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Exclusive Interview: Cain Velasquez

(Here comes the pain…)

Cain Velasquez is a former All-American wrestler and undefeated MMA fighter who has yet to see what the second round looks like in his pro career.  This Saturday at UFC Fight Night 17 he faces Octagon newbie Denis Stojnic, and all indications are that Velasquez’s undefeated streak will still be intact on Sunday morning.  

In this exclusive interview, Velasquez talks with us about the choice of opponents, his transition from wrestling to MMA, and his thoughts on AKA’s recent dust-up with the UFC over the video game licensing deal. You’re facing a guy who’s making his UFC debut in Denis Stojnic.  What do you know about him and how have you been preparing for him?

The only thing I know about him is from watching YouTube videos of him.  He’s an aggressive fighter, he throws some wild punches, and he’s an extremely tough dude.  I’m working on turning the corner, not really standing there and banging with him, but looking for shots from there for the takedown.

You’re 4-0 and beat a fairly established UFC fighter in Jake O’Brien your last time out.  Why do you think the UFC decided to put you up against a guy stepping into the Octagon for the first time?

I’m not really sure, but they did.  I’m glad they did because that’s just more ring time for me.  When I get up to the big guys, the big names, I’ll be more ready.

If you win this fight do you think you’ll get a chance to challenge some of those bigger names?

You know, I’m not sure.  I would think so.  I think they want to build me up some and I want to work my way up the ladder.  Whoever they want to give me, I’ll take it.  I just want more time in there to get some experience to help me feel really comfortable in the cage.  

You got into MMA a couple years ago after wrestling at Arizona State.  What made you want to do it and how did you get started?

I told my college coach, Tom Ortiz, that I wanted to do MMA when I was a junior there.  It was just something I knew I could do.  He told me to get done with my season and then he would hook me up with the right people.  

He got me with AKA in San Jose and Dwayne Zinkin of Zinkin entertainment.  He was good friends with Dwayne Zinkin because Zinkin wrestled at Fresno State.  He’s a good guy, and he helped me a lot.  Things have been going great ever since I got here and I think my transition has gone really good.

Do you still feel like you’re a wrestler first and everything else second?

No, I don’t.  I feel like I’ve been doing this for long enough now that I have a good grasp of everything.   My ground game, the jiu-jitsu, the kickboxing, the wrestling, I feel like I can put it all together.  I don’t really consider myself a wrestler because I will stand with somebody and I will fight on my feet.

It seems like particularly in some weight classes, like heavyweight and lightweight, for instance, you look around and see it dominated by ex-wrestlers.  Why do you think that is?

I think that has to do with a lot of things.  I think a lot of the things that you go through in wrestling, and just kind of the work ethic that you develop, prepares you for MMA.  I think it’s a lot easier to build off wrestling than other things.  If you have a kickboxer come in and try to learn to wrestle, it’s really foreign to him.  We already have a good base to start from.  We basically just have to build on our stand-up and our jiu-jitsu, and I think wrestlers already have a good knowledge of a lot of the important stuff.

What’s been the hardest part of the transition for you?

I think for me it’s been the jiu-jitsu part of it.  Not that it’s so hard learning the techniques, but just the mind-set of jiu-jitsu.  You have to be really relaxed, looking for the openings and looking for your submissions.  In wrestling it’s very different.  It’s more about working.  Working for your attacks, your takedowns, your defenses.  It’s just a totally different mind-set.

When the situation erupted regarding Jon Fitch’s unwillingness to sign the UFC’s licensing deal, Dana White made some very public and very negative comments about your team and your management.  How did you take that?

You know,  I just let my managers handle that, and it seemed like everything worked out.  It’s all part of the negotiations process.  I just worry about the fighting and the training.  

But did anyone from the UFC ever say to you that they wished you’d get different management, that they were the problem?

There was stuff online that we heard while it was going on, but that’s about it.  I didn’t really worry too much about it.  We just kind of said, ‘Well, this our management and they’ll take care of it.’  And they did.  They do a great job.  They’re going to fight for us, no matter what the conditions are.  Their job is to get the best for us and they do that.  You don’t have to worry with them that they aren’t looking out for your interests first.

Did it seem to you like you guys at AKA were being singled out because of your management and their resistance to the licensing deal?

That’s what they’re there for.  If it wasn’t us who got into with them over this, would it have been another gym?  I don’t know.  I mean, we cooperate whenever we can, but our managers are there to get the best for us and fight for us.  I think any fighter would want his manager to do that for him, so it’s not just like we’re trying to be difficult.  It’s all part of the process, though.  We just go back and forth until we reach an agreement.

So ideally, who would you like to fight in the UFC’s heavyweight class right now?  Who would be a good fight for you?

I think anybody who’s up there would be good for me.  I want to fight any of them.  Anybody who’s in the top ten of the UFC’s heavyweight division would be a good fight and an intense fight.

Thanks, Cain.  Anything else you want to add?

I just want to thank AKA and Dwayne Zinkin and Zinkin Entertainment, and all my training partners and everyone who supports me.

