Velasquez, who has been with the UFC since UFC 83 in April of 2008, signed a new contract with the promotion before agreeing to fight Ngannou.
“It’s something that I’m happy with,” Velasquez said at the UFC Fight Night Phoenix media day (via MMA Fighting). “Something that for me and my family makes sense. Now that we got all that squared away and I took the time to get everything right, I’m ready.”
The former UFC Heavyweight Champion hasn’t competed since UFC 200, where he defeated Travis Browne by first round TKO.
It has been two-plus years since Velasquez fought and the fighter admits that retirement has been discussed in recent times.
“I always thought about it,” Velasquez said. “Just me and my family, we’ve talked about it. My wife and I. Again, if it didn’t make sense, I’d be able to walk away and I would be OK with that. There is life after fighting. It’s all about that. I have kids now. It’s all about that longevity. It just had to all make sense. It has.”
UFC Fight Night Phoenix takes place on Sunday, February 17 from the Talking Stick Resort Arena in Phoenix, Arizona with Francis Ngannou and Cain Velasquez headlining. Fightful is providing live coverage of the event, which airs live on ESPN.