Despite Being a Heavy Favorite at UFC 160, Cain Velasquez Cautions “This is a Whole New Fight”
By Kelsey Mowatt
Heading into this Saturday’s UFC 160 card in Las Vegas, much of the pre-fight talk has focused on who Cain Velasquez will fight next, rather than if he’ll defeat Antonio “Big Foot” Silva on May 25th. Of course, this is not entirely unexpected, since Velasquez quickly bloodied and stopped Silva at UFC 146 one year ago. Velasquez is also coming off a one sided, unanimous decision win over Junior dos Santos to reassert his position as the sport’s top heavyweight fighter.
If Velasquez is looking past Silva, one certainly couldn’t conclude that based off what he’s been saying heading into his rematch with “Big Foot.” It’s also extremely difficult, if not impossible, to look past the man who sent a shockwave throughout the MMA world in February, by stopping Alistair Overeem.
“This is a whole new fight. Obviously we saw what “Big Foot” can do in his past two fights,” Velasquez noted on a recent media call about Silva, who prior to facing Overeem also stopped Travis Browne. “You can’t take him lightly. He’s a tough competitor; he is really dangerous in the Octagon. I don’t see this as anything less than a hard, grueling fight. That’s what I’m expecting.”
Another reason speculation as to who Velasquez will fight next has been so widespread, is due to the fact that the former champion dos Santos is scheduled to fight Mark Hunt in the co-headliner. Of course, dos Santos is the only man to defeat Velasquez to date, so talk of a rubber match continues to persist. UFC President Dana White has relayed that the winner of the dos Santos-Hunt fight, particularly if it’s the former, will receive a title shot.
“No preference for me at all,” Velasquez responded when asked if he would rather fight dos Santos or Hunt next. “I think the best man will win, but hey, I’m not thinking about that fight at all. I’m thinking about the fight with “Big Foot.”
“This is the position I want to be in,” the 30 year-old Velasquez added later on in the call. “I have to go out there and perform.”
Velasquez cruised to victory over Silva last May by promptly taking the powerful Silva to the mat and punishing him with a vicious ground-and-pound assault. With their previous encounter in mind, it will be interesting to see how Velasquez approaches Silva in the rematch.
“For me, the game plan is to stay in his face but on this one, I have to be ready for everything,” said Velasquez. “Whatever his game plan is, if he comes out more aggressive…I’m looking for different stuff out there, but I’m looking, as far as my game plan to be the same.”
“Obviously there may be a different game plan from “Big Foot”; that’s the only thing that’s different in this fight,” the American Kickboxing Academy fighter said while discussing his outlook heading into the rematch. “As far as being hungry, and wanting this win, I’m 100% there.”
UFC 160 will be hosted by the MGM Grand Garden Arena in Las Vegas, Nevada and the main card will be available via pay-per-view.
Stay tuned to Full Contact Fighter for more on UFC 160 as the event approaches.