We already know Cain Velasquez is the best heavyweight MMA fighter on the planet and a former two-time Division I All-American wrestler. But how about his striking? It’s also world class, according to a guy who knows his stuff when it comes to the sweet science.
Robert Garcia, the trainer for Marcos Maidana, told Sherdog this week that Velasquez could be a boxing champion. This isn’t some silly speculation that Ronda Rousey could beat Floyd Mayweather in an MMA fight. This is a legitimate boxing trainer saying Velasquez could be a master at pugilism.
"I think this guy is not only great at what he does but he could also be a great boxer, because he’s got tremendous power,” Garcia said. “When I hold the mits with Cain Velasquez, right away I told his people that brought him, I said, ‘What do you guys think about training for boxing, because this guy could make a lot of noise in professional boxing?’ He’s got skills and tremendous power. He’s got good boxing skills."
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The UFC announced Tuesday that Velasquez will be defending his title against Fabricio Werdum at UFC 180 on Nov. 15 in Mexico City. The two will also coach against one another on the inaugural edition of The Ultimate Fighter: Latin America.
Velasquez, 31, is recovering from shoulder surgery and is 13-1 in his MMA career, the only loss a flash knockout at the hands of Junior dos Santos in 2011. He was an All-American wrestler at Arizona State and an NJCAA All-American at Iowa Central Community College. The Mexican American star is best known for his uncanny cardio for a heavyweight.
Garcia said Velasquez came down to his gym in Oxnard, Calif., and trained with him for three days. Maidana is getting ready to face Mayweather on Saturday night in one of the biggest boxing events of the year.
Any time Velasquez competes in the UFC, it’s one of the organization’s biggest events, too. It’s doubtful he would ever make the transition into boxing, but that doesn’t mean he wouldn’t be pretty good at it if he did.
"I think a good trainer could teach him how to fight, build up a good record in two or three years and become a champion,” Garcia said. “I honestly believe so."