It’s no secret that Velasquez is seen as a leader at the AKA gym. After all, he is a well-respected former heavyweight who held UFC gold twice. While Velasquez has retired from pro MMA competition to move on to the world of pro wrestling, he’s recognized as one of the greatest heavyweights of all time.
During an interview with RT Sport, Makhachev recalled a time where Velasquez ultimately had someone exit AKA for not heeding his request to wear headgear.
“Cain Velasquez is a great guy, but when he enters the gym, he becomes focused, in the zone. He knows exactly what he is going to do this time around. I remember one day Cain was about to start sparring, and the other guy came out without a headgear. Cain says to him, ‘Hey, put on the headgear.’ And the guy is like, ‘No, I am cool without it.’ And Cain says, ‘Look, what if you headbutt me and cut me? So Cain refused to spar with him and made him go away.
“That’s just a high level of professionalism. He understands that bad things may happen in sparring and there’s no need to try and prove a point. If both sparring partners are wearing headgears, headbutts won’t do any serious damage. But if someone has no headgear and headbutts you, he could break your nose or just cut you. So Cain said, ‘I don’t need this. You go your way, I will go mine.’”
Makhachev has quickly become a problem for UFC lightweights. He is the number five-ranked UFC lightweight and has run through almost everyone put in his way. Makhachev has just one pro MMA loss and that was back in Oct. 2015. Many believe he’s primed to take Khabib Nurmagomedov‘s place as a dominant UFC Lightweight Champion.