Cain Velasquez

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Cain Velasquez
Cain Velasquez.jpg
Velasquez in 2010
BornCain Velasquez
(1982-07-28) July 28, 1982 (age 36)
Salinas, California, United States
Height6 ft 1 in (185 cm)[3]
Weight240 lb (109 kg; 17 st 2 lb)
Reach77 in (196 cm)[4]
StyleMuay Thai, Wrestling, BJJ
Fighting out ofSan Jose, California, United States
TeamAmerican Kickboxing Academy
TrainerWrestling: Daniel Cormier
Muay Thai: Javier Mendez
Brazilian Jiu-Jitsu: Leandro Vieira
Strength: Joe Grosso
Boxing: Rosendo Sanchez
Rank     Black belt in Brazilian Jiu-Jitsu under Leandro Vieira[5]
WrestlingNCAA Division I Wrestling[6]
Years active2006–present
Mixed martial arts record
By knockout12
By decision2
By knockout1
By submission1
UniversityArizona State University
Notable school(s)Kofa High School
Mixed martial arts record from Sherdog

Cain Velasquez[7] (born July 28, 1982) is an American professional mixed martial artist currently signed with the Ultimate Fighting Championship (UFC). He is a former two-time UFC Heavyweight Champion.[8]

Early life and education[edit]

Cain Velasquez was born in Salinas, California to Efrain and Isabel Velasquez. Efrain moved to the U.S. from Sinaloa, Mexico as an illegal immigrant,[9] where he met American-born Isabel. They started a relationship and later married, which allowed Efrain to attain U.S. citizenship.[10] The Velasquez family had three children: Efrain Jr., Adela and Cain.

Velasquez was raised in Yuma, Arizona.[11] He graduated from Kofa High School, where he compiled a record of 110–10 in four years of wrestling, including winning the 5A Arizona Wrestling Championship twice. Velasquez also played football for three years. As a senior, he served as captain of both his wrestling and football teams. As a football player, he played linebacker.[11]

After high school, he attended Iowa Central Community College, wrestling for one season (2001–02) and winning the NJCAA National Championship in the heavyweight (285 lb limit) division.[12] Afterwards, Velasquez transferred to Arizona State University. He wrestled for the Sun Devils for three seasons and compiled a record of 86–17, placing 5th in the country in 2005, and 4th in 2006. While at ASU, Velasquez also wrestled alongside future UFC fighters Ryan Bader and C.B. Dollaway.[13]

Mixed martial arts career[edit]

Velasquez began his mixed martial arts career right after college, joining American Kickboxing Academy. Velasquez is a brown belt in Guerrilla Jiu-Jitsu under Dave Camarillo,[14] a black belt in Brazilian Jiu-Jitsu under Leandro Viera, and an NCAA Division I Wrestler.[15]

Early career[edit]

Velasquez made his MMA debut on October 7, 2006 against Jesse Fujarczyk at Strikeforce: Tank vs. Buentello, he won by TKO in the first round. Velasquez faced then undefeated Jeremiah Constant at BodogFight: St. Petersburg, he won via TKO in the first round at the 4 minute mark.[16]

Velasquez made his UFC debut against Brad Morris at UFC 83 and won by TKO in the first round.

In his next fight, Velasquez defeated Jake O'Brien at UFC Fight Night 14 via TKO in round one.[17]

Velasquez then faced Denis Stojnić at UFC Fight Night 17 and the fight was stopped in round two with Velasquez earning the victory by TKO. Velasquez earned Knockout of the Night honors for his performance.[18]

Velasquez's next fight was at UFC 99 against former kickboxer and heavyweight contender Cheick Kongo. Velasquez was once again dominant, landing 251 strikes and winning the bout by unanimous decision.[19]

His next opponent was expected to be Shane Carwin[20] with the winner likely challenging for the UFC Heavyweight Championship held by Brock Lesnar. However, that bout was scrapped[21] and Velasquez was instead told he would be fighting UFC newcomer Ben Rothwell at UFC 104.[22][23] He defeated Rothwell by second-round TKO.[24]

