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Former UFC heavyweight champion Cain Velasquez is well known for being a cardio-machine inside the octagon.
The Mexican-American fighter is often able to push a pace that his opponents simply can’t match, which eventually causes them to crumble beneath him.
However, that was not the case in Cain’s most recent effort at UFC 188 in Mexcio City, where he lost his title to Fabricio Werdum after being submitted in the third-round of their main event fight.
Fans and media have cited the high altitude of Mexico City as the main reason for Cain’s underwhelming performance, but AKA head coach Javier Mendez insisted that Velasquez was in great shape heading into his fight with Werdum on UFC embedded.
Now, two months after the loss, the American Kickboxing Academy boss has taken full responsibility for Velasquez’ defeat. Here is what Mr. Mendez had to say in a recent interview with Talking Brawls:
“I screwed up,” Mendez said. “I screwed up the last time. The bottom line is it was my responsibility to prepare my fighter in the best possible way and that night I didn’t. I failed. I failed at my job. Regardless of Cain saying it was his fault, it wasn’t. It was my fault. It was my responsibility to look into the altitude and all that. I screwed up and I won’t make that mistake again.”
While Javier credits Werdum for his performance, he feels the high altitude was the main reason for his student’s loss:
“Fabricio is a really, really good fighter and you can’t make a mistake. Obviously, it showed. They didn’t make mistakes and we made plenty.”
“For me, 100 percent [altitude] was the main factor,” said Mendez. “It was the best Cain I’ve ever had. He was 100 percent healthy. He was in the greatest shape. He was going through everyone here no problem. No injures, no nothing. Then to go over there and he looks like the worst Cain I’ve ever had. I don’t know how to explain it.”
Mendez is confident that things will go differently when Velasquez and Werdum rematch later this year:
“We just have to come in in condition,” said Mendez. “We’ve got to come in the way we were last time. We’re fighting in a different place now. The fight will showcase itself. We’ll see who did their homework that night. In my opinion, we don’t need to do anything other than what we did last time. The only difference was the altitude training. We screwed up there, but it’s not going to happen in the second one because I don’t think we’re fighting in Mexico or in high elevation. We’ll be fine. We’ll just do the same thing we did.”
Do you think we will see a different outcome in the Velasquez vs. Werdum rematch? Or does Fabricio have Cain’s number? Sound off Penn Nation!
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