If you ask UFC color commentator Joe Rogan, former UFC heavyweight champion Cain Velasquez is probably the best heavyweight in MMA history. Rogan got talking about Velasquez, and what makes him so special, after a discussion about the ideal weight for a heavyweight mixed martial artist on The Joe Rogan Experience Podcast.
“There’s a thought with the 265-pound weight class and the consensus thought seems to be that somewhere around 240 pounds is the magic number,” Joe Rogan said of Cain Velasquez (transcript via MMA Fighting). “That’s what they think. They think that 240 pounds is the amount of weight that you have where you’re strong enough that you can knock out any man but you have more endurance than a man that maybe weighs 265 or heavier and cuts down to 265. Now this has not been substantiated. The problem is, there hasn’t been a super powerful world championship athlete that weighed 265 pounds…
“It’s hard to say because there’s never been a 265-pound version of Cain Velasquez. Cain Velasquez, in my humble opinion, when I look at all of the different heavyweights that I’ve personally seen fight, Cain stands out as the best. The reason why Cain stands out as the best is because he has superhuman endurance and his ability to put a pace on guys. You would see these guys just wilt under the pressure.”
While Rogan was quick to praise Cain Velasquez, he also touched on the string of injuries that have derailed the former champion’s career. He believes these injuries could be a product of Velasquez’s mental toughness — the same mental toughness that made him so dangerous in the cage.
“I think with Cain – and this is where it gets really interesting – what did him in is also brought him to the top: his mental toughness,” said Rogan. “His body started breaking down. He started having all these back injuries. He needed back surgery, multiple back surgeries, shoulder surgery, knee surgery, everything was getting f*cked up and I think it was getting f*cked up because he was working through pain and he has the ability to tolerate pain that most people don’t have. He’s just a f*cking animal but that’s also probably what led to him having this insane endurance. It’s the same kind of mental toughness.”
Do you think Cain Velasquez is the best heavyweight ever?
This article first appeared on BJPENN.COM on 11/13/2018.