Velasquez faced former Pride Heavyweight Champion and former Interim UFC Heavyweight Champion Antônio Rodrigo Nogueira on February 20, 2010 at UFC 110.[25] Going into the fight, some commentators predicted that Nogueira would take the victory due to a supposed lack of striking power for Velasquez.[26] They were proven wrong when Velasquez defeated Nogueira via first-round KO, earning Knockout of the Night honors.[26]

UFC Heavyweight Champion[edit]

With his victory over Nogueira, Velasquez earned a UFC Heavyweight Championship fight with then-champ Brock Lesnar at UFC 121. UFC President Dana White announced via SportsNation that the UFC would be bringing back UFC Primetime to promote Lesnar vs. Velasquez.[27] Velasquez defeated Lesnar via TKO in the first round, earning Knockout of the Night honors.

Velasquez suffered a torn rotator cuff in his right shoulder during his fight with Lesnar and was expected to be sidelined for at least six to eight months.[28] Surgery on the shoulder was successful and Velasquez planned to return as early as Fall 2011.[29]

Velasquez was expected to make his first title defense against Junior dos Santos, with a target date of November 19, 2011 at UFC 139,[30] but the fight was later moved to November 12, 2011, to headline the first UFC on Fox 1 event.[31] Velasquez suffered his first loss, via KO (punches), at 1 minute and 4 seconds of the first round.[32] While not public information at the time, it was later revealed that Dos Santos already had a minor knee injury (a torn meniscus), and took an injection of cortisone into the knee before the fight, followed by information revealing that Velasquez had re-injured his rotator cuff approximately a week before the fight. Junior dos Santos would undergo knee surgery following the fight.[33]

Velasquez was originally set to fight Frank Mir on May 26, 2012, at UFC 146.[34] However, Mir was moved up to face Junior dos Santos after Alistair Overeem was suspended for elevated testosterone levels. Velasquez instead faced Antônio Silva.[35] Velasquez defeated Silva via first-round TKO, in a fight that saw Silva bleed profusely from his forehead. After the fight, Dana White strongly hinted that Velasquez would be the next fighter to challenge for the UFC Heavyweight Championship. It is widely thought that the reason White made the decision to have the rematch with Dos Santos at such an unexpected time, was because of the fact that both fighters were injured going into their first fight.[36]

A rematch was expected with Junior dos Santos on September 22, 2012 at UFC 152.[37] However, it was later announced by Dana White that the date for the rematch had been set to December 29 at UFC 155.[38] In the rematch, Velasquez defeated Dos Santos in a dominating performance[39] via unanimous decision (50–45, 50–43, and 50–44) to regain the UFC heavyweight title.[40][41] Velasquez became the first fighter in UFC history to post triple digits in significant strikes landed and double digits in takedowns landed in a single fight, landing 111 significant strikes and 11 takedowns in his second fight against Dos Santos.[42]

In his first title defense Velasquez defeated Antônio Silva in a rematch on May 25, 2013, at UFC 160.[43] He defeated him via TKO (punches) at 1:21 seconds into the first round.

A rubber match with Junior dos Santos took place at UFC 166 on October 19, 2013, in Houston, Texas.[44] Velasquez defended his title for a second time again defeating dos Santos in a mostly one-sided affair ending in TKO at 3:09 of the fifth round.

On April 29, 2014, the UFC announced that Velasquez and Fabrício Werdum had been selected as coaches for the inaugural installment of The Ultimate Fighter: Latin America, with the two expected to face each other on November 15, 2014, at UFC 180.[45][46] However, on October 21, 2014, it was announced that Velasquez pulled out of the bout due to a torn meniscus and sprained MCL in his right knee, and will be replaced by Mark Hunt.[47] On October 23, 2014, Velasquez underwent successful surgery to repair his torn meniscus.[48]

A rescheduled bout with UFC Interim Heavyweight Champion Fabrício Werdum took place on June 13, 2015, at UFC 188.[49] In a back-and-forth affair, Velasquez lost the fight via guillotine choke submission in the third round.[50]

Post title loss, injuries and hiatus[edit]

A rematch with Werdum was expected to take place on February 6, 2016 at UFC Fight Night 82 until both fighters backed out citing injuries.[51]

