(Video via the UFC’s Youtube page)
In advance of their UFC 166 world heavyweight title main event on October 19th, champion Cain Velasquez and challenger Junior Dos Santos are being featured in another UFC Primetime documentary series. Episode 1 premiered Wednesday night and already began to reveal a number of interesting tidbits about the fighters and their training camps heading into the rubber match of their trilogy.
1. Junior Dos Santos may be challenging Georges St. Pierre for having the most scientific training camp in the world.
Dos Santos demonstrated incredible will and conditioning throughout the five-round beating he took from Velasquez in their second fight so it was amazing to hear that he wasn’t at his best for the fight, physically. In fact, the then-champion had over-trained for the fight, resulting in a nasty condition called rhabdomyolysis, where muscle fibers were breaking off and let loose into his blood stream.
To make sure that doesn’t happen again to him this training camp, we learned in last night’s episode that Dos Santos has employed a group of scientists who constantly test his blood. He gets his blood drawn at home, he gets it drawn at the gym right before sparring and the white coats spend the rest of the day testing and analyzing his samples and preparing reports for Junior and his team. Dos Santos’ sophisticated strength and conditioning program is informed by that blood work.
By the looks of it, this is some of the most scientific preparation we’ve seen outside of Georges St. Pierre doing gymnastics and benefiting from the French-Canadian supplement-wrestling complex.
It would seem that showering after rolling around with an unkempt guy like “
Big Country” would be a good idea — you know, to get the hair balls out and to ward off tetanus — but Velasquez’s coach/teammate Daniel Cormier says he won’t have time to shower after facing Nelson in their UFC 166 co-main event. In addition to being a sparring partner of Cain’s at American Kickboxing Academy (more on that below) and being the #3 UFC-ranked heavyweight in the world, Cormier is the champ’s wrestling coach and Velasquez does not feel comfortable fighting without the Olympian in his corner.
Because of this, Cormier will have to rush from the Octagon after fighting Nelson and get right to Cain’s corner. No time for showering, you see.
3. Daniel Cormier and Cain Velasquez beat the crap out of one another three times a week.
Cormier and Velasquez are teammates in the same weight division (for now) so, of course, they are sparring partners. In episode 1 of UFC Primetime: Velasquez vs. Dos Santos, however, we get to watch one of their thrice-weekly sparring sessions and they go pretty darn hard. This ain’t no timing sparring going on here, these two get after it. No wonder they each have confidence heading into their fights.
4. Junior Dos Santos may be the most bitter, happy guy in the world.
We all know Junior as a smiling, KO machine with nary a bad word to say about anyone not named Alistair Overeem, but his last loss to Velasquez and the commentary during and after it have clearly rubbed the #1 contender the wrong way. Primetime takes us into the home of Dos Santos as he watches tape of his loss to Cain and listens to the television commentators marvel at Velasquez’s whooping of him and say that “this is the real Cain Velasquez.” You know, as opposed to the impostor that Junior beat with ease when he himself had a torn meniscus in 2011.
His anger at the way his fight was called bubbles up throughout the episode for Dos Santos. There’s also lots of footage of him fighting and playing around with friends, but make no mistake — the ex-champ is going into this rubber-match with a major chip on his shoulder.
5. JDS has a secret Russian wrestling weapon and his name is Khetag Pliev.
In addition to getting punched and kicked around the Octagon for five rounds by Velasquez, Dos Santos was handily out-wrestled and out-hustled by Cain. To help improve his wrestling, Dos Santos flew in 2012 wrestling Olympian Khetag Pliev. The Russian says that Dos Santos is getting harder to take down for him and in the episode we see Junior using lots of takedowns in his own sparring. Will it make a difference? Shoot us your predictions for Cain vs. JDS III in the comments section…