Trainer: Cain Velasquez Has to Use Athleticism Against Antonio Silva


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As one of the trainers at American Kickboxing Academy, Bob Cook works with some of the best fighters in MMA.

He recently joined the Sherdog Radio Network’s “Savage Dog Show” to discuss Daniel Cormier, Cain Velasquez and more.

On the difference between Cormier and other wrestlers who haven’t transitioned to MMA as well: “He likes to fight. He likes to compete. I think that’s one of the big things, and he’s used to competing at a high level.”

On Cormier’s win over Josh Barnett: “I knew a big key to the fight was going to be who could control the standup, and fortunately it worked out that D.C. was able to control the standup.”

On how much Cormier could still improve: “He’s new in the sport. There’s a lot of growth for him to do. He’s been doing this, what, two and a half years? ... When he was wrestling, DeWayne [Zinkin, Cormier’s manager] was really high on him: ‘We’ve got to get this guy, we’ve got to get this guy.’ If we would have had him for the last 10 years, it would have been amazing what he would have accomplished already. Now we do, and he’s still going to get better. I think we’re all seeing the improvement every fight.”

On Cormier’s personality: “He’s an instigator, but he’s a lot of fun. He’s not only a good wrestler, but he’s a very technical wrestler and he’s a great wrestling coach. That’s why he’s kind of the team wrestling coach and Cain’s wrestling coach also.”

On Josh Thomson’s split decision loss to Gilbert Melendez: “I haven’t watched it other than when it was live. I felt when the fight was happening that there was a turning point in the third where kind of the momentum changed over to us. Whether it was early enough in the third to get the third round, I don’t know, but I just felt like there was a shift in the fight in the third round and that Josh started kind of taking control from that point on.”

On how Thomson’s many injuries affected him in the fight and in his career: “I think it took him a little bit of getting out there and kind of getting a little confidence that the knee’s going to be good and that everything’s good to go and [he can] start pushing harder. ... He’s been injury prone since we got him when he was 18 years old. Nothing’s changed in that department, but I truly believe he’s better than he’s ever been right now. I think he’s capable of beating just about anybody in a five-round fight.”

On reports that Velasquez was injured when he fought Junior dos Santos: “He had several injuries, and it was just on top of being off for a long layoff with the shoulder surgery. It was a combination of the bad things coming together. The result is what happened.”

On whether Velasquez is healthy for his bout Saturday at UFC 146 against Antonio Silva: “He’s healthy and he’s ready to rock 'n' roll. Everybody will be in for a treat.”

On what Velasquez has to do to beat Silva: “I think the biggest thing that Cain has to do to be successful in this fight is be the athlete that he is. Cain is a tremendous athlete. He’s very fast. He can move really well on the ground, standing, footwork, everything. That’s what he’s got to do. When you’re fighting a guy that’s so big, you need to be faster so that you can use your techniques and beat him to the proverbial punch.”

Listen to the full interview (beginning at 1:01:15).

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