Velasquez next faced Travis Browne on July 9, 2016 at UFC 200.[52] He won the fight via TKO in the closing seconds of the first round.[53]

The rematch against Werdum was rescheduled and expected to take place on December 30, 2016 at UFC 207.[54] However the Nevada State Athletic Commission failed to approve Velasquez to fight, determining after physical examinations and interviews that he was unfit to compete due to bone spurs on his back.[55]

Fighting style[edit]

Velasquez has a style that could be described as 'swarming'. He moves forward constantly, giving opponents very little room to land clean strikes, all while utilizing powerful and extremely swift punching combinations. He typically starts with a jab, follows up with a hard straight right, and then adds hooks and uppercuts as the fight progresses.[56] He is strong in the clinch, where he throws long combinations that typically end in a takedown.[56]

If Velasquez knocks his opponent to the ground during a fight, he often uses grappling skills to maintain a dominant position while he continues to strike from above.[56] He does not usually attempt submissions. All of his wins have either come by striking from punches, or by decision.[57]

Velasquez has also been praised consistently for his cardiovascular training; he has tremendous endurance that allows him to continue to fight aggressively after his opponents have become exhausted, earning him the nickname 'Cardio Cain'.[56] Velasquez's strong cardio also allows him to throw more strikes. As of July 2013, he was ranked Number 1 for the most strikes landed per minute in the UFC.[58]

Personal life[edit]

Velasquez speaks English and Spanish.[59] He has been a guest star on the Spanish-language television networks Telemundo and Univision,[60] as well as Mexico's Televisa Deportes.[61] In addition to his Spanish-language TV appearances, he was also a featured guest on the TBS late night show Lopez Tonight.[62]

Velasquez is known for sporting a prominent "Brown Pride" tattoo on his upper chest. He says this tattoo is a tribute to his Mexican heritage.[63][64]

Velasquez and his wife Michelle had a daughter on May 6, 2009. The couple married on May 28, 2011.[65][66]

Championships and accomplishments[edit]

Mixed martial arts record[edit]

Res. Record Opponent Method Event Date Round Time Location Notes
Win 14–2 Travis Browne TKO (punches) UFC 200 July 9, 2016 1 4:57 Las Vegas, Nevada, United States Performance of the Night.
Loss 13–2 Fabrício Werdum Submission (guillotine choke) UFC 188 June 13, 2015 3 2:13 Mexico City, Mexico Lost the UFC Heavyweight Championship.
Win 13–1 Junior dos Santos TKO (slam and punch) UFC 166 October 19, 2013 5 3:09 Houston, Texas, United States Defended the UFC Heavyweight Championship.
Win 12–1 Antônio Silva TKO (punches) UFC 160 May 25, 2013 1 1:21 Las Vegas, Nevada, United States Defended the UFC Heavyweight Championship.
Win 11–1 Junior dos Santos Decision (unanimous) UFC 155 December 29, 2012 5 5:00 Las Vegas, Nevada, United States Won the UFC Heavyweight Championship.
Win 10–1 Antônio Silva TKO (punches) UFC 146 May 26, 2012 1 3:36 Las Vegas, Nevada, United States
Loss 9–1 Junior dos Santos KO (punches) UFC on Fox: Velasquez vs. Dos Santos November 12, 2011 1 1:04 Anaheim, California, United States Lost the UFC Heavyweight Championship.
Win 9–0 Brock Lesnar TKO (punches) UFC 121 October 23, 2010 1 4:12 Anaheim, California, United States Won the UFC Heavyweight Championship. Knockout of the Night.
Win 8–0 Antônio Rodrigo Nogueira KO (punches) UFC 110 February 21, 2010 1 2:20 Sydney, Australia Knockout of the Night.
Win 7–0 Ben Rothwell TKO (punches) UFC 104 October 24, 2009 2 0:58 Los Angeles, California, United States
Win 6–0 Cheick Kongo Decision (unanimous) UFC 99 June 13, 2009 3 5:00 Cologne, Germany
Win 5–0 Denis Stojnić TKO (punches) UFC Fight Night: Lauzon vs. Stephens February 7, 2009 2 2:34 Tampa, Florida, United States Knockout of the Night.
Win 4–0 Jake O'Brien TKO (punches) UFC Fight Night: Silva vs Irvin July 19, 2008 1 2:02 Las Vegas, Nevada, United States
Win 3–0 Brad Morris TKO (punches) UFC 83 April 19, 2008 1 2:10 Montreal, Quebec, Canada
Win 2–0 Jeremiah Constant TKO (punches) BodogFight: St. Petersburg December 16, 2006 1 4:00 St. Petersburg, Russia
Win 1–0 Jesse Fujarczyk TKO (punches) Strikeforce: Tank vs. Buentello October 7, 2006 1 1:58 Fresno, California, United States

