Ultimate Fighting Championship (UFC) President Dana White came down hard on American Kickboxing Academy (AKA) earlier this week, holding the "stone age gym" accountable for multiple injuries to its heavyweight champion, Cain Velasquez.
See those comments here.
Velasquez hasn't competed since late 2013 after several setbacks, but was also quick to point out that two of his major injuries actually occurred during fights and not inside the gym. In addition, MMA Fighting was able to get reactions from most of the major players at AKA, who not surprisingly, disagree with White's assessment.
AKA head coach Javier Mendez:
"It shows he cares, but he's wrong for accusing us. I think he's primarily accusing us because we have the heavyweight champion. If you want to get rid of injuries, you'll have to get rid of the UFC."
Heavyweight champion Cain Velasquez:
"He says stone age, I say old school. The best way to prepare for a fight is to fight. Yeah, I've had some injuries. But when we fight, nobody says we're not training right when they look at the way we fight. We're going to keep doing it. We could get injured again, but you don't come into training with those thoughts. We go to work, beat each other up, just like a fight. We don't go into a fight with those thoughts either."
No. 3-ranked light heavyweight Daniel Cormier:
Cain and I go super hard, like really hard. For all the praise we get inside the Octagon for our ability to control fights, it all develops from inside that room. Cain's had some bad luck with injures, but as bad as they are, most of them were from fights. It'll get better."
No. 1-ranked middleweight Luke Rockhold:
"I think a lot of that falls on Cain because he's the face of our gym, he's the heavyweight champion and the baddest man on the planet. You want to say that we don't do things right, but we're the best gym in the world. I think we have a lot of healthy fighters who are constantly fighting."
For more AKA fighter reactions click here.
In fairness to White, it seems like the promotion can't get through an event without suffering a major injury to one of its headliners. And Velasquez, who returns at UFC 188 in June, is not the only champion to have been sent packing on multiple occasions, as Chris Weidman, Dominick Cruz, and Anthony Pettis have also seen their fair share of time outs.
Perhaps it's just the nature of combat sports.