While enamored fans struggle to understand what happened with Rodrigo Minotauro, and others look to astrology to explain the impressive knockout the former heavyweight champion suffered, GRACIEMAG.com goes to the source.
The Brazilian’s former training partner Carlao Barreto has credentials to spare in analyzing where Rodrigo (32w, 6l, 1d) failed in the end, he was a specialist in facing big wrestlers, accumulating wins over beasts like Kevin Randleman and Ben Rothwell.
In the end, where did Rodrigo mess up in his loss to Velasquez?
We heard people saying things like, “Ah, why didn’t he take it to the ground, why didn’t he fall back on his Jiu-Jitsu?” Well, to those people all I can say is that Minotauro is a legend, one of the greatest of all times, but he’s not David Copperfield to go in there and simply take an All American wrestler to the ground. Those days when a fighter could throw a jab and shoot for the opponent’s legs are gone. That doesn’t exist anymore; it doesn’t work.
To me Rodrigo’s strategy was clear, and correct: strike some, simulate boxing with Cain, and when he found an opening, pull guard. Then, when he would be taking strikes in the guard, he would go for a sweep and take the back – then he would be all set, since he’s swept great wrestlers, like Randy Couture and so many others. That was the strategy, but it didn’t work out like that. It could all be different in a future fight.
Did Cain’s youth count?
It was an interesting battle of generations, but the age difference wasn’t all that great (six years). Anyone who knows Minotauro knows he’s an athlete who grows in the fight. He doesn’t start off with explosiveness, he goes in and finds his way in the ring. Now, the thing that impresses, and which counted in the outcome, was the absurd evolution Cain showed in the octagon. He kicked well, showed ever quicker and really heavy hands. He kind of reminded me of Mike Tyson – thickset, serious faced, just what it takes to kick butt.
Will Velasquez be the future UFC heavyweight champion?
If he shows the same level of evolution he showed last fight against Minotauro, he has a great chance of taking Lesnar’s belt. And he’s still young; he’ll go far.