Luiz Carlos Dórea, 47, returned to the city of Salvador in the Brazilian state of Bahia with an upset look on his face, but he also had some pretty clear ideas in his head. The ex-boxer and current coach to Junior dos Santos spoke with GRACIEMAG.com about the defeat suffered by the “mainstay” of his academy, as Dórea himself calls his student.
“Cain never stopped shooting in for the takedown,” said Dórea about the UFC 155 main event last Dec. 29, when Cain Velasquez outgunned “Cigano” for five rounds to win by unanimous decision. “We needed to work him over more on the feet. That’s the way to keep him from shooting in for those takedowns.”
What follows is the interview with the coach and a video posted by Cigano for his fans.
GRACIEMAG: So what went wrong, coach?
It was Cain’s day. Cain could really be happy with his game plan. We knew his game plan was going to be to try for the takedown the whole time. Cigano was doing alright early on. He managed to defend eight, nine shots from his opponent, but we know how the only way to stop Cain is by using the fists. So that’s what was missing, counter-punching better and connecting with more strikes. But Cain didn’t let up, and things went his way. We needed to work Cain over more so as to keep him from shooting in.
And then that right-hand bomb of Cain’s landed…
That right landed in full with just a minute left in the first round, and that changed the course of the fight. It was a solid blow. Cigano felt it, and Cain took his back and kept banging away. You’ve got to hand it to Cigano; he never wilted, and fought with his heart to the very end. If it were the other way around, if Cigano would have landed a third of those strikes, Cain would have been knocked out cold. He showed Brazilian grit, and I’m certain he’s going to get that belt back soon.
Do you think Cigano should have kept the fight on the ground more, used his Jiu-Jitsu until he was better recovered from that punch?
He surely could have, but that punch really rocked him. Cigano’s been working on his ground game a lot, got his black belt at the end of the year and is solid on his feet and the ground. But the way I see it, it wouldn’t have been good for him to stay there, at least not right after taking that right. So he got his wind back and got to his feet, but still wasn’t recovered from that blow, and he kept taking a lot of pressure. Standing or on the ground, the pressure coming in was the same.
How serious are Junior’s injuries?
Cigano doesn’t have anything serious. The cuts on his face are getting better. What’s really hurting is his heart. He trained so hard and really wanted to come home with the belt. But he’s already undergone all the necessary examinations and is really close to getting back to training. This loss will just make Cigano stronger, you can count on it. That belt will come back to Brazil.
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