See also[edit]


  1. ^ Constitución Política de los Estados Unidos Mexicanos (Report). Chamber of Deputies of the Congress of the Union. 2017-09-15. Retrieved 2018-11-07.
  2. ^ Constitution of Mexico (PDF) (Report). Organization of American States. 1968. p. 15. Retrieved 2018-11-07. Mexicans by birth are:...Those born in a foreign country of Mexican parents; of a Mexican father and a foreign mother; or of a Mexican mother and an unknown father
  3. ^ "Cain Velasquez". Ultimate Fighting Championship. Retrieved 15 January 2014.
  4. ^ "Fight Card - UFC 188 Velasquez vs. Werdum". Retrieved June 14, 2015.
  5. ^ Adam Guillen Jr. (October 4, 2013). "UFC 166: Cain Velasquez awarded black belt in jiu-jitsu prior to Junior dos Santos title fight in Houston".
  6. ^ Coach Mike R (May 24, 2013). "UFC 160 - Coach Mike's Fact Grinder: Cain Velasquez".
  7. ^ "Player Bio: Cain Velasquez". Archived from the original on 2012-10-24.
  8. ^ "Heavyweight | UFC ® - Weight Class Index". Retrieved 2014-08-12.
  9. ^ Porcayo, Omar (2011-11-09). "Mexican-American UFC Champion Inspired By Immigrant Father". Huffington Post. Retrieved 2012-12-30.
  10. ^ "Cain Velasquez: Like Father, Like Son". 2010-10-03. Retrieved 2010-10-03.
  11. ^ a b "Cain Velasquez Player Bio". 2010-07-06. Archived from the original on 2010-06-12. Retrieved 2010-07-06.
  12. ^ "Sports | Men's Wrestling | Home". NJCAA. 2002-02-15. Retrieved 2014-08-12.
  13. ^ "Cain Velasquez". Wrestling Hall of Fame. 2010-10-03. Archived from the original on 2010-07-06. Retrieved 2010-10-03.
  14. ^ Richardson, Andrew (23 May 2013). "UFC 160 complete fighter breakdown, Cain Velasquez edition". Retrieved 4 October 2013.
  15. ^ Fontanez, Erik. "Video: UFC champ Cain Velasquez gets his BJJ black belt". Retrieved 4 October 2013.
  16. ^ "Bodog Fight – Clash of the Nations".
  17. ^ "Cain Velasquez vs. Jake O'Brien". 2008-07-19. Archived from the original on 2010-10-28. Retrieved 2010-10-03.
  18. ^ "UFC Fight Night 17: As expected Cain Velasquez beats Denis Stojnic". 2009-02-08. Archived from the original on 2010-10-05. Retrieved 2010-10-03.
  19. ^ "Cheick Kongo got hit in the head 251 times by Cain Velasquez at UFC 99". 2009-06-16. Retrieved 2010-10-03.
  20. ^ Savage, Greg (2009-07-01). "Carwin-Velazquez Likely for UFC 104". Retrieved 2011-07-02.
  21. ^ Helwani, Ariel (2009-08-20). "Shane Carwin vs. Cain Velasquez Off; Carwin to Challenge Lesnar for UFC Title". Retrieved 2011-07-02.
  22. ^ McNeil, Franklin (2009-10-22). "Rothwell fight a blessing for Velasquez". Retrieved 2011-07-02.
  23. ^ Morgan, John (2009-08-20). "Cain Velasquez and Ben Rothwell set for heavyweight contest at UFC 104 in Los Angeles". Archived from the original on 2012-07-14. Retrieved 2011-07-02.
  24. ^ Okamoto, Brett (2009-10-25). "Cain Velasquez impressive in win, may still have to wait for title shot". Retrieved 2011-07-02.
  25. ^ Knapp, Brian (2010-02-20). "Velasquez Stops Nogueira at UFC 110". Retrieved 2011-07-02.
