Hello heavyweight division, Cain Velasquez officially arrived Saturday night following his lights out victory over former interim champion Antonio Rodrigo Nogueira at UFC 110.
Although Velasquez held a perfect 7-0 record entering the Acer Arena in Australia, he’d never faced anyone with a resume as decorated as Nogueira’s. While most fans expected a grueling 15-minute scrap, the American Kickboxing Academy-trained fighter had other ideas as he sent shock waves throughout the division.
“I didn’t see it coming,” UFC president Dana White said at the post-fight presser. “I thought that was going to be a back-and-forth and entertaining fight, and Cain Velasquez went out and absolutely finished him and looked completely dominant and looked, in my opinion, better than he’s ever looked. The kid gets better every time he fights.”
Normally, a string of performances like Cain has put together would warrant a shot at the title, but a top contender bout is already in place between former two-time champ Frank Mir and Shane Carwin at UFC 111 next month.
That being said, White reiterated the need for a worthy sub just in case another fighter falls victim to the dreaded injury bug.
“Because of Brock’s absence, it’s a little plugged up right now in the heavyweight division, but this guy?” White asked. “In my opinion, Nogueira’s probably the best heavyweight of all time, and (Velasquez) absolutely demolished him tonight.
“We’ll see what happens with Mir and Carwin – see who wins that – and if the guys come out unscathed, they’ll fight for the title. If not, then Cain Velasquez will get that slot.”
When Velasquez was asked if he felt he was ready for a shot at the strap, the humble wrestler appeared up to the challenge.
“I think so,” said Velasquez. “I’m getting better. I really pride myself in working hard, always improving. Whatever the UFC says, I’m going to be ready for it.”
Right now, here’s what White’s saying of his newest superstar, “Cain’s for real and he’s in the line right now!”
If Velasquez were fed to Lesnar, who hasn’t defended his crown since UFC 100 last July, the heavyweight knows he needs to find a way to neutralize the champ’s power if he’s to dawn gold around his waist.
“For me, I have to fight a smart fight and get with my coaches and figure out a good game plan,” he said of facing Lesanr. “Definitely, with those kind of guys – super big, strong – you’ve really got to worry about the power. I think this could be a war; you’ve really got to fight to the end. You’ve gotta really try to tire them out, but that’s easier said than done.”
It was probably easier said to put Big Nog to sleep at 2:20 in the 1stRound as well, but it was done …