He was touted as possibly being the first ever Mexican-American heavyweight champion in UFC history. Now he can proudly proclaim that accomplishment as Cain Velasquez dominated Brock Lesnar on his way to a first round TKO to become the new UFC heavyweight champion.
Coming from humble beginnings, Cain Velasquez worked hard for everything he’s achieved first in the sport in wrestling and then in the sport of MMA. The work paid off with Velasquez showing tremendous heart in the opening moments of the fight as Lesnar got him to the ground, probably the last place he wanted to be.
A quick scramble ensued, and Velasquez bounced back to his feet and never allowed Lesnar to take him back down again.
“We worked in all positions even worst case scenarios,” Velasquez commented about being put on his back early in the fight. “We expected him to cover up, go hard in look for the takedown, throw punches too, so we were ready for that.”
Whether it mentally or physically affected Lesnar is unknown, but Velasquez’s confidence surely soured from the moment, and he took over and never let up on the pressure. While wrestling is the base for both fighters, many people wondered if Velasquez could be able to get the much larger Lesnar to the ground and he answered emphatically with a nice takedown, before he started to unload big punches on the South Dakota native.
Relentless in his attack, Velasquez opened up cuts on Lesnar’s face as the champion could only cover up and try to survive the barrage. Referee Herb Dean kept a close eye on the action and gave Lesnar every chance to recover and fight back.
That moment never came.
Velasquez continued on the offensive, blasting away at Lesnar as his crimson mask of blood continued to grow, streaming down his face, and that was enough. With the final shots landed, Cain Velasquez was crowned the new UFC heavyweight champion.
While he may have finished Lesnar in the first round, Velasquez says he was prepared for anything and everything, including a 25-minute war.
“I trained for a five round fight, that’s what I was hoping I’m always ready for that,” Velasquez stated. “I wasn’t expecting this, you can’t expect an early stoppage or a first round fight, you’ve got to train for the whole fight.”
With a loud and supportive crowd behind him in Anaheim, including a large Latino fan base, Velasquez boiled it all down to three words for his legion of supporters.
“We did it,” he said.
The moment may have been defined the best by Velasquez’s grappling coach Dave Camarillo, as he stood behind the new champion with tears streaming down his face, proud of a fighter he’s worked with since his first day entering the sport of MMA.
Classy in defeat and going as far as not attending the post fight press conference as to not take away Cain Velasquez’s moment, Brock Lesnar paid respect to the man who handed him only the second loss in his MMA career.
“I expected nothing less,” Lesnar said about the new champion. “He’s a great fighter, I knew I had a great challenge in front of me. Congratulations Cain. What can I say, he was better than me tonight.”
Lesnar believes he had the best possible camp he could have had getting ready for the fight with Velasquez, but he vowed to get back in the gym and return to championship form.
“That’s what a champion does,” Lesnar promised in his work to get back to the top.
Cain Velasquez will now sit atop the heavyweight division as the reigning UFC champion, and wait for his next challenger, Junior Dos Santos, who will likely get his shot at some point in 2011.