Cain Velasquez entered the UFC with exceptional wrestling skills. As a former NJCAA national champion, and two-time medalist at Arizona State University, Velasquez knew he had the mat work to compete.
Now, after working with American Kickboxing Academy, Velasquez is becoming much more confident in the striking aspect of MMA.
Saturday night, Velasquez will seek to regain the UFC heavyweight title when he faces Junior dos Santos at UFC 155: Dos Santos vs. Velasquez II. The bout takes place in Las Vegas on pay-per-view.
During a pre-fight press conference earlier this week, Velasquez credited AKA teammate Daniel Cormier with helping to improve his skills. Cormier is currently in Strikeforce, but is expected to enter the UFC following a fight in January.
“Working out with a guy like Daniel, you have to get better,” Velasquez said. “Both guys are pushing each other. We spar three times a week. (Training together) is always going to elevate our game.”
Cormier is a former Olympian who won the Strikeforce Heavyweight Grand Prix. Much like Velasquez, he finished Antonio Silva before defeating former UFC heavyweight champion Josh Barnett in the finals.