  26. ^ a b "UFC 110 main card recap: Velasquez stuns Nogueira in first, Silva returns to win column". 2010-02-21. Archived from the original on 2012-07-16. Retrieved 2010-10-03.
  27. ^ "Brock Lesnar, Cain Velasquez UFC Primtime". 2010-08-26.
  28. ^ "Trainer: UFC champ Velasquez out a minimum of 6–8 months with torn rotator cuff". 2010-12-29.
  29. ^ "Injured UFC champ Cain Velasquez already back in the gym, return date TBD". 2011-01-17.
  30. ^ "UFC flexes strong fall schedule with Velasquez defense". 2011-06-16.
  31. ^ "Cain Velasquez vs. Junior Dos Santos headlines UFC's debut on FOX". September 2, 2011. Archived from the original on 2012-03-17. Retrieved September 2, 2011.
  32. ^ Perez, A.J. (2011-11-13). "Dos Santos stuns Velasquez for UFC title". Retrieved 2012-03-30.
  33. ^ Morgan, John; Marrocco, Steven (2011-11-13). "New UFC champ Junior Dos Santos fought with torn meniscus at UFC on FOX". Archived from the original on 2012-05-26. Retrieved 2012-03-29.
  34. ^ "Cain Velasquez vs. Frank Mir title-eliminator added to UFC 146". March 7, 2012. Archived from the original on 2012-03-09. Retrieved March 7, 2012.
  35. ^ "UFC 146: Cain Velasquez vs Antonio Silva booked for May 26 in Las Vegas". April 22, 2012. Retrieved April 22, 2012.
  36. ^ "With UFC 146 wins, Junior Dos Santos vs. Cain Velasquez II on tap". May 27, 2012. Retrieved May 27, 2012.
  37. ^ "Junior Dos Santos vs. Cain Velasquez II targeted for UFC 152 headliner". June 9, 2012.
  38. ^ "Dos Santos-Velasquez by the numbers". Dec 26, 2012.
  39. ^ Knapp, Brian (29 December 2012). "Cain Velasquez Bludgeons Junior dos Santos, Reclaims Heavyweight Crown at UFC 155". Sherdog. Retrieved 30 December 2012.
  40. ^ "Cain Velasquez regains title". Dec 30, 2012.
  41. ^ Martin, Todd (29 December 2012). "UFC 155: Cain Velasquez dominates Junior Dos Santos to regain title". Retrieved 31 December 2012.
  42. ^ "@cainmma Records First Triple-Double in UFC History". Retrieved 30 December 2012.
  43. ^ Matt Erickson (2013-02-12). "Velasquez-Silva 2, Dos Santos-Overeem booked for UFC 160 in May". Retrieved 2013-02-12.
  44. ^ Dann Stupp & Matt Erickson (2013-06-13). "Champ Cain Velasquez vs. Junior dos Santos III likely at UFC 166 in Houston". Retrieved 2013-06-13.
  45. ^ Staff (April 29, 2014). "Cain Velasquez, Fabrício Werdum coach 'TUF: Latin America,' fight in November".
  46. ^ Cole, Ross (30 April 2014). "Cain Velasquez Vs Fabrício Werdum Set For UFC 180; Will Coach Latin TUF". Fight of the Night. Retrieved 4 May 2014.
  47. ^ Ariel Helwani (2014-10-22). "Cain Velasquez to undergo knee surgery on Thursday". Retrieved 2014-10-22.
  48. ^ Dave Meltzer (2014-10-24). "Cain Velasquez has successful surgery, hopes for March return". Retrieved 2014-10-25.
  49. ^ Staff (2015-02-23). "Cain Velasquez vs. Fabrício Werdum official for UFC 188 in Mexico in June". Retrieved 2015-02-23.
  50. ^ Steven Marrocco (2015-06-14). "UFC 188 results: Fabricio Werdum taps out Cain Velasquez for shocking title upset". Retrieved 2015-06-14.
