Call Cain Velasquez a man of few words.
The former UFC heavyweight champion is a throwback to the days of the strong, silent type, where he speaks softly and carries a big stick.
He’s not a fighter who talks smack or tries to get under the skin of his opponent’s by playing mind games. Velasquez is a smash mouth fighter akin to old school football players like Dick Butkus or Deacon Jones, who would rather tackle and wreak havoc as opposed to talk about how they were going to beat you.
So it’s without much surprise that heading into his UFC 146 bout against Antonio “Bigfoot” Silva, the quiet Velasquez doesn’t have any disparaging words for his opponent, only compliments. He doesn’t predict a first round knockout, only an exciting fight.
In truth however, Velasquez is more like a hurricane that builds power as the weeks and days to the fight move closer, and right now is the quiet before the storm.
“I’ve watched him a couple of times in Strikeforce, and we already have a good idea of what he does and the type of opponents that he’s faced,” Velasquez told MMAWeekly.com about his opponent.
For the first time in his MMA career, Velasquez is however facing unknown waters.
In his last trip to the Octagon, Velasquez tasted defeat for the first time ever when he was knocked out by current UFC heavyweight champion Junior Dos Santos. It did serve as a certain kind of wake up call, but Velasquez isn’t the type of fighter to freak out or believe that everything he was doing leading up to that fight was wrong.
“The best thing you can do is just watch film, see what you did wrong in the film, and just take a look at that going into your next fight. Just try to get better that way that’s all you really can do,” Velasquez stated.
“I definitely feel better now. I just took some time off after that fight and kind of relaxed and then put my body back to work to where it needs to be. I took time getting back into training camp. I felt really good instead of rushing into training camp, and kind of beating up your body when it’s already beat up.”
Even the change of opponents heading into UFC 146 didn’t rattle the former Arizona State wrestler.
Originally, Velasquez was set to face Frank Mir on the Las Vegas card with a guaranteed shot at the UFC heavyweight belt on the line. When Alistair Overeem was removed from the show following a failed drug test, Mir was yanked from the fight and placed in the main event bout instead.
Like he always does, Velasquez just rolled with the punches and at this point he’s not even sure that a title shot it still on the line. He’s just worried about going on and putting Silva away, and then the UFC will decide what’s best for him.
“I’m not sure, we have to wait and see what the UFC decides afterwards, but all I’m thinking about is my fight with Silva and putting on a good show,” Velasquez stated.
“With the fight against Frank (Mir) the winner of our fight would have had the chance to fight for the title, so we’re really close there we just don’t know if it’s going to happen or not with this fight. We’ll just let it rest with the UFC and just see what they decide.”
If you flat out ask Velasquez what his prediction is for Saturday night, he once again defers to his performance. He’s not going to use words like destroy or annihilate or even dominate.
His words may be calm, cool and collected, but Cain Velasquez is just waiting to unleash his inner beast on Saturday night, and then everyone can almost guarantee the storm is coming.