A talk with Cain Velasquez

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Cain Velasquez in his victory over Rodrigo Minotauro. Photo: Josh Hedges

Cain Velasquez shocked the world in his last outing in the UFC with a stunning knockout of Rodrigo Minotauro, one of the greatest MMA heavyweights of all times. A man of simple customs, who avoids the spotlight, the fighter quietly came up the ranks and is now one of the Ultimate Fighting Championship’s main heavyweights. The US born son of Mexicans recently spoke with our correspondent Nalty Jr, for an interview published in NOCAUTE magazine. GRACIEMAG.com brings you the best from the conversation.

How long have you been training MMA?

It’s been three years since I started.

How did you get your shot at fighting in the UFC?

I only had two fights and wanted to fight in other events before the UFC. But it was tough and my manager said, “There’s no way to wait any longer, it’s time to fight in the UFC.” He called them, made Dana White an offer and we went to Las Vegas. Dana watched me fight standing with two fighters and then on the ground with two more. He liked what he saw and said I was a UFC athlete.

Which fighters are role models to you?

I like watching Fedor’s fights a lot; he’s the best MMA fighter. I’m inspired by his way of fighting. But I also find inspiration in my coaches. They always show me what to do and how to do it. But Fedor has a lot of wins, with good performances, and that’s why people want to see him fight.

You’re a wrestler, but have won a lot of fights by knockout…

I trained a lot of standup, but I always use my wrestling, even when going for the knockout. I like getting the takedown and going for ground and pound.

Do you feel any pressure for being undefeated?

I don’t. I’m just aware I have to keep training hard. I don’t care what people say. What I have to do is be prepared to beat my opponents.

Your father is really important to you, correct?

He’s my hero. My father worked hard to give my family everything. He crossed the border to the United States and was deported seven times. He’s my role model. My father’s a warrior.

What’s your breakdown of the UFC heavyweight division?

Now the category is tough. The UFC always brings in new fighters. It will just keep getting tougher.

How do you deal with the attention from the media?

I’m certainly getting more of that now, but I’m not taken by it. I’m in a sport and have to concentrate on training to do well in my fights. I’d rather just keep quiet and focus on training.

What do you know about Brazil, where Rodrigo Minotauro is from?

Just what they tell me. They say it’s a pretty country, that the food is really good and there’s a lot of good training.

What do you tell fighters who are just starting out in MMA?

The first thing is to find a good gym, with all types of training for MMA and a good team. Have lots of dedication and determination. It’s not easy. You have to be disciplined and train hard every day. School is also important. I started wrestling in college. It’s not just about training. You also need to finish your studies to be a good fighter and person.

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