Dana White Blasts Cain Velasquez's 'Stone Age' Gym, AKA, for His Injury Woes

Steven Rondina@srondinaFeatured ColumnistApril 21, 2015

FILE - This Nov. 9, 2011 file photo shows Cain Velasquez listening during a news conference in Los Angeles. Velasquez has the looks of a bouncer and the voice of an elementary-school teacher, his likely profession if his MMA career hadn't skyrocketed out of Arizona State. The UFC's menacing heavyweight champion is the star of its first prime-time network show this weekend, and Fox is eager to put Velasquez's inspiring life story in front of a huge audience  (AP Photo/Jae C. Hong, File)
Jae C. Hong/Associated Press

UFC President Dana White is nothing if not quick to make assumptions and even quicker to broadcast them. The latest entity to be caught in the crossfire? The American Kickboxing Academy, home to a number of top-notch UFC fighters, including heavyweight champion Cain Velasquez, former Strikeforce middleweight champion Luke Rockhold and light heavyweight contender Daniel Cormier.

Speaking with Ireland's Setanta Sports (h/t David St. Martin of MMAFighting.com), White pinned Velasquez's ever-lengthening injury history on the "stone age" gym.

"Some of the camps are still in the stone ages and need to be brought up to date," White said while discussing the UFC's tumultuous 2014. "AKA is one of those places. You've got Cain Velasquez, our heavyweight champion, who's always hurt. Those guys go to war every day." 

The UFC has had difficulty with injuries over the last two years, and Velasquez has certainly contributed his share to those troubles. Repeated knee and shoulder injuries have kept him out of the cage for great lengths of time, and his belt has collected dust on his mantel since UFC 166 in October 2013. Since losing his belt to Junior dos Santos at UFC on Fox 1 in 2011, he has fought just four times, which has raised questions regarding his training regimen and the general practices of the American Kickboxing Academy, which head trainer Javier Mendez discussed in an interview with Bleacher Report's own Jeremy Botter.

That said, White is far from being a neutral source regarding the training regimen of modern MMA fighters. He's been known to point the finger at gyms and trainers whenever wrenches get thrown into the UFC's promotional gears. Most famously, he labeled famed MMA trainer Greg Jackson a "sport-killer" when he advised UFC light heavyweight champ Jon Jones against taking a fight with Chael Sonnen on two weeks' notice.

This also isn't the first time White has trashed the American Kickboxing Academy. In 2008, White released welterweight contender Jon Fitch and short-lived UFC heavyweight Christian Wellisch from the promotion, and he threatened to release The Ultimate Fighter season 1 alumni Josh Koscheck and an at-the-time-prospect Velasquez as well when the fighters refused to sign a lifetime contract that would surrender their names and likenesses to the company. "[Expletive] him," White said of Fitch, and added that AKA fighters "aren’t partners with us. [Expletive] them. All of them, every last [expletive] one of them."

Velasquez is currently slated to face Fabricio Werdum in a heavyweight title unification match at UFC 188 in June. Here's hoping that bout comes to fruition without incident.


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