Raising Cain: Rising Heavyweight Velasquez Turning into a Gym Terror

By Jake Rossen Jul 29, 2009
One of the great pleasures in assuming editorial duties on Real Fighter magazine has been the ability to send writer-slash-masochist Eugene Robinson on suicide missions -- Eugene himself considers them “sparring matches” -- with professional fighters. To date, he has been choked, torqued, punched, grabbed and mauled by some of the best: Cung Le once kicked his quadriceps tendon off the bone.

He finds all of this amusing. I do, too, but I would not leave him alone in my house.

Recently, I discussed with Eugene the potential for “relaxed” gym bout with Cain Velasquez, a recent and significant threat to the UFC’s heavyweight division. But Le, who sometimes shares American Kickboxing Academy gym space with Velasquez -- and whom Eugene foolishly begged for a rematch -- told him this was a very, very bad idea.

“Cung looked me in the eyes and said, ‘Don't do it,’” Eugene recalls. “’I mean, I can't stop you, but don't do it.’ Then he slowly shook his head back and forth. ‘Don't.’”

Because Eugene is not so easily dissuaded, he went to a friend of Velasquez’s for advice. "He's a machine,” the man told him. “And a monster. And if I were you I wouldn't do it. You're going to get hurt. But he's a great guy. But you're going to get hurt."

Another professional who preferred not to be named told Eugene that he has personally witnessed Velasquez knock out training partners. “Routinely” seems to be the buzzword: Velasquez, it seems, considers every day to be fight day. Anecdotally speaking, he may soon find himself partnered with nothing but a heavy bag.

Fortunately, there’s always Eugene. The horror stories, he says, “make it more tempting, strangely.”

I don’t normally endorse products in this space, but I recommend Eugene’s account of his various beatings, “Fight: Everything You Ever Wanted to Know About Ass-Kicking but Were Afraid You’d Get Your Ass Kicked for Asking,” as a blueprint for how not to behave when you have no health insurance. (The Le story is worth the 12 bucks all by itself.)

Please consider picking up a copy. If Eugene does get in a ring with Cain, his family will need help with the funeral expenses.
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