clock menu more-arrow no yes mobile

Filed under:

Brock Lesnar: Cain Velasquez Not the Guy to Take Title Away From Me

When Brock Lesnar steps into the cage on Saturday night for his UFC 121 title defense against Cain Velasquez, he has the chance to do something historic.

The UFC heavyweight championship is the belt with the longest lineage, first awarded in February 1997. But since then, no one has managed to defend it successfully more than twice. If Lesnar beats Velasquez, he would become the first to defend the crown three times.

According to Lesnar, bank on it.

"Obviously I'm the heavyweight champ for a reason," Lesnar told ESPN's SportsCenter in a taped interview that aired Tuesday morning. "I don't think Cain Velasquez is the guy who's going to take it away from me."

Lesnar (5-1) captured the belt nearly two years ago with a TKO of MMA legend Randy Couture. Since then, he avenged his only loss with a TKO of Frank Mir, suffered through a career-threatening bout with diverticulitis, and returned to post a stirring comeback win over Shane Carwin at July's UFC 116.

Lesnar seems like a guy who is never short on self-esteem, but the last match with Carwin seems to be one in which he learned something about himself: that he was tougher than even he fully realized.

"It was a huge confidence booster knowing that I can take a pretty good shot," he said. "Obviously someone like Shane Carwin is heavy handed and landed a lot of good punches on me. But I was able to survive, come back in the second round and secure a submission victory, so it's been a huge confidence builder for me."

While Lesnar has never been shy to trash-talk his opponents in the past, his comments about Velasquez have been nothing short of respectful throughout the leadup to the fight.

Velasquez is 8-0 overall, most recently knocking out Brazilian legend Antonio Rodrigo Nogueira to earn a title shot. Velasquez has essentially had eight months to prepare for the most important fight of his life, and Lesnar is aware of the threat he represents.

"He's a well-rounded fighter, he's a former Division I athlete, a wrestler and so I think he imposes some uniques strategies in his standup game," he said. "He stays busy. We're going to try to just secure him, corner him and take this fight to where we need to take it to win."

Though he used to cut a significant amount of weight to make the 265-pound limit, Lesnar said his new diet has leaned him down and he shouldn't have a problem coming in to the fight at the Honda Center in Anaheim, Calif., "naturally" at 265 to 270 on fight night.

"Looking lean and mean, and ready to whip some butt," he said.

Sign up for the newsletter Sign up for the MMA Fighting Daily Roundup newsletter!

A daily roundup of all your fighting news from MMA Fighting