At UFC 166, Velasquez impressed in dispatching dos Santos via
fifth-round TKO. However, he didn’t make an appearance in the
Octagon again for the best part of two years. A torn meniscus and
sprained MCL combo in his right knee initially kept him out of his
next proposed bout, versus Fabricio
Werdum at UFC 180. Finally, at UFC 188, Velasquez faced the
highly decorated grappler. The match ended in defeat, as the
champion was forced to succumb to a third-round guillotine choke.
Over a year later at UFC 200, he returned to winning ways when he
Browne by first-round TKO. Following the dismantling of Browne,
Velasquez was supposed to rematch Werdum at UFC 207, in Dec. 2016,
but the Nevada State Athletic Commission prevented him from doing
so, citing bone spurs in his back. Now, over two and a half years
removed from his last appearance, “Cardio Cain” is finally fit and
set to return.
He’s of Mexican descent.
The California born Velasquez hails from Mexican heritage. His
father Efrain was an illegal immigrant who was deported six times
from the US before finally settling there. His fondness for his
ancestral country is displayed by the “Brown Pride” tattoo, which
he has imprinted on his chest and his choice of walkout music.
Called “Los Mandados,” the song details the story of a Mexican
immigrant attempting to cross the border into the United
He was a collegiate wrestling star.
Prior to becoming one of the all-time great heavyweight mixed
martial artists, Velasquez was a formidable wrestler. He developed
his skills in an outstanding high school wrestling career, which
saw him compile a 110-10 record. After graduating from high school,
Velasquez attended Iowa Community College, where he claimed first
place in the NJCAA National Championship. He then transferred to
wrestling powerhouse Arizona State University. There he studied for
a bachelor’s degree in Interdisciplinary Studies while competing
for the college’s famed Sun Devils wrestling team. During the
2004-05 season, Velasquez went on a 21-bout winning streak before
losing in the semi-finals of the NCAA Championships. His college
accomplishments include being an NCAA Division I All-American twice
(2005, 2006) winning the Pac-10 Conference Championship twice
(2005, 2006) and being the 2005 Pac-10 Conference Wrestler of the
He’s the first major Mexican-American heavyweight combat sports
Although there have been many Mexican-American combat sports
champions, Velasquez is the first heavyweight fighter to achieve
this accolade. This fact has made the former two-time UFC champion
a sought-after commodity in the Spanish-speaking world. Velasquez
has made guest appearances on Spanish-language networks Univision
and Telemundo, as well as Mexico’s Televisa Deportes.