Over the weekend, the heavyweight showdown between Cain Velesquez (3-0) and jake O'Brien (10-1) was made official for Ultimate Fight Night 14 at The Pearl at the Palms Casino Resort in Las Vegas, Nevada, on July 19.
It's a match up that pairs two young and decorated former collegiate wrestlers -- Velasquez was an All-American at Arizona State University and O'Brien racked up a solid career while on the Purdue University squad for two years.
Velasquez lived up to the lofty expectations in his Octagon debut, overwhelming Brad Morris at UFC 83: "Serra vs. St. Pierre 2" en route to a first round technical knockout. The American Kickboxing Academy (AKA) stand out is regarded as a raw blue chip prospect who has adapted well to mixed martial arts and could one day challenge for a division title.
O’Brien was actually among several fighters cut from their contracts when the promotion was out to trim its roster. In hindsight, it was perhaps to soon because O'Brien had just one loss in four attempts inside the Octagon. And that was a defeat to former heavyweight champion Andrei Arlovski at UFC 82: "Pride of a Champion" back in March.
He holds notable wins over Heath Herring, Josh Shockman and Kristof Midoux while under contract with promotion.
This could be a tough fight for O'Brien who has traditionally relied on his athleticism and strong wrestling skills to defeat his opponents. That's because Velasquez more than likely is the better wrestler and is just as -- if not more than -- athletic in this pairing.
UFC Fight Night 14 features the light heavyweight debut of UFC Middleweight Champion Anderson Silva against James Irvin in the main event of the Spike TV special presentation. To check out the most recent fight card click here.