American Kickboxing Academy grappling coach Dave Camarillo has helped craft the game of some of the most successful fighters in the sport. The Brazilian jiu-jitsu and judo specialist is responsible for perfecting the grappling games of MMA luminaries like UFC heavyweight champion Cain Velasquez, welterweight contenders Josh Koscheck and Jon Fitch, Mike Swick, Josh Thomson and many more.
Two of his fighters are currently poised to enter into arguably the most important fights of their lives, as Velasquez will soon attempt to make his first title defense against Brazilian knockout artist Junior dos Santos and Fitch will be taking on MMA legend and former AKA pupil BJ “The Prodigy” Penn in a welterweight contest that could propel either man into title contention. Camarillo spoke with ProMMANow.com recently, where he gave his thoughts on the two match ups.
“There are no secrets going into this one,” Camarillo said of Fitch vs. Penn. “BJ’s victory against Hughes was not shocking. We know what BJ is capable of. And BJ knows what Fitch will bring to the fight. One thing is for sure, Fitch is the toughest fighter currently fighting in the UFC. He will not stop.”
Camarillo also gave his opinion on the Velasquez-dos Santos fight, which many believe could go to dos Santos on the strength of his striking technique. Camarillo isn’t so quick to write Velasquez’s own striking game off though, and believes that his student can not only hang with dos Santos, but that he is an overall better striker than the Brazilian.
“Cain will be ready to fight anywhere the fight goes,” he assessed. “I think Cain is a better striker than JDS. But JDS has better power and is the most dangerous heavyweight alive. You can count on Cain being ready for JDS. Cain is like GSP, he will execute as soon as round one begins.”
While Velasquez-dos Santos has not yet received a date, the match up has been confirmed for some time. Fitch-Penn will be going down this February 27th in the main event of UFC 127, which takes place at the Acer Arena in Sydney, Australia.