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Could Cain Velasquez Be the Future of the Heavyweight Division?

I admit it: I didn’t know much about Cain Velasquez before his UFC debut. Word had it he was a big time college wrestler, a two-time All-American at Arizona State and Pac-10 wrestler of the year in 2005. Call me cynical, but it’s hard to accept that at face value these days. Plenty of guys are great college wrestlers, only to become mediocre once they lace up the gloves.

Velasquez (3-0), however, seems like he might have a real future. He dismantled Brad Morris (9-3) in their undercard bout, and while Morris was also making his UFC debut – and while a win over him may or may not mean a great deal – it doesn’t change the fact that Velasquez looked good on Saturday night.

There’s something about a decorated wrestler who’s won all of his first three bouts via TKO that you have to like. Sure, Jake O’Brien started the same way before eventually being dropped from the UFC for reasons that seemed at least partially style-related, but with Velasquez training at AKA and putting people away like this, he seems like he might be someone to keep your eye on in the heavyweight division.

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TheFeniX- April 21, 2008 at 3:06 pm
There are times I think Steve has a timer implanted in his head by the UFC brass. When he sees someone getting their head tenderized like a 20 pound brisket, he waits just long enough for the marinade to soak in before finally stepping in and saying "ok, it's ready."

On the other hand, Morris was showing enough defense to keep the fight from being stopped sooner. He was seeing stars and exhausted, yet still managed to keep what little he had of his cool intact and at least keep himself from going unconscious. Then again, you have to be able to give more of a beating than you can take to win a fight, unless you're Homer Simpson.
O'Brien not that good of a wrestler- April 21, 2008 at 2:09 pm
O'Brien was good in HS as a 3-time state champ in Indiana (granted it was at 215 lbs, normally the weakest weight class), but he didn't do anything in college.
WalksInTheDarkness- April 21, 2008 at 1:24 pm
As soon as the fight started I knew Morris was in for a world of pain. How many unanswered headshots does Steve Mazzagati need to see before he ends a fight? 7 punches and then Steve calls it. Even Kenny Florian sounds like he's just about to jump into the ring to stop the fight!

Aside from Steve being a not so good referee, I was impressed that Velazquez was able to keep his cool and just rain down steady shots and not tire himself out too much punching Morris' head. A lot of younger fighters have a tendency to lose it and throw lots of useless punches that tire themselves whilst Velazquez was throwing slow efficient punches
Abidon- April 21, 2008 at 1:20 pm
It's hard to say that he'll become a force in the UFC at a later date based on that fight. Morris didn't do anything else than being on the floor and take punches...
But I liked Cain's aggression, too many fighters are so reserved in the UFC these days. If you wanna be a big star, you'd better be exciting!
Douchebaggery- April 21, 2008 at 12:51 pm
look pretty good but he's rather small for a hwy. 6"1 235,
tony@rbd- April 21, 2008 at 12:23 pm
Future of the heavyweight division... I have heard this before *cough* Gonzaga *cough*. Everyone is the next big thing in the UFC. I agree with dozerh, he looks light. Hard to tell only looking at his third professional fight. I have the feeling he is destined for the Yamma... "up-and-comers enter, hopes and dreams leave".
C-Bus Allstar- April 21, 2008 at 11:30 am
I don't know who Brad Morris is, but he didn't look like some random newbie.. He just looked outclassed. Cain > Nog? Mmmm nah.
dozerh- April 21, 2008 at 6:31 am
doesnt have the build of a true heavyweight looks like he could actually be a light heavy. But he moist certainatley has the ability to be a champion.
James- April 21, 2008 at 4:45 am
There was something about Cain on CP a few months ago. An interview of a UFC fighter was talking about Cain saying how he was the next big thing. Don't remember exactly when... but ya, check into it ;) GO KANEEEE, Oh... I mean Cain, least he doesn't dress in all red
Noah- April 21, 2008 at 3:25 am
I'm sorry, even if they're trying to say Cain's name with it's proper accent, they shouldn't be calling him "Cayenne" like cayenne pepper. WTF?
abe- April 21, 2008 at 2:24 am
fight should of stopped along time ago
Captain Popetastic- April 20, 2008 at 11:39 pm
The biggg difference between Cain and O'Brien is aggression. Jake O'Brien was more than content with nauseating L&P. Velasquez is training with real MMA fighters. He looks markedly better in this fight than he did in that Bodog event against Constant.

I agree with the poster above: With some BJJ training, he could definitely improve tremendously and possibly be a force. But his aggression is a big seller. He could have lose to a good BJJ fighter, but the fight would have still been exciting, and I'd still want to see him again (ex. Brock Lesnar vs. Mir). Compare that to Jake O'Brien, who spoiled Heath Herring's initial foray into the UFC. But the fight was so painful to watch, I knew I never wanted to see the guy in the Octagon again.
bfowlkes- April 20, 2008 at 10:52 pm
You're right godzillad. Thanks. The letters were a little too close, and, like a small, drunk toddler, I am easily confused. It's fixed now.
Yea Well But- April 20, 2008 at 10:46 pm
He's good, needs some better jiu-jitsu or some technical submission work, against a dude who knows good leglocks he would've been tapped. But he looks very strong and he rides that mount well although that other guy was admittedly pretty rocked by then :D. I'll be watch him, he can only get better..
godzillad- April 20, 2008 at 10:43 pm
Vasquez trains at AKA.
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