Cain Velasquez never doubted the fighting ability of his good friend and training partner Daniel Cormier, but the Ultimate Fighting Championship (UFC) Heavyweight Champion admits he was a bit nervous prior to "DC's" fight against Anthony Johnson in UFC 187's main event last weekend (Sat. May, 23, 2015).
That's because the crew at American Kickboxing Academy (AKA) had less than four weeks to prepare Cormier for the opportunity of a lifetime (thanks to this) -- he was was originally scheduled to compete against Ryan Bader at UFC Fight Night 68 on June 6, 2015.
"We were a little worried about hurrying the camp, making it shorter, since he was supposed to fight Ryan Bader on June 6. But, we still felt good about the fight," he tells FOX Sports. "And, he went in there and did it. He did such a great job. It felt good to see that guy go in there and get it. It was definitely a great night for him."
That's a testament to just how well the coaches at AKA and Cormier planned and prepped for the fight, something Velasquez says is nothing new. Because despite criticism from UFC president Dana White, the team has never sent a fighter to the cage unprepared.
"I don't think you ever really see any of us show up to a fight and have a bad performance," he says. "We're always ready to fight. And to get ready for a fight, you have to fight. Boxers box to get ready to fight, wrestlers wrestle. We have so much we have to do to get ready, but fighting is one of them," declared the 265-pound champion.
Most of the criticism -- which wasn't taken personal by head coach Javier Mendez -- was White venting on "stone age" methods that lead to multiple injuries to some of its fighters (specifically Velasquez).
Nonetheless, Velasquez was compelled to defend his team's methods, claiming that in all actuality most of his injuries didn't happen in the training room.
"Personally, most of my injuries were ones that I sustained during fights in UFC, not in practice," he says. "We do what we have to do to be ready, in practice, and I think our results are good."
Cormier's win gives the famed camp its second current UFC champion. And with Luke Rockhold in line to potentially get a shot at Chris Weidman's Middleweight title next (maybe), the camp could boast three UFC champions by the conclusion of 2015.
That is, of course, if Velasquez can hold on to his strap when he faces interim champion, Fabricio Werdum, in the main event of UFC 188, which goes down on June 13, 2015, in Mexico City, Mexico.
For more on that event click here.