UFC 121: Cain Velasquez’s 5 Career-Defining Moments
This Saturday, undefeated, skyrocketing fighter Cain Velasquez will enter the octagon against the heavyweight champion Brock Lesnar. At 8-0, he has quickly moved through the heavyweight ranks to where he is right now, on the brink of a UFC title.
The former NCAA Division 1 National Champion didn’t just magically get to where he currently sits; there were moments in his MMA career that defined who he is and set him on this path. Here are the five defining moments in the career of Cain Velasquez.
5 - MMA Debut at Strikeforce: Tank vs. Buentello (10/7/2006)
Every fighter’s career starts with that first fight, their professional debut. Cain Velasquez started his career on the undercard of a Strikeforce card held about 125 miles east of his hometown in Fresno, California. Velasquez faced Jesse Fujarczyk (3-2), and in less than two minutes, he had won by TKO and captured the first win of his career.
4 – UFC Debut at UFC 83 (4/19/2008)
Cain Velasquez was only 2-0 when the UFC signed him to fight against Brad Morris (10-5) at UFC 83. His fight was the second undercard fight of the night, and like his two previous fights, Velasquez finished Morris by TKO in the first round.
3 – Defeating, Going the Distance With Chieck Kongo at UFC 99 (6/13/2009)
At 5-0, the now rising star Cain Velasquez was matched up against his toughest test to date in French striker Chieck Kongo (15-6-2). The fight tested the chin of Velasquez as Kongo rocked him in every round. Velasquez kept moving forward, though, and won every round easily, going the distance in a fight for the first time. (He had only seen the second round once before and never the third round)
2 – Defeating Antonio Rodrigo Nogueira at UFC 110 (2/21/2010)
UFC 110 marked the first time Cain Velasquez headlined a fight card, as he faced MMA legend Antonio Rodrigo Nogueira (32-6). The winner of the fight would earn a title shot against the winner of the title fight between Brock Lesnar and Shane Carwin at UFC 116.
Velasquez got back to ending fights early, as he became only the second person to defeat Nogueira by way of knockout. The win earned him a title shot against Lesnar, who defeated Carwin at UFC 116.
1 – Fighting for the Title at UFC 121 (10/23/2010)
With only eight fights under his belt, fighting for the title on Saturday is easily his most defining moment to date. This title shot isn’t a usual title shot, though, as the UFC is hyping this fight for Velasquez's possibly becoming the UFC’s first Mexican champion. The UFC even held a rally with Velasquez as the only guest last Sunday in Los Angeles to promote UFC 121, which is also in LA.
Not too many UFC fighters score their very own rally, especially one that includes a mariachi band.