Story by Anthony Springer Jr.
On what was supposed to be the biggest card in UFC history, Cain Velasquez was slated to face Frank Mir in a co-main event, title eliminator bout. When Mir got moved up to the main event—and the title shot that accompanied it—the former champion remained in the co-main event slot, though it’s unclear whether the bout is a title eliminator.
(UFC 146 is still the biggest card, size wise. The all heavyweight affair, weight wise, is literally the biggest card in UFC history).
Instead of the submission specialist in Mir, Velasquez drew the much taller and ever improving Antonio “Big Foot” Silva.
The MMA world is funny sometimes. Silva was last seen being demolished by Velasquez teammate and training partner Daniel Cormier. Despite the dominant win, don’t look for the American Kickboxing Academy fighter to use the same blueprint “DC” did to get a victory.
“[Cormier] was just so dominating and it was so quick,” Velasquez said of last year’s win. “There was some stuff he was able to tell me but that fight was so quick. You can’t really judge. I’m expecting a different kind of fighter. I can’t go off what he did.”
Late last week, Silva said he was a much faster and leaner fighter than he’d been before, thanks to a new diet. Add that to an already difficult recipe and you’ve got the makings of a completely different fighter—and kind of fight—for Velasquez. Something he’s well aware of.
“His style of fighting—he does everything good. Kicks, punches, knees, on the ground he’s good. There isn’t one weakness in his game.”
Velasquez continued, “I’ve fought big guys with stand up and guys with good wrestling. A combination of what he has, I haven’t fought anybody yet.”
If Velasquez is concerned about facing the most well rounded opponent of his career, he’s certainly not showing it.
“This is just like any other fight. You want to go in prepared with a game plan and just go out and win. This is no different.”
Even though this is his first fight back since losing the title to Junior dos Santos?
“I have nothing to prove to anybody else,” he said flatly. “I know what I have and I’m going to prove it on Saturday.”
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