as he'll be facing a fellow top striker that will be fresher than he is, whether it's Carwin or Dos Santos. That said, if he can get himself in shape to go full on with his training by the time his camp needs to start for the fight then he should hopefully be able to work off a lot of that rust in the gym before he steps back into the cage. I can't wait to see him return, and regardless of whether he faces Carwin or Dos Santos, it's going to make for one hell of a title fight.