Cain Velasquez walked into the octagon for the first time in almost two years on Saturday night at “UFC 188”. Fabricio Werdum stood across from him in the opposite corner and the two fought to decide the fate of the Undisputed UFC Heavyweight Championship.
What was thought to be Velasquez’s biggest advantage over his heavyweight opponents turned out to be his biggest weakness on Saturday: his conditioning.
Velasquez is used to training out of American Kickboxing Academy which is located in San Jose, California. California’s highest point of elevation rests at just 2,125 feet. The former heavyweight champion moved his camp to Mexico City just two weeks away from fight-night and was not used to the altitude change.
“Maybe that wasn’t enough,” Velasquez said during the post fight press conference. “Again, no excuses. Fabricio was the better guy tonight. He fought with great technique. Very relaxed.”
Werdum moved his camp to Mexico City long ago so he could get acclimated to the 7,300 foot altitude. Despite being exhausted, Velasquez fought with heart and determination and pushed through with his gameplan which ultimately cost him the fight.
“We didn’t not want to go to the ground with him,” Velasquez said. “We knew that if we fought everywhere we’d have to do that. We’re not one-sided anymore. We go to the ground and we fight there. I was ready to do that. Going in for a double leg, he caught my neck. I had my head way on the outside. That was my fault. Again, you live and you learn.”
Considering the fashion in which he lost, how many wins does Velasquez need in order to get another shot at the title?
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