Questions were raised over the structural integrity of Cain Velasquez’ chin ahead of his heavyweight unification fight with interim-champion Fabricio Werdum at UFC 188 in Mexico. The one positive for the now deposed champion is that he answered those doubts by having Werdum punch him repeatedly in the face for a large majority of the fight.
The one doubt no one had the foresight to raise was regarding his fitness. This is cardio Cain after all. The biggest advantage he was going to enjoy over Werdum was his unbelievable fitness levels.
So much for all that. Whilst Werdum trained at high-altitude for a month before the fight, Velasquez trained at sea-level until two weeks before when he travelled to Mexico City. Which sits over 7,000 feet above sea level.
The results of this decision were borne out on the second round when Cain started to tire badly, allowing Werdum to pick him apart on the feet. A bloody and battered Velasquez went for a desperate take-down in the third round and stuck his neck right in to a guillotine choke. As the vine shows, that was the end of that.
Now Werdum is being hailed as the greatest heavyweight in MMA history. It’s a debatable claim but with wins over Fedor Emelianenko and now Cain Velasquez he has a very strong case.