Cagepotato Comments

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Ozone- February 4, 2009 at 11:14 pm
Shane v Cain!
TUF Guy- February 4, 2009 at 10:23 pm
ok... that really hurt me. I'm going to go down to my mommys basement and eat paint chips now.
Anonymous- February 4, 2009 at 5:27 pm
Sounds like a very boring person. How exciting.
i love the demise of tuf guy it reminds me of beethoven- February 4, 2009 at 4:13 pm
tuf guy are u really bosnian because they fucking staaank worse than a rotting pakistanis asshole and am not gona say that i am gona shag yr mum because i already did and never again her cunt looked like a bulldog eating mayonnaise.come on at first its a joke but yr actually think you tuf and trying to pass yrself off as a fighter.ha ha ha you dont have to be a pro fighter to be tuf but you do have to fight instead of talking shite all day like a window licker trying to convince us yr hard when we couldn't give 2 shits if u were.SAD this is more sadder than taking an ethiopian in to kfc and saying u forgot yr wallet.gowan tuf guy say something tuf but what would be really funny is if you said it to someone in person so they can turn u over.all show and no go hahahahahaha WANKER
Big Shafty- February 4, 2009 at 3:53 pm
herd i mean....nevermind
Big Shafty- February 4, 2009 at 3:52 pm
@ TUF Guy

It's not a heard of sharks. It's a shiver of sharks.
TUF Gay- February 4, 2009 at 2:56 pm
There I Have Changed My Name To Better Suit My Personality And True Motivations...
Quick SomeOne Lube Me!
TUF Guy- February 4, 2009 at 2:11 pm
@TUF Guy,

Come on sister, don't say you are the real TUF guy. I am the real TUF Guy. Wanna see the proof? My name is TUF Guy. There you go sucka!
TUF Guy- February 4, 2009 at 1:46 pm
@ TUF Guy(s)

I am the real tough guy, noone is tougher than I! Who wants to rub vasoline on me?
TUF Guy- February 4, 2009 at 1:33 pm
Cain V. is a monster in the making.
It's just his cock in my ass I am taking.
I am tuff, no I am not, just faking.
What's that sound? My face breaking.

you are a douchebag.
TUF Guy- February 4, 2009 at 1:15 pm
I'm going to stop posting my stupid comments now because my vagina hurts!!
DoucheBag- February 4, 2009 at 1:09 pm
Come see and Conquer talking about mens asses again o and for the record when cutting yourself remember down the street not across the road do us all a favour
TUF Guy- February 4, 2009 at 12:51 pm
Well this is the "REAL TUF Guy" now and as stated before:

YOU IDIOTS need to realize that anyone can put my name down and type any homoerotic stuff they want.

People know when it's me and when it's someone 'trying reallly hard' to be funny

I don't just go on blabbering about random stuff for ages because I am an angry kid with low self esteem, I just come, I see and I conquer!
Massiveamounts- February 4, 2009 at 12:49 pm
@ truer words were ever spoken mate, agree 100.

I would be willing to bet that Tuf Guy is a overweight EMO who wears eye liner and dreams of slitting his wrists 24/7, all that pent up false aggresion has to be coming from some overly emotional reclusive douchebag.

I'm begining to wonder if it's one of the Ben's just getting our goat to increase site fuck thats way too offensive to their intelligence, hell they would at least come up with comments that are somewhat funny, this chickendick can't even do that.
DAN THE VIKING- February 4, 2009 at 12:27 pm
TUF Guy 4 Presidente! You want a job?
Sick and Tired of This Kid...BJ Penn Fan- February 4, 2009 at 12:23 pm
Cage Potato,

Can you please BAN the one who refers to himself as BJ Penn fan?

How can you expect intelligent MMA conversations with idiotic fighter and poster bashing like this?

Do the site a favor and get this waste of skin off the site.
JB- February 4, 2009 at 12:19 pm
@ TUF Guy,

or I should say internet TUF guy, It's clear to me and everyone else that if you have to come online and act like a tough guy it means that you cant act like that anywhere else. If this was the only place I could talk smack and I would too. You gotta act tough somewhere... so get it out TUF Guy!
The irish car bomb- February 4, 2009 at 12:16 pm
Roarrrrrrrr Cain smash
TUF Guy- February 4, 2009 at 11:58 am
Last night in the gym, I tapped to a grapevine...Art Jimmerson is my hero!
Tuf Guy- February 4, 2009 at 11:46 am
GSP's short shorts and vaseline.... yummy
TUF Guy- February 4, 2009 at 11:39 am
I think Cain will eventually fight for the title. Give it 2 years max!
TUF Guy- February 4, 2009 at 11:29 am
@ TUF Guy,

You don't know me, if you did, then you'd know how my stand up game is full of overhead murderballs and headbutts to the groin!
Armbreaker- February 4, 2009 at 11:23 am
@ Derevka

Overeem would be a good addition to the UFC's heavyweight division, but they better test him for steroids before they sign him.
TUF Guy- February 4, 2009 at 11:22 am
@ TUF Guy,

yeah, but how many NBA titles has Santa won? Go read a book. Up your nose with a rubber hose! Stop using my name TUF Guy!
TUF Guy- February 4, 2009 at 11:21 am
@ TUF Guy

Santa led the nation in scoring all four years at South Pole State. Biotch!