Did you hear? A new heavyweight king was crowned Saturday night at UFC 121. Cain Velasquez became the first Mexican-American heavyweight champion in combat sports history after disposing of the “unstoppable” Brock Lesnar.
Nobody doubted Velasquez’s overall skills coming into last night’s much publicized title bout, but there was plenty of uncertainty surrounding his ability to finish off the now former champ.
“Well, we knew with the Shane Carwin fight that he was a little uncomfortable in the stand up, but he has really strong wrestling. He’s a strong guy,” Velasquez told ESPN2’s MMA Live. “Our plan was to keep the distance, but also stay aggressive, and if you do get taken down, we’re getting right back up.
“I think I had the perfect workout partners to do that.”
Velasquez followed his gameplan down to a tee, as he simply ran through Lesnar en route to getting the gold put around his waist. After only four minutes and twelve seconds of work, mind you.
Lesnar came out like a house on fire, but Velasquez predicted the violent storm and was able to weather it.
“Just from watching the ‘Countdown’ show, [I knew] he was going to come out aggressive from watching him hit mitts and everything else,” Velasquez explained. “I knew he was gonna come out aggressive, I didn’t think he was gonna come out that aggressive.
“I wasn’t completely relaxed to where it was a perfect fight for me. That’s one thing I’ll look back and learn off of, [to make sure I’m] constantly getting better.”
There was no secret about what Brock Lesnar’s strategy was going to be; use his unprecedented combination of brute size and strength and take the American Kickboxing Academy heavyweight to the canvas. Unfortunately for him, he couldn’t keep Velasquez down.
“When he did take me down and I got back up, I’d just tell myself ‘Stay relaxed, stay relaxed, movement and look for the shots.’ I think in the beginning, I wasn’t as relaxed as I should’ve been and it’s just a learning process,” Velasquez humbly stated.
When the time finally came for him to slam the door shut on the former pro wrestler, he stuck with his relaxation theme to ensure he wouldn’t gas with too vicious of a flurry – a la Carwin in his loss to Lesnar at UFC 116.
“I didn’t think he was hurt [when he was stumbling across the Octagon]. I just thought he was trying to catch his balance and I wasn’t gonna to go in super aggressive on him. I tried to stay smart and just follow him and see where he would end up,” Velasquez said.
Unfortunately, a champion’s work is never done and the time to relax will soon be over. A blazing Brazilian is chomping at the bit for a piece of UFC gold, so another brutal training camp isn’t too far off.
Cain wouldn’t have it any other way.
“Junior dos Santos is out now and he’s next in line, so I gotta get ready for him. He’s an amazing striker, I think he’s the best right now in the heavyweight division as a striker,” the new champion stated.