Former ASU All-American Cain Velasquez Preparing to Fight in the UFC
June 25, 2008
TEMPE, Ariz. - Cain Velasquez, a former two-time All-American wrestler at Arizona State University and one of several former Sun Devils excelling in mixed martial arts (MMA) fighting, will step into the UFC's octagon on July 19 where he will put his undefeated record on the line in a nationally televised bout with Jake O'Brien. The fight, which will be held at The Pearl inside The Palms in Las Vegas, Nev., and will be shown live at 6 p.m. Pacific on Spike TV, will pit a pair of collegiate wrestlers against one another as O'Brien (10-1) wrestled for Purdue.
Velasquez (3-0) and O'Brien have met once before, fittingly enough in Las Vegas, as the two collegiate heavyweights faced one another in the consolation semifinal at the 2005 Cliff Keen/Las Vegas Invitational. Velasquez, who was the third-seed in the tournament, defeated ninth-seeded O'Brien, 8-4, before winning his next bout (12-10 over eighth-seeded Eric Smith of Boise State) to finish third in the tournament.
Fighting out of San Jose, Calif., and training at the American Kickboxing Academy, Velasquez will be fighting in the UFC for the second time this year after he scored a first-round knock out of Brad Morris in April at UFC 83 in Montreal, Canada. Velasquez has trained with former Sun Devil All-American heavyweight Kellan Fluckiger, who trains at Arizona Combat Sports in Tempe. ACS also is home to a pair of former Sun Devil All-Americans and teammates of Velasquez in CB Dollaway and Ryan Bader. Recently, Dollaway was the runner-up on The Ultimate Fighter 7 while another member of the ACS group, Matt Riddle, also competed in the TUF 7 event.
O'Brien, who opened his career with 10 wins in a row, holds a 10-1 record and lost his first bout at UFC 82 in March on a second-round TKO (punches) at the hands of former UFC heavyweight champion Andrea Arlovski.