Exclusive | AKA Coach Bob Cook on Velasquez-Silva II and Olympic Wrestling | UFC News
As one of the founders of both the American Kickboxing Academy and Zinkin Entertainment, “Crazy” Bob Cook has seen it all in the combat sports world. A lifelong martial artist, Cook has been involved in the sport for over 20 years and has coached a laundry list of elite competitors. We recently spoke with Cook on BJPenn.com Radio and got his thoughts on two of this week’s hottest MMA topics.
Fresh off a stunning knockout of Alistair Overeem at UFC 156, Antonio “Big Foot” Silva has been signed to a heavyweight title fight with AKA’s Cain Velasquez at UFC 160 on May 25. It wasn’t long ago when Velasquez thoroughly dismantled Silva at UFC 146 back in May of 2012 but due to the current status of the heavyweight division and Silva’s upset over “The Reem” this was the only option that makes sense at this point.
As one of Velasquez’ head coaches, we asked Cook about the fight and also his thoughts on the IOC dismissing wrestling from the 2020 Olympic games.
On Cain Velasquez vs. Antonio Silva II for heavyweight title
“The nice thing about that first fight was Cain didn’t let “Big Foot” into the fight. He shut Silva down before he could even think about getting going and hopefully we can accomplish that again,” Cook told BJPenn.com Radio.
“Obviously Alistair Overeem was a big anticipated matchup for Cain but we all saw how that went when he fought Silva. The UFC just came to us with this rematch and it just happened. This was the first fight that was proposed to us and we took it.”
On the IOC dropping wrestling from 2020 games
“I think it’s a huge blow to both the wrestling and MMA community and we’re going to see the ripple effect starting pretty soon. More colleges will probably drop their wrestling programs because it’s like all of a sudden the goal was taken away. You wrestle through high school and college and your goal is to make it on the U.S team and compete in the Olympics and that will be gone. A lot of our great athletes in MMA come from the wrestling community so it’s a blow all the way around.”
Hopefully there will be a lot of international pressure because it’s truly an international sport and there are a lot of big countries like Russia and Iran that compete. It’s a big deal to them so hopefully they can put some international pressure on the IOC.
Back in the day the Olympics started with how fast you can run, wrestling your opponent and how far you could throw stuff so to take one of the basics away seems silly. Not everyone is gifted to be 6’6 or 300 lbs to be a lineman or whatever in the NFL. Wrestling is a sport where it doesn’t matter what weight you are, you find your weight class and you compete to see how good you are.
It’s also a way for a lot of these kids to get their scholarship and education. I mean, are they getting rid of synchronized swimming and curling too? I’d be ok with it if they swapped wrestling out with MMA but other than that it doesn’t make any sense.”
To listen to the full interview you can do so below: