UFC heavyweight champion Cain Velasquez looks to defend his title for the first time against Antonio “Bigfoot” Silva in the main event of UFC 160 on May 25. He heads into the rematch with exactly the same mentality he did when the two first met at UFC 146.
Velasquez (11-1) defeated Silva in one-sided fashion a year ago on May 26, 2012, finishing “Bigfoot” inside the first round. But that was a different fight on a different night.
“This is a whole new fight. Obviously we saw what Bigfoot can do in his last two fights. You can’t take him lightly. He is a tough competitor,” said Velasquez on a recent media conference call. “I don’t see this as anything less than a hard, grueling fight and that’s what I’m expecting.”
Having defeated Silva before doesn’t detract from Velasquez’s motivation in this fight.
“As far as motivation, I’m motivated to do good. And it being a rematch, I mean, it is what it is. We have fought before, but you kind of learn from that fight, but not really thinking too much of it. You’ve got to kind of think of it as a whole new fight, a whole new strategy is involved and just take it from there,” he said.
“I’m the same. I’m hungry. I just want to win, definitely the same. Just obviously, maybe a different game plan from Bigfoot maybe, but that’s the only thing that’s different in this fight. But I’ve been hungry and wanting this win. I’m 100 percent there,” added the 30-year-old fighter.
While Silva’s game plan will likely be different than the first time they fought, Velasquez’s remains the same.
“For me, the game plan is staying the same, but I just have to be ready for everything, whatever his game plan is. If he comes out more aggressive, he does different stuff. I’m looking for stuff out there, but I’m looking for my game plan to be the same.”
This is Velasquez’s second title reign. He defeated Brock Lesnar at UFC 121 to capture the belt, but failed to successfully defend it. He was knocked out by Junior dos Santos in his first title defense, but recaptured the belt at UFC 155 by avenging the previous loss to the Brazilian heavyweight.
This time around, Velasquez plans to hold onto that title.
“To me right now, it’s the most important thing to defend it, just to hold on to it. This is the position that I want to be in, so I have to go out and perform,” said the champion.