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Midnight Mania! Should fans be worried about Cain Velasquez’ mitt work?

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There are a lot of questions both Cain Velasquez and Francis Ngannou need to answer about themselves this Sunday in the main event of UFC Phoenix. Ngannou needs to show he has an answer for relentless cardio wrestling. Cain, at 36, needs to show that a decade of overtraining and injury haven’t wrecked his body beyond repair. The most social media recent footage we have of Cain in training is not exactly encouraging.

This post combines two of Cain’s Instagram training videos from about a month ago, in early January. I didn’t pay a whole lot of attention to them at the time, but just at a glance, Cain’s mechanics look pretty awful. It’s a little reminiscent of Ronda Rousey’s worse moments, or old man Wanderlei Silva. There might even be shades of Chuck Liddell before the Ortiz fight. Unlike those videos, Cain still seems like he’s connecting with some speed; however, the way he’s trying to generate power is by throwing his whole body into the punch. It’s not exactly tight and crisp.

Has Cain always looked this bad on the pads? Some fighters look awkward, but they make it work once they get into the cage. I went back and looked at some footage. This was Cain in 2016. Perhaps the goal was different, but he looks controlled, throwing straight punches with decent rotation. His left hook looks much more disciplined and smooth, without that awkward full-body lunging motion. Cain has never been known for his punching power, and that is at least partly due to his inconsistent transfer of weight into his blows. This clip, though, is worlds better than the clip above.

View this post on Instagram

Mitt work with @akajav for @hayabusafight photoshoot

A post shared by Cain Velasquez (@officialcainvelasquez) on

This was Cain way back in 2009. He looked a little janky then too, twisting his head before throwing the left hook, but he was also whipping straight punches out with good form and moving well.

Is this reading too much into a few seconds of training video? Perhaps. Or perhaps Cain’s body isn’t moving the way it used to, and he’s trying to compensate. Perhaps he was just rusty. Will he be able to shake off the mantle of inactivity once again to rise to the challenge of the mighty Ngannou? We will find out Sunday.


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Sleep well, Maniacs! A better tomorrow is always possible. Follow me on Twitter and Facebook @Vorpality

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