Cain Velasquez has fought just two times since 2013 due to various injuries, but Joe Rogan believes the former UFC champ is still the best heavyweight he’s seen…
Five, six years ago, Velasquez was widely regarded to be the sport’s top heavyweight and one of the best fighters on the planet, period. After all, by the end of 2013, Velasquez was 13-1, and he was coming off his second win over Junior dos Santos. Since then, however, the AKA fighter has competed just twice, and Velasquez has gone 1-1 in those two bouts. As a result, you don’t hear Velasquez mentioned nearly as much, when people talk about who are the best heavyweights in the game.
“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,” Rogan said. “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.”
“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. His body started breaking down. He started having all these back injuries. He needed back surgery, multiple back surgeries, shoulder surgery, knee surgery…”
Yup. There’s no doubt that in Velasquez’s prime/heyday, he was extremely tough to beat. In addition to possessing top-tier wrestling, Velasquez was a talented striker, and his conditioning was virtually unmatched in the heavyweight division (as Rogan alluded to).
The big question is, however, whether Velasquez remains that fighter now? After undergoing various surgeries and now being 36-year’s old. Hopefully we get to see the former champ back in the Octagon in Q1, 2019.