Cain Velasquez: 20 Things You Need To Know About New UFC Heavyweight Champ
Cain Velasquez is the new UFC Heavyweight Champion, and the UFC world is in awe.
Velasquez stole the title from MMA behemoth Brock Lesnar last night. The win typified the person and fighter Velasquez is. He uses power, quickness and a depth of skills to make short work of his opponents.
His win last night was a tremendous one for the sport in so many ways. It will attract more fans and lend a great deal of parity to an already great sport. What it also does is put forth a great fighter in the limelight.
By the time he has his next bout, we will all know Cain Velasquez much better. Let's start now by breaking down some insights and facts on the newly crowned heavyweight champ.
Never Gives Up
One thing I realized early on last night is the amount of fight in the heart of Cain Velasquez. No UFC fighter gets where he is by not having a knack for sticking with something.
But early in the fight, Velasquez found himself under Brock Lesnar, a most unenviable of positions. Most would have weathered the storm. Velasquez decided to force the fight into a better position for him. He did just that.
Most of Velasquez's fights end quickly. It is the mark of a seasoned fighter that he goes and executes a well thought out game plan.
Six of Cain's fights have ended in the first round, including last night's, that went all of 4 minutes and 12 seconds.
This fact alone will net UFC president Dana White with a huge influx of newly minted MMA fans. For years, UFC has tied to tap into the faithful Latino boxing fanbase. What they were missing was a star.
They may now have that in Mexican-American Cain Velasquez. Someone so in touch with his roots, he has Brown Pride blazoned across his chest.
A mainstay of each of his bouts has been power. Saturday night, Brock Lesnar felt that power first hand. Moments after getting back on his feet, Velasquez delivered punches to Lesnar's head.
As he stumbled away in retreat, you could see the effect of Velasquez's pummeling. Lesnar was shaken and woozy. It would only take a few more shots to the face to finish off the former champion.
One thing that has always benefited the UFC elite is a suitable ground game. Cain Velasquez is a pure wrestler.
At one point, he was ranked fifth in the nation while wrestling for Arizona State University. He was also a two time All American Division I wrestler.
He Can Box
I am a boxing fan. I always have been and always will. But I also believe the love I have for the sweet science is not exclusive. I can also appreciate the nuances of MMA, which I do.
For too long I have seen boxing skills go greatly underused in the octagon. If boxing is used, it is a pale comparison to anything seen in a professional boxing match.
Velasquez is an exception. While he touts a fantastic ground game. He is also deadly on his feet toe-to-toe with his enemy. It is seen clearly in last night's bout as well as his annihilation of Antonio Rodrigo Nogueira. In that fight, Cain finished off his opponent with a lightning-quick combo.
This video has some clips showing Cain bobbing and weaving like a pugilist.
Just because he doesn't get past the first round does not mean he should slack on conditioning. Velasquez does not.
The posted video shows Velasquez being tested on ESPN's Sports Science. It shows that Cain is not only one of the most powerful hitters, he is as conditioned as any endurance athlete.
Through all of this comes the realization that Cain Velasquez is one of the most versatile fighters to hit UFC in some time.
He makes it extremely difficult to conjure up an effective gameplan. To most heavyweights, he is quicker, just as powerful, and more talented on the ground.
This brings me to...
Most Complete UFC Fighter
You can't find a hole in his game. His size, quickness, and endurance can kill you in later rounds. His power and grappling techniques could send you packing early.
He has to be considered as one the best all-around talents fighting today.
This is what he brings to the UFC. This is also what is sorely missing from boxing. While boxing fails to pit two great fighters together, UFC does this monthly.
Cain Velasquez proved that the UFC is deep with talent and that no man holds sole claim to the title for too long.
Junior Dos Santos
And just as I make mention of parity, another fighter warms up to take on the newly crowned champion.
Junior Dos Santos will most likely be the next opponent to Velasquez. It will be a different bout altogether.
Dos Santos does not boast a great deal of size like Lesnar, but he does make use of quickness to be effective.
Dos Santos does not stay on his back for long. This will be an interesting test of Cain's wrestling. If he is truly the best, he will keep Junior Dos Santos on the ground.
Cain Velasquez is a father and soon to be husband. He proposed to his longtime girlfriend while vacationing in Australia.
The two were taking a walk on a Sydney beach when he popped the question.
Student Of The Game
Cain Velasquez is eloquent when it comes to breaking down the sport he loves. Here he answers questions on Brock Lesnar's match in UFC 116.
You can see right away he has knowledgeable insights in the men he has to fight.
As most public figures are want to do these days, Cain Velasquez is an avid Twitter user. You can follow him at cainmaa.
Here are some tidbits I gleaned from his profile:
On March 11 he tweeted, "Just out with the family at our favorite taqueria home of the best super taco."
Here he is with his family.
On Dethrone Royalty
He is also a successful entrepreneur. He makes several mentions of Dethrone Royalty clothing. It is an apparel line that he is tied to with other MMA athletes.
Here he is doing some bag work. Just one of the added incentives to follow the heavyweight champ.
An attention to detail is just one of the things that makes him a great fighter. Here he is ensuring no stone goes unturned in his skill set.
A Generational Bridge
While younger sports fans flock to MMA, older fighting fans, especially amongst Latinos, have stuck with boxing.
Cain Velasquez may be that bridge from the young to the old. He chose to walk into last night's fight using Vicente Fernandez's "Los Mandados." It was a clear call to the culture he holds so dear.
We Will See More Of Him
Not only will he be fighting soon enough, but you can see him parlay his recent win into celebrity status this week.
On Monday, Oct. 25, he will be a featured guest on late night show Lopez Tonight.
Just Getting Started
Here he is, at the top of his sport and he has only had nine fights in the UFC. Cain Velasquez is only 28 and is already the title holder.
We can expect many great things from him as he builds his resume and list of fallen opponents.