Are Stallone and critics right about Velasquez?

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Cain celebrates win at UFC 121. Photo: Josh Hedges

Lesnar is a fearsome 165-pound behemoth. There is, however, no denying the amount of criticism regarding Brock, known for using brute strength as him main ally in achieving victory.

Last Saturday at UFC 121 in California, Cain Velasquez showed how technique can overcome force. At least twenty pounds lighter and a fair bit shorter than Brock, he withstood the pressure in the opening moments and went on to batter his opponent with strikes, securing the knockout in 4:12 minutes of combat.

It didn’t take long for specialists and fans the world over to idolize the new champion. A oft-used adjective describing his performance was “incredible”, and even the illustrious Sylvester Stallone – a fight lover himself – made his pronouncement over Twitter:

“Cain can only lose to himself”

Photo: Josh Hedges.

Cain is now UFC heavyweight champion, which is no little deal, and his technical quality deserves respect. However, is that enough to warrant the adjective “incredible,” without his having defended his title even once?

To many, the answer is yes. However, we can look at how Velasquez only counts nine fights on his record – a lot fewer than established fighters like Fedor Emelianenko, Rodrigo Minotauro, Matt Hughes, Wanderlei Silva, Anderson Silva, Dan Henderson… and so on.

As is the case with Lesnar, Velasquez doesn’t have that much MMA experience, and we can draw on the memory of other fighters who popped up with incredible wins and couldn’t keep the level up for long – I ‘m not saying that is the case here.

Cain probably has a brilliant future. But, even as the undisputed UFC heavyweight champion, he still has to prove himself for the praise “incredible” not to become commonplace. His next challenge is likely  Junior Cigano, another great opportunity to show his quality.

If he keeps on winning, avoiding the round-robin of champions that sometimes dominates the UFC, where the greatest fighter in the world becomes mediocre overnight – at least in the eyes of fans –, he will soon be comparable to the great stars who made the history of the sport.

What about you, reader, what do you think?

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There are 7 comments for this article
  1. Jordan Burton, III at 7:02 am

    I believe Champion Cain Velasquez is a very good fighter – a well deserved champion! “Incredible”? Time will tell if so or not.

    This is a media that is big on hyperbole and instantaneous granting of “The Next …” Give him so time to prove it:)

  2. John Tabor at 1:58 pm

    Personally, I feel there’s no one in the heavyweight division that can beat him right now. He’s too good at everything and has Olympic-level stamina and strength to boot.

    He also seems really smart. He’s not going to get cocky and want to strike with someone who’s as good or better a striker than him; he’ll just take him down. And if he’s against someone good on the ground, he’ll just batter the guy standing, like he did with Minotauro.

    I feel sort of the same about Jon Jones and Anderson Silva, but both have stiffer competition. I don’t see anyone touching Cain. No one in the division can choose where they want to fight the way Cain can

    I feel the round-robin of heavyweight champs in the UFC is over.

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