Anyone who has watched a lot of MMA, knows that Cain Velasquez is not only the best heavyweight out there, but he’s one of the best pound-for-pound fighters on the planet. After all, not only is the UFC champ a ridiculously talented wrestler, but he’s added a dangerous stand-up game that even top tier strikers need to be wary of. Oh, by the way, he also holds a black belt in BJJ…
While there’s no denying Velasquez’s talents, the 32 year-old has been bit by the injury bug on more than a few occasions now. Case in point, the champion will go throughout 2014 without fighting, thanks to a shoulder and knee injury.
As you likely know, the AKA fighter was scheduled to fight Fabricio Werdum at UFC 180 on November 18th, but Velasquez had to withdraw due to his aforementioned knee injury. Now Mark Hunt will fight Werdum for an interim title, because Velasquez hasn’t competed since last November, when he took out Junior dos Santos.
Recently the champion’s coach, Javier Mendez, appeared on the latest edition of “The MMA Hour”. While talking about Velasquez, and the setbacks he’s suffered because of injuries, the renowned trainer stated (quote via Bloody Elbow.com):
“If he had never got injured he’d be the greatest heavyweight of all time right now because of what the guy can do,” Mendez said. “What I do believe is that it’s just going to take longer for people to recognize him as the greatest. Even if he doesn’t get injured going forward, he still has a good…depending on him, he still has a good six to seven or eight years — even ten years of fighting, if that’s what he chooses to do. So he’s still going to hit that goal of being the greatest of all time. Obviously, we can’t label him there. Not yet, because he needs more fights I think. He will get there. It’s just going to take a little longer.”
After Velasquez took out Brock Lesnar in 2010, he only competed once in 2011, and was KO’d by Junior dos Santos. In 2012, he proceeded to stop “Bigfoot” Silva, and then Velasquez decisioned dos Santos in their rematch at UFC 155. In 2013, it was kind of more of the same, as the heavyweight recorded another TKO win over Silva, before he went on to stop JDS in their rubber match last October.
So, there’s no denying that Velasquez has impressed and then some, but hopefully he’s able to compete much more often in 2015.
UFC 180 will go down on November 15th in Mexico City, Mexico.