Cain Velasquez entered MMA and quickly rose to the ranks of UFC heavyweight champion. Entering his match with Junior dos Santos late in 2011, Velasquez was still undefeated in his career.
All that changed in 64 seconds, as dos Santos knocked Velasquez out and claimed the UFC belt. Now, the former Arizona State University wrestling standout gets his chance to prove that loss was just a weak moment when he meets Frank Mir for the No. 1 contendership at UFC 146.
“I’m a realist. I knew I wasn’t going to go through my career undefeated,” said Velasquez, in a recent interview with Yahoo! Sports. “That’s how this sport is. People lose. Even the best guys lose. I knew as soon as it was over, I had to pick myself back up and keep going forward.”
Velasquez says he found that next gear in training, “I do have some extra motivation now, for sure, but I wish that for that night things had gone differently and that the fans had gotten the fight they came to see.”
With his next opponent, Velasquez will remain inside the Octagon against one of the elite in the division. Mir is a former UFC heavyweight champion and recently defeated Antonio Rodrigo Nogueira for the second time in his career.