Many of the fighters at American Kickboxing Academy in San Jose, Calif., are like family to each other. Josh Koscheck, Jon Fitch, Mike Swick, Cain Velasquez, and numerous others have been together for the long haul.
When fighters grow that close to one another, they’re always available to lend support when one of them falters, such as what happened when Cain Velasquez lost the UFC heavyweight championship to Junior dos Santos in the UFC on Fox main event.
“I said to Cain after the fight, ‘You know Cain, it’s not about winning or losing. You’re gonna get to go home. You’re gonna have a beautiful wife, a beautiful kid. Just cherish those things because you can come back from a loss. We’ve all done it. We’ve all been there,’” Koscheck said at a recent question and answer session with fans.
“Now it’s gonna show if you’re a true champion or not, you’re ability to come back from this loss or not.”
Of course, comments like that would be expected of a teammate, especially ones that are as close as Koscheck and Velasquez are. But there are other times when support isn’t born of the familiarity of friendship; it’s earned by action.
Velasquez is in that much more rare category, receiving support from Koscheck due to his actions, the type of actions that reflect on how he was able to become a UFC champion in the first place.
“He is a champion because Monday morning he was in the gym. He was working out Monday,” revealed Koscheck.
It’s such action that goes above and beyond being a fighter doing his job. Velasquez understands what it takes to be a champion, and that includes the added weight placed upon a champion’s shoulders.
“I was like, ‘Whoa, what are you doing here already?’” said Koscheck. “He goes, ‘I let a lot of people down and I need to get back to the top.’”
It’s that attitude that leads many to believe that, one day, Cain Velasquez will again wear the UFC heavyweight title belt around his waist.