  51. ^ Kevin Iole (January 25, 2016). "A day after Cain Velasquez pulls out of UFC 196, Fabricio Werdum follows suit". Retrieved January 26, 2016.
  52. ^ Staff (2016-03-16). "Cain Velasquez vs. Travis Browne targeted for UFC 200". Retrieved 2016-03-16.
  53. ^ Dave Doyle (2016-07-09). "UFC 200 results: Cain Velasquez mauls Travis Browne". Retrieved 2016-07-09.
  54. ^ Staff (2016-10-20). "Cain Velasquez and Fabricio Werdum to rematch at UFC 207". MMA Junkie. Retrieved 2016-12-21.
  55. ^ Staff (2016-12-24). "Cain Velasquez out of UFC 207 bout with Fabrico Werdum". MMA Junkie. Retrieved 2016-12-24.
  56. ^ a b c d Richardson, Andrew (2012-12-24). "UFC 155 complete fighter breakdown, Cain Velasquez edition". Retrieved 2012-12-30.
  57. ^ "Cain Velasquez - FightWiki". Retrieved 2012-12-30.
  58. ^ "Strikes Landed per Minute (SLpM) record". Archived from the original on November 24, 2012. Retrieved July 29, 2013.
  59. ^ Meléndez, Sergio (20 May 2014). "Caín: El idioma no será problema, la técnica es universal" (in Spanish). Terra Networks. Archived from the original on 23 June 2014.
  60. ^ "Cain Velasquez Brings a Little Bit of Bad-Ass to Latin Grammy Awards, Rothwell to Face Cro Cop in Australia?". 2009-11-05. Retrieved 2010-10-03.
  61. ^ Televisa Deportes. "Video: Entrevista con Caín Velásquez". Deportes. Retrieved 12 July 2015.
  62. ^ "Cain Velasquez Interviewed on Lopez Tonight". 2010-10-25. Retrieved 2011-03-13.
  63. ^ Adam Guillen Jr. "UFC 155's Cain Velasquez explains 'Brown Pride' tattoo, Dana White defends it". Retrieved 12 July 2015.
  64. ^ "Team Quest's Michelle Ould Calls 'Brown Pride' Tattoo Into Question, Wants 'White Pride' Bra Allowed In Cage - BJPENN.COM". BJPENN.COM. Retrieved 12 July 2015.
  65. ^ "Cain Velasquez got married". 2011-05-31. Retrieved 2011-05-31.
  66. ^ "Raising Cain: An interview exclusive with Cain Velasquez". 2009-05-06. Retrieved 2009-05-10.
  67. ^ a b c d e f g h i j k l m n o p q r s t u v w "Fighter Stats". Fight Metric. Ultimate Fighting Championship. Retrieved 2018-05-21.
  68. ^ Breen, Jordan (5 January 2013). "'s 2012 All-Violence Team". Retrieved 5 January 2013.
  69. ^ Breen, Jordan (12 January 2014). "'s 2013 All-Violence Team". Retrieved 12 January 2014.
  70. ^ Meltzer, Dave (January 27, 2014). "Jan 27 2014 Wrestling Observer Newsletter: 2013 Annual awards issue, best in the world in numerous categories, plus all the news in pro-wrestling and MMA over the past week and more". Wrestling Observer Newsletter. Campbell, California: 1–37. ISSN 1083-9593.
  71. ^ a b Cain Velasquez Archived July 6, 2010, at the Wayback Machine.. The National Wrestling Hall of Fame Museum

External links[edit]

Preceded by
Brock Lesnar
15th UFC Heavyweight Champion
October 23, 2010 – November 12, 2011
Succeeded by
Junior dos Santos
Preceded by
Junior dos Santos
17th UFC Heavyweight Champion
December 29, 2012 – June 13, 2015
Succeeded by
Fabrício Werdum