Cain Velasquez feels rejuvenated ahead of his scheduled return to the Octagon.
Velasquez hasn’t been in action since July 2016. He defeated Travis Browne via first-round TKO. He was set to meet Fabricio Werdum in a rematch at UFC 207, but was forced to pull out after concerns over comments he made about his back.
Cain Velasquez Explains How Long Layoff is Beneficial
MMAFighting.com recently caught up with Velasquez ahead of his UFC on ESPN 1 showdown with Francis Ngannou on Feb. 17. Velasquez talked about his layoff and why he’s feeling young again:
“When we had my daughter — she’s nine now — at the height of my career, I wasn’t there for all of her baby stuff. And that, to me, was hard, because you’re trying to be two places at once and you really can’t, right? This is where I make my living, so it was hard to balance the two. So I really wanted to be there for my wife for her pregnancy. I was there for her for the whole thing, and then my son being born and being hands-on the whole first year. And man, I love the time I spent away. I got to do a lot of things that I didn’t have the chance to do before. I just really cherished those moments that I had.
“I feel like I did [when I was younger]. I do. Obviously things are changing — and as far as that, it’s like, I have to be smarter when I train because I could definitely overtrain at any moment. That’s just what I do. But I still definitely do feel the same. I feel like the time off that I’ve had, I’ve been able to work on some stuff that I really can’t when you’re in fight training, because you’re obviously training for a specific guy, just for a specific style. But to not have anything on the books and to be training just kinda the stuff that you want to train, different techniques and stuff, it was great time off.”
UFC on ESPN 1 will also feature a bantamweight clash between Aljamain Sterling and Jimmie Rivera. Lightweights Paul Felder and James Vick will collide, plus women’s flyweights Andrea Lee and Ashlee Evans-Smith will also do battle. Stick with MMA News for the latest updates on UFC on ESPN 1.
Do you think the long layoff for Cain Velasquez will prove to beneficial or detrimental?