Boxing coach to such big-name MMA fighters as Rodrigo “Minotauro” Nogueira and Anderson Silva, Luiz Dórea was in former heavyweight champion Junior dos Santos’ corner at UFC 155 on the 29th of last month. The Brazilian lost a lopsided unanimous decision to Cain Velasquez.
It was “Cigano’s” first loss in the promotion.
Dórea, who is already back in Brazil awaiting his pupil, spoke to GRACIEMAG.com about the ex-champ’s return to training, a possible rematch with Velasquez, and commented on the current state of the heavyweight division. Here’s what he had to say:
GRACIEMAG.com: When will Cigano be back at training, Dórea?
LUIZ DÓREA: We had some obligations to fulfill in Las Vegas after the fight, but he’ll be back in Brazil on the 15th and then will go another 15 days before training again. He’s really strong, a battler. He’s used to overcoming obstacles and challenges. And this will just be another one he’ll square away no problem. In about a month he’ll be back training full steam.
GM: What’s the plan for Cigano’s future? Are you guys thinking about an immediate rematch with Cain, or will you be looking to fight once or twice first?
LD: Without a doubt he and Cain are the two best fighters in the division right now. As for the rematch, that decision comes from the UFC. What I’m going to do is work on his physical, technical and psychological recovery. As for who he fights, he’ll be prepared to fight Cain next if that’s who it is, but it’s the UFC that decides that. Cigano has never picked opponents, and he’s not going to start now.
GM: Alistair Overeem and Antônio “Bigfoot” Silva will face off in February. What’s your take on that fight? Will the winner be lined up for a shot at the title?
LD: Without a doubt. Overeem, his doping aside, is a great athlete. He was K-1 and Strikeforce champion. Bigfoot, too — he’s coming off a big win and is one of the best MMA heavyweights. Both have what it takes to face Cain on even terms but I feel Bigfoot’s fists are really sharp right now and he’ll surprise Overeem.
GM: Who are the top guys in the division besides those aforementioned?
LD: There’s Stefan Struve, Pat Barry, who knocked out Shane del Rosario and Daniel Cormier, who’s coming over from Strikeforce, but we can’t be sure of how he’ll do in the UFC. All tough guys. It’s worth pointing out that to get the belt, Cigano had to fight eight times. It’s a complicated division. It’s hard to make it to the title, and when you get it, it’s hard to keep. It’s no wonder it’s the greatest event in the world.
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