"One thing I've done since we were the 'stone age gym'... and it is a real good thing, thank you Dana [White]. Because you know what, he taught me to talk to my guys. Ask them, 'are you having a bad day today? Did you break up with your girlfriend?' I mean, I want to know those things because I'm putting them in a situation where these guys are sparring hard and he's pissed off because he's mad at his girlfriend or he didn't get a good night's sleep and I'm putting him in a dangerous situation. So I started paying attention and ever since he made that comment I've paid attention more. And you know what? Less injuries have been happening because now I don't let these guys spar when something is wrong with them. 'Today you're not sparring.' 'Well, I want to spar.' I go, 'no, you're not sparring. That's it. Simple as that.' And you know, I thank him for that. And I was very legitimate in my appreciation for what he did. You know? Because he made me a better coach. And can I still improve? Absolutely. And I'm still looking to improve."
-- In case you thought there were any hard feelings over UFC President Dana White's comments about American Kickboxing Academy's (AKA) "stone age" methods of training, the founder and primary coach of the gym, Javier Mendez, has nothing but praise. It's an about-face from his thoughts expressed immediately after hearing about White's opinion on his gym, when he said, "if you want to get rid of injuries, you'll have to get rid of the UFC." Mendez shared his thoughts during a roundtable discussion on "Inside MMA" Friday night (Sept. 25, 2015) in a segment that also involved Rafael dos Anjos' coach and trainer, Rafael Cordeiro. Fans of AKA's top fighters such as Cain Velasquez, Daniel Cormier and Luke Rockhold can only hope that Mendez is right about preventing injuries. Cormier is set to tilt against Alexander Gustafsson to defend his Light Heavyweight belt Oct. 3, 2015 at UFC 192 in Houston, Texas, while Luke Rockhold will challenge Chris Weidman for the Middleweight strap two months later on Dec. 12, 2015, at UFC 194 in Las Vegas. As for Velasquez, he'll also be in a title fight after Fabricio Werdum granted him an immediate rematch, although that bout isn't expected until early 2016.