Cain Velasquez Names MMA Legend He Wanted To Fight: ‘I Wanted To Have My Skills As Good As His’

Cain Velasquez looked up to Pride Fighting Championship legend Fedor Emelianenko but never got to fight him.

Cain Velasquez
Cain Velasquez (Left and Right)(Images via Instagram @OfficialCain Velasquez

Cain Velasquez revealed the number one fighter he wishes he could’ve fought during his career. 

As MMA continues to grow, newer fans might not fully appreciate the fighters who paved the way for the next generation. A primary example would be Cain Velasquez, a former UFC heavyweight champion with wins against several legends. 

Throughout his UFC tenure, Velasquez fought a who’s who list of fighters in the heavyweight division. With that said, there was one person he never had a chance to test his skills against. 

During an appearance on the Weighing In podcast, Velasquez named MMA legend Fedor Emelianenko as the fighter he always wanted to face. He explained by saying: 

“The guy that I always looked up to, that I would have ultimately wanted to test myself against, would probably be against Fedor [Emelianenko]. I would say Fedor is somebody that I looked up to. He was the man when I was going in, and he had everything. Obviously I wanted to have my skills as good as his or evolved into something like that.”

Fedor Emelianenko is widely considered the greatest fighter to never step into the Octagon. The Russian great primarily made a name for himself in Pride, but he also fought in Bellator, Strikeforce, M-1, RIZIN, Affliction, and more. 

Cain Velasquez breaks down his hypothetical matchup against Fedor Emelianenko

Debating fantasy matchups is common practice for hardcore MMA fans. When it comes to Fedor Emelianenko vs. Cain Velasquez, it’s hard to predict who would have won due to the contrasting styles. Yet, Velasquez did provide his point of view regarding details of the hypothetical fight. 

During the previously-mentioned podcast appearance, the former UFC heavyweight champion had this to say about fighting Emelianenko: 

“That would have to be a fight where I’d have to stay nice and clean with the standup. My hands would have to be nice and tight, nice and clean. The way he threw his punches, obviously for me, I haven’t really seen anybody throw those punches against me. The way he threw them was almost like a Russian style of boxing. That would be a little harder to get used to, but obviously we would have worked on it.”

Velasquez continued:

“In the clinch and stuff, it would be a lot of dirty boxing I believe. Not giving up any type of under hooks, being aware of his hips. So, I think it would have been an exciting fight. I think it would have been a fight just kid of back and forth. I think getting caught with one of his punches would have done some damage to me as well.”

Cain Velasquez retired following a 26-second knockout loss against Francis Ngannou in February 2019. The American Kickboxing Affiliate walked away with a UFC record of 12-3, including wins against Antonio Rodrigo Nogueira, Brock Lesnar, Junor dos Santos x2, and Antonio ‘BigFoot’ Silva x2.

Watch Cain Velasquez’s entire appearance on the Weighing In podcast below:

Published on October 20, 2023 at 9:35 pm
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