Number one UFC heavyweight contender Cain Velasquez is in the precipitous position of facing seemingly unstoppable force Brock Lesnar for the coveted UFC heavyweight championship. Many have pointed to Velasquez’s never-ending conditioning and relentless speed as the factors that will carry him to victory; but Velasquez’s trainer at American Kickboxing Academy, Javier Mendez, believes that it would be foolish to count out the champion’s own speed and cardio. Mendez recently spoke with MMAFighting and revealed that he believes superior technique is the true key to victory over the Goliath-sized champion.
“Where do you find someone like Brock to train with? You don’t,” Mendez said. “There is no one like him. All we can do is bring Division I, high-level wrestlers in, like Daniel Cormier, Mark Ellis. That was it. You can’t duplicate Brock.”
Pointing out that Velasquez is equally as difficult to imitate, Mendez also said that it would be foolhardy to expect the champion to show up to fight under-conditioned. He and his charge are expecting a hard five rounds out of Lesnar.
“Cain’s got incredible cardio, but what some people are missing, and I’m not one of them, is Brock’s going to be in great shape too,” Mendez said. “I’m not expecting him to gas like some people might. Like, ‘oh, he’s going to get tired after two rounds.’ No, I don’t think so. That man’s going to go five rounds. We’re going to go five rounds. Cain is looking for five rounds. He’s not looking for Brock to gas. He doesn’t believe Brock will gas and neither do I.”
How does Velasquez propose to defeat Lesnar then, if he expects the champion to match him in two of his most prominent skill departments? Superior technical mastery of the sport.
“He’s got to stay active and dictate the pace, but the speed factor, you know, we’re not thinking that that’s everything, because what about Brock’s speed? He’s pretty fast too,” said Mendez. “We’re not looking at Brock and thinking, we’re faster than him. No, we’re looking at him like, we’re more technical than him. That’s our issue, not speed.”
Velasquez will put his technique to the test against Lesnar’s athleticism and ferocity this Saturday night at the Honda Center in Anaheim, California in the main event of UFC 121.