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Javier Mendez: Cain Velasquez lost his heavyweight title at UFC 188 because I failed as a coach

Alexis Cuarezma/Getty Images

When it comes to altitude, make like Jimmie's Chicken Shack and do whatever it takes (to get you high).

Former Ultimate Fighting Championship (UFC) heavyweight titleholder Cain Velasquez wasn't overly-concerned about the elevation in Mexico City, so he didn't spend much time there while preparing for the UFC 188 pay-per-view (PPV) event back in June.

That's why head coach Javier Mendez told Talking Brawls (via MMA Fighting) that newly-crowned champion Fabricio Werdum and his coaches -- already on location for several months -- succeeded where American Kickboxing Academy (AKA) failed.

His words:

"Going into the fight, one minute into it, when he took Fabricio down, then he gets up and I notice he was breathing pretty heavy and I'm like, 'Oh, shit.' I knew there was problems right there. I went, 'Oh my god.' I screwed up. The bottom line is it was my responsibility to prepare my fighter in the best possible way and that night I didn't. I failed. I failed at my job. Regardless of Cain saying it was his fault, it wasn't. It was my fault. It was my responsibility to look into the altitude and all that. There was nothing we could have done on that night to win. It was just a matter of time of when Fabricio was going to take that belt that night. Kudos to him. They did the work. That's what the fight game is all about. You've got to be prepared. He did his job. His coaches did their jobs. I didn't."

Somewhere in Fresno, Calif., Josh Koscheck is saying I told you so.

The good news is, Mendez has a chance to redeem himself -- kinda/sorta -- when Velasquez rematches "Vai Cavalo" later this year (more on that fight here). The Werdum camp doesn't sound too worried about the ex-champ's do-over, but expect the oft-injured Velasquez to come back with a chip on his shoulder (wouldn't be the first time).

Assuming AKA doesn't burn to the ground between now and then.

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