Cain Velasquez: Getting the Win Back Against Junior dos Santos is Most Important

December 19, 2012
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Cain Velasquez UFC 146Cain Velasquez knew going into his first fight with Junior dos Santos in November 2011 that he wasn’t even near 100-percent ready.

The UFC heavyweight champion suffered a serious knee injury during his training camp, but rather than pull out of the fight and risk ruining the first ever UFC on Fox show, he pushed through and stepped into the Octagon that night.

Sixty-four seconds later his night was over, his title was gone, and Velasquez had no choice but to live with his decision to fight.

You’ll never hear the former champion talk much about the injury that hampered him, or how he didn’t stick to the strategy put forth by his coaches that night. Velasquez is more the type that looks ahead instead of making excuses for the past.

Still, it can’t be denied as he heads into his rematch with dos Santos at UFC 155, he’s a happy man to be healthy and ready to go.

“Just to be able to do stuff in the gym, to actually do your game plan, mentally that just gets you so much stronger. I feel a lot better going in, and that’s the best thing I could ask for right now,” Velasquez told MAWeekly Radio about the differences with this fight camp versus the last time he prepared to face dos Santos.

Throughout his athletic career, Velasquez hasn’t had to taste defeat often, but it’s definitely not a flavor he enjoys. He gained All-American honors as a wrestler at Arizona State, but didn’t capture an NCAA title.

That was the last time Velasquez lost anything up until his fight with dos Santos last year. So facing the man that handed him that defeat is of special importance to Velasquez, who is excited to regain the UFC heavyweight belt, but even more importantly he gets the chance to erase the memory of that last fight.

“Getting the win back,” Velasquez answered when asked what’s more important in this fight. “And just knowing that you beat the best guys out there to achieve the belt.”

There is an inherent pressure that comes along with this rematch, however. If Velasquez is unsuccessful in a second bid to beat dos Santos, he’ll likely never get a third try at it. He’ll also fall far, far away from a title shot because so long as dos Santos is champion, Velasquez won’t be the man to challenge him.

Velasquez is well aware of all the consequences that go along with a loss, so he rids his mind of it, and focuses only on the things that he can control.

“In those situations, I just think about what I’m going to do when I get out there,” said Velasqeuz. “How I’m going to do it. Plan A, plan B, think about every situation out there. Don’t think about the pressure, the pressure of things. Just when I go out there I need to do this, this and this and that’s it.”

There are no guarantees in this fight, and Velasquez knows it. Every fighter who says things like “this has been the best training camp of my life” can still lose the next day. So Velasquez isn’t making bold predictions.

He’s just getting ready the best he can and if he performs to the best of his ability, win, lose or draw, Velasquez knows he’ll have left it all in the cage.

“I could be my best, 100-percent and I could still not win the fight,” said Velasquez. “But me knowing that I did everything I could, and that when the bell rings I’m going to do that with a purpose.

“I’m going to punch with a purpose, look for different stuff in the stand up, if it goes to the ground do my best down there. Keep doing all that stuff.”

Stay tuned to for all the latest UFC 155 news and fight coverage.

  • If Cain wins this fight in any fashion it’s going to set up a rubber match between them eventually. Cain destroyed Bigfoot yet, and I love the guy but JDS just knocks out everybody (minus Carwin and Nelson who are super durable anyway) and finished Cain in the same fashion. Either way I’d like to see both guys fight The Reem.

    • bajafox

      I for one am hoping for a rubber match. I think once we get that 3rd match out of the way it will solidify the true HW champion, then the other guys can start lining up. Of course, if JDS wins the same way he won last time, that would be the other way to solidify the true HW champ. But the idea of a best 2 out of 3 intrigues me more though.

      • The rubber match would be very exciting. Especially depending on the fashion in which Cain would have to win.Excited for this fight though no doubt.

        • bajafox

          Yea, if Cain wins convincingly then a 3rd match would be awesome. They can sort out the #1 contender in the meantime

  • dgs

    If Cain stands with him he’s getting KO’d, so I don’t advise that strategy. Cain’s standup is not bad, but nowhere near the level of Dos Santos. The ONLY chance Cain stands of winning this fight is getting it to the ground and pounding out Dos Santos like he did Bigfoot. That however is much easier said than done. Even if Cain gets Dos Santos down, he won’t keep him there for long.

    I don’t see the outcome of this fight being any different than the first one. The only difference is now that Cain is supposedly 100% healthy it might last longer than a minute.

    • julioarroyos

      hahahahahahah its so funny how wrong you were in your prediction.. you need to watch more mma and realize ANYthing can happen.. and you also need to work on analyzing a fighter’s skills and weaknesses.. Dos Santos isn’t that good as a stand up fighter. he has power. and speed. his shot placements are just standard procedure in any boxing fight. just not as precise. He’s not creative enough. He doesn’t faint enough. He doesn’t know what to do under pressure but to just swing or throw an uppercut. his combinations are on par with those of an amateur boxer. As shown in his most recent fight, Dos Santos didn’t know what to do against Cain’s relentless attack. if you want to talk about a good striker, talk about Anderson Silva or even Lyoto Machida. Or even jon jones. or better yet, Carlos Condit. All use a lot of faints, and are more precise. More active. more combinations instead of just looking for that big knockout blow. and when they are being bombed, they bob and weave away from their opponent. they don’t just swing their ass off. or run away. they dodge the blow just enough to set them up for a counter strike. it’s not about getting there first, it’s about knowing when to go for it. most heavyweight fighters just want that first punch because it usually means the fight is over. case and point, Shane Carwin. When lesnar survived his first punch, he had no idea what to do because he had gassed himself out. Same as Dos Santos. When Dos Santos knew that his punches were not affecting Cain Velasquez, he had no idea what to do but to try and survive. even towards the end you could still see him try and go for a big knockout punch. but it was never there because Cain is simply the better fighter. in all aspects. and that is why he is the champion now. If dos santos comes back and beats him, then it just means he trained harder and got better as a fighter. if he comes back as the same dos santos, he won’t win. And in all honesty, their first fight was lost by cain, not won by dos santos. cain was not 100 percent and he did not stick to his game plan therefore leaving himself to lose. so next time, don’t judge a fight by just what you see, or hear, but by analyzing the fighters compared to other fighters, watching their fights, learning a little more about the sport, and actually thinking about it. Cain was always the better fighter. Dos Santos just needs a little more training. and better execution.

  • dan

    Dangerous fight so soon for Cain. He loses this and he’s a gatekeeper until JDS loses the belt.

    • bajafox

      As big of a fan of Cain as I am, I completely agree with you. It will be at the very least 3 – 5 wins over top 10 contenders to get a 3rd crack at JDS if he’s still holding the belt. I’d like to see Roy Nelson get a shot after Reem, his striking has improved a ton

  • jeremy

    I hope Cain gets destroyed again, he sounds like such a whiny bitch

    • Sheikh

      Nah that looks like you right now.

    • thedude

      i hope you looked yourself in the mirror when jds lost and saw what a disappointment you are to your mother. i didn’t add father because you probably don’t have one. why i think that you might ask?? cause he was probably tired of listening to his whiny bitch of a son.

  • BLK

    I actually think Cain can tear apart JDS not only is his all round striking better and his movement so are his tactics and strategy. How long are these guys going to stand face on and box with JDS. So a few leg kicks move, duck and weave, 1 more leg kick a straight left and go into a clinch where JDS got overpowered by Roy and Cain is devastating.
    Cain can pick JDS apart if he stays confident.
    That been said I’d love to see JDS knock out